KW & Beyond
by Irena Syrokomla
Theatre & Company– Metamorphoses
by Mary Zimmerman
It is the 15th season at Theatre & Company in downtown Kitchener opened with the Canadian premiere of Metamorphoses, a play that already enjoyed a run at the Broadway in New York and in Chicago. It was a great success and so expectations are high for its success in Canada.
It is an extraordinary play, contemporary but based on themes of Greek myths and allegories, the stage set up is a large water pool which creates a backdrop for stories involving gods and mortals. Again, it is one of those surprising settings for whitch Theatre & Company is reputed: in past seasons we have seen enormous staircases that somehow broke away and disappeared, actual working kitchens, and now we have a real water pool. Amazing what designers (David Antscherl – scenic design) can devise and the technicians can construct.
And there is a lot of water involved in this show. Sometimes it is relevant, sometimes superfluous, but overall unusual and almost seductive. The actors step into it, wade in it, swim but also splash and dive in. Yes, you do need a towel if you have a front row poolside seat.
The stories in Metamorphoses are derived from Greek myths and it helps if you are familiar with them. Some, like "Midas and his golden touch" are well-known, Pandora’s box once opened letting evil out, Orpheus and Eurydice on their way from the underworld, the myth of Phaeton and his desire to drive his father’s (Apollo’s) chariot. Some others, more obscure, ring a bell, but are more difficult to recognize, as not all of us received a solid education in mythology. Nevertheless they are funny, touching and uplifting, bringing out laughter on this warm Fall night and the audience leaving the theatre with a good feeling.
Some actors are known from prior seasons, Linda Bush, Andrew Larkin and Genevieve Steele. A lot of faces are new. Their acting is excellent, as usual. We regret that Kathleen Sheehy, Mike Peng and Nicole Lee are no longer with the theatre. One becomes accustomed to seeing their performances.
Metamorphoses just opened on September 30th and it is going to continue till October 23rd. The tickets are in $22 to $35 range, phone 519-571-0928 or www.theatreandcompany.org. Enjoy it!
The Organ Concert at First United Church in Waterloo
There are not many occasions to attend really good organ concerts. Such an opportunity now exists as First United Church celebrates a long anticipated installation of its new Kney organ. The need for a new instrument has been recognized for some time and due to a fortunate circumstance of the organ being available from Aeolian Hall in London, Ontario and a generous donation being received the Church could obtain it. On September 26th an inaugural concert (first of the series) was held and music lovers along with the members of the congregation had the first chance to hear it and appreciate it.
Distinguished organist Jan Overduin (a retired Chair of the Organ and Church Music Department at Wilfrid Laurier University) delivered an impressive program of classic Bach Toccata and Fugue (BWV 565), Prelude and Fugue of Georg Bohm, Fantasie of Cesar Franc and several other pieces from the baroque era. Written specially for the occasion Contrasti by Barrie Cabena was uplifting and combining traditional tones with the modern flavour. It was impressive, it was peaceful and it was satisfying. The organ sounded – so I was told – much better than in its original hall in London, the location on the balcony allowed a view of the pipes and the beautiful stained glass window in the background.
The music program at the First United Church at the corner of King and William is open to everyone, future concerts are scheduled for October 29 and January 29, 2005 (Fridays) at 8 pm and November 28 and March 20, 2005 (Sundays) at 3 pm.
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