Newfoundland Vinyl – Opening Night

“Overture, curtains, lights,
This is it, the night of nights,
No more rehearsing and nursing a part,
We know every part by heart…”

Newfoundland Vinyl” opens tonight!!

“Could not have asked for a better cast and crew” posts Allison Crowe, from her station in beautiful Gros Morne National Park – where she’s serving this Summer as Music Director to the production.

Cast and crew of “Newfoundland Vinyl” are so intent on readying for tonight’s opening – Friday, July 13 – there’s been no time for any back-stage scoops. Link has kept the paparazzi at bay. Here’s word on this rollicking musical ride direct from Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador’s website – and from this Summer’s Gros Morne Theatre Festival program – with more fun to come.

Here’s the 45 rpm version:

NEWFOUNDLAND VINYL

Written & Directed by:
Jeff Pitcher

Musical Direction by:
Allison Crowe

COMEDY / MUSIC

The vinyl hits of the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s by Newfoundland’s biggest recording stars come to life as Ed & Ed throw a fundraiser for themselves! For your toe-tapping, tear-jerking enjoyment the Eds feature the music and songs of A Frank Willis, Roy Payne, Joan Morrissey, Rex Hemeon, Dick Nolan,

Eddie Eastman and more! A magical evening of music and madness from Ed’s remote studio in the Ethie Room at the Shallow Bay in Cow Head this program is not commercial free!

Opening: Friday, July 13, 2012 – runs to September 2, 2012
$30 Adults; $15 Students (price includes HST)
Book by calling 1-877-243-2899 or book online
Venue: Ethie Room, Shallow Bay Motel and Cabins, 193 Main Street, Cow Head, Newfoundland and Labrador- Proud home of the “Gros Morne Theatre Festival” for 17 years!
Tel.: 709-243-2471 or 1-800-563-1946

Newfoundland Vinyl – stage riser, detail of set – designed by GMTF’s Derek Butt

Here’s the long-play version:

NEWFOUNDLAND VINYL CAST:

COLIN FURLONG – is an actor from Mt. Pearl, NL and 2012 marks his fifth season with GMTF. Since last season, Colin has appeared in Hanlon House (New Curtain Theatre); Oedipus Rex, Antigone (Arts and Culture Centres); Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Breakout Prod.); and RIG (Rising Tide/Arts and Cul-ture Centres). Other select credits include AfterImage (Artistic Fraud); Brand New Beat, The Tempest (Rising Tide); In the Backseat (Eastern Front); Whereverville, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (New Curtain); Stones in his Pockets, Leaving Home, The Cripple of Inishmaan (Theatre Newfoundland Labrador), and an appearance as Harry Holden on CBC Television’s Republic of Doyle. Colin holds a BFA (Theatre) from Memorial University, Grenfell Campus. Enjoy the shows, and enjoy Cow Head!

SANDY GOW – is an actor, director and musician from St. John’s, Newfoundland where she is the Artistic Director of C2C Theatre. Sandy graduated from Sir Wilfred Grenfell in 2006 with a BFA (Acting) and has since worked for RCA Theatre, Rising Tide Theatre, Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland and the Arts and Culture Centre. Favorite roles include Jade in Play Me Home (dir. by Petrina Bromley) and Faith in the Oracle at Gros Morne (dir. Sarah Stanley), as well as Blandy in Fear of Flight and Emile in Emile’s Dream (dir. Jillian Keilley).

CRAIG HALEY – is thrilled to be returning to the GMTF for the first time in ten years. Originally from Grand Bank, he is something of a rolling stone – spending much of the last several bouncing between Winnipeg, Edmonton and Calgary working for Jubilations Dinners Theatre. Like many of his coworkers in Cow Head, Craig has a BFA in acting from SWGC.

JESSY MATTHEWS – is from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and is in her third year of the acting program at Grenfell. With ten years of guitar lessons and general musical training, Jessy is excited to bring her passion for music to the festival. This is her first summer at Cow Head and she is honored to work with the talented cast and crew. Memorable shows include The Winter’s Tale, Hotel Paradiso, Sweeny Todd and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

STEPHANIE PAYNE – Home town gal, Stephanie, just completed her Education degree last summer and has spent the fall and winter substituting along the lovely Northern Peninsula. She still finds time to be Mommy extraordinaire to her beautiful little girl and of course sing and play music, at various local concerts and events on the West Coast, most recently at the annual March Hare in Corner Brook. She is thrilled to be back at the GMTF again!! Have a great summer everyone!

MIRANDA POWER – is originally from Chapel Arm, Newfoundland. She has been involved in various musical groups for several years and worked with TNL since she started Grenfell’s Theatre Program in 2011. Previous shows include It’s A Wonderful Life and Sexy and Dangerous. Miranda is sending love to her family and friends from coast to coast. Enjoy the show everybody!

LEAH PRITCHARD – is from Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia. She’s a fourth year student at MUN-Grenfell campus in Corner Brook, third year theatre. Leah has been lucky enough to play Aniello in Hotel Paradiso, and Paulina in The Winter’s Tale. She has worked with GMTF as an usher, but is delighted to be back, and as an actor this time!!

RORY LAMBERT as Ed – Rory is an actor/writer from Central Newfoundland with BFA in Performance. As an actor he most recently in Revue 2010 (Rising Tide Theatre), Art (c2c theatre) and in the title role of the Arts and Culture production of Oedipus Rex. As a writer Rory’s have been produced by the Victoria Playhouse, Tide Theatre, the Grand Bank Theatre Festival, End Theatre and Rebel Island Theatre. He is to return to the GMTF and to reprise one of favourite roles; Old Ed.

ADAM BRAKE (as Ed II) – Adam is proud to be returning for his fourth season at GMTF. Previous credits for TNL include: Young ED, Ed and Ed’s B&B; Jacob Mercer, Saltwater Moon; and Jim, A Rum for the Money. More recently Adam has been working as a Youth Theatre Instructor for TNL and working as a teacher in the western school district. After a short hiatus from the stage, Adam is happy to be back in beautiful Cow Head this summer!

PRODUCTION:

Director – Jeff Pitcher
Musical Director – Allison Crowe
Stage Manager – Kirsti Mikoda
Asst. Stage Manager – Stefanie Power
Set Design – Derek Butt
Costume Design – Lindsay Code
Sound Design – Dirk Ave
Lighting Design – Johnny Cann
Head Carpenter/Crew Chief – Lisa Lahue
Scenic Painter – Natalie Tsang
Props Person – Cristin Barr

Director’s Notes:

The music in tonight’s show was the soundscape of growing up in Newfoundland and Labrador in the 60s and 70s. It was a time when our musicians had left home for greener pastures on the mainland but they found themselves writing and singing about the place they left behind. As fast as they could cut the vinyl, our radio stations were making them hits with the listeners back home – Newfoundland Country we called it and we cheered on our musical stars; A Frank Willis, Roy Payne, Harry Hibbs and a host of others in our hope they would strike it big in Nashville and Toronto. And some of them did! And all of them were stars. Our stars! And we’re very fortunate to have our very own Canadian star as our musical director – who better to arrange this musical journey than Allison Crowe! ~ Jeff (Pitcher, Artistic Director, TNL)

Musical Director’s Notes:

When TNL first asked me to be a part of this show, I was in equal turns excited and totally nervous. I was not alive in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s — on top of all that, being from British Columbia – I come from away! What could I do? The answer proved simple – I completely immersed myself in the music – music that is touching, often humorous, and always filled to the brim with stories that are both heart- wrenchingly real and beautifully told. To take myself back to somewhere I’d never been until a few years ago – all I have to do is listen, and I’m welcomed with open arms to Newfoundland. No matter where you’re from or where you’re going, these stories and songs speak with a clarity and a kind word of wisdom that only comes from truly living. I hope that this show is as much fun for you to experience as it is for me to help create. ~ Allison (Crowe, Music Director, Newfoundland Vinyl)

Playing from July 13 to September 2, 2012

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Get with the program

Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet published a lovely “Playbill” size program for its “Pure Ballet” production. Here’s the page therein containing the bio of Allison Crowe, and, the person who made the music that made the dance, “The Doorway” – Leonard Cohen!

click on the image to read full-size

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Chocolodka at the Dance

Today is the final performance of the debut run of “The Doorway – Scenes from Leonard Cohen” and the season finale for Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Following this Mother’s Day performance of “Pure Ballet” we salute music, dance, motherhood, you and me, a dog named Boo, and all else, with this special elixir – Chocolodka. Na zdrowie! Sláinte!

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And, for the instructional inspirational:

How To Make The Original Chocolodka – The Video

NB pictured in this post is Chocolodka: Travellers Edition – the creation of which, in an hotel room, requires some variance from the traditional methodology – though the ingredients remain true to the original recipe, and, according to all involved, optimal standards for Chocolodka have been maintained. Furthermore, no one was harmed in the making of this product. In fact, quite the contrary :)

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Giving credit – where credit is due

Here’s a page from the program for “Pure Ballet” – noting the credits for “The Doorway – Scenes from Leonard Cohen“. Since Allison Crowe is performing onstage – well, she’s not in position to take photos! So, we’ll look for other artifacts, such as this one, to bring us all to the dance…

Credits – click on image

I’m just back from trekking half-way ‘cross Canada and back, to be present for the public debut of “The Doorway – Scenes from Leonard Cohen“. This new dance piece is exciting and inspiring, and part of a brilliant mixed program, “Pure Ballet” presented by Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

After unpacking, and sitting back down at my home computer, I came upon a sour review of the art and entertainment in a newspaper item. As it did not reflect the experience shared by thousands of people this week in Winnipeg, it, and some friendly encouragement by a fellow LeonardCohenFiles.com forum member, I’ve put my hand to at least trying to offer a glimpse into what it’s like… amazing, wonderful, magic… read on, if it be your will :)

Exciting Ballet News

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Tonight is RWB’s World Premiere of “The Doorway – Scenes from Leonard Cohen”

CBC Arts Correspondent and SCENE Producer Andrea Ratuski attended dress rehearsal, and files this report on the RWB’s “Pure Ballet” and the World Premiere of “The Doorway – Scenes from Leonard Cohen“.

Leonard Cohen’s music comes to life at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet

As you’d imagine with the words and music of Leonard Cohen, there’s great range and variety in the program – so, consider this as being treated to a flake…

And, heading into soundcheck at Manitoba’s 2305-seat Centennial Concert Hall – here’s the view from the sound-board.

Tonight is the opening of “Pure Ballet” – and the World Premiere of “The Doorway – Scenes from Leonard Cohen“. This ballet, choreographed by Jorden Morris, invites us to explore the words and music of Leonard Cohen. Allison Crowe performs “Hallelujah” in this piece, and the song is danced by Sophia Lee in performances on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Jo-Ann Gudilin (nee Sundermeier) dances the role on Thursday and Saturday.

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A Day Off In the ‘Peg

Sunday.

All is quiet and still inside the Founder’s Studio of Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Allison Crowe is off – enjoying the pleasures of this city at the heart of Canada. Tomorrow – dancers and musicians resume rehearsals leading up to this week’s World Premiere of “The Doorway – Scenes from Leonard Cohen“.

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“Doorway” Opening Soon: Ballet to Leonard Cohen Words & Music

The World Premiere of “The Doorway – Scenes from Leonard Cohen” nears, and there’s now fuller word from Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet on the spoken word and musical components to this contemporary dance.

The ballet will include selections of Leonard Cohen interviews as spoken word recordings, along with: “The Letters” sung by Leonard Cohen and Jennifer Warnes from the CD “Dear Heather“; “Bird on a Wire” performed live by the Winnipeg-based duo of Keith and Renee; “Hallelujah” performed live by bi-coastal Canadian Allison Crowe; “Since You Asked“, poem recited by Leonard Cohen from the CD “Born to the Breed” A Tribute to Judy Collins; and “Sisters of Mercy” recorded live by US singer-songwriter Cris Williamson on the CD “Circle of Friends“.

And, from the RWB, here’s some details on the dance and its inspiration :

The Doorway: Scenes from Leonard Cohen

Beautifully set to the music of Canadian songwriting legend Leonard Cohen, Jorden Morris’s new ballet The Doorway: Scenes from Leonard Cohen explores the complexities of relationships across the threshold to love and longing. Initially started as a sketch, Morris expanded the piece into five separate dance vignettes that each tell their own story.

Morris previously choreographed to Cohen’s music in a piece he created for the 31st Annual Genie Awards, titled Dance Me to the End of Love, which was performed by RWB Corps de Ballet member Sophia Lee and former Principal Dancer Jaime Vargas. Morris explains he titled his latest piece The Doorway after a quote of Cohen’s with which he personally identified.

“Cohen says that in his own curious, magical universe (his creative process) is a kind of a doorway. He explains that he can’t really speak too much about it because he can’t quite put his finger on it, except to say that it is a doorway. He has to open it carefully otherwise what is beyond that isn’t accessible to him and it’s something he takes very seriously,” said Morris. “It’s the same for me as when I choreograph.”

Canadian songstress Allison Crowe will perform Cohen’s Hallelujah live during the show, while local Winnipeg duo Keith & Renée will sing Bird on a Wire.

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Allison Crowe Alights with Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet – World Premiere of “The Doorway” – May 9 – 13, 2012

Musician Allison Crowe is thrilled to perform with Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet for the World Premiere of “The Doorway” – a contemporary ballet from choreographer Jorden Morris opening the words and music of legendary poet, singer-songwriter, and survivor Leonard Cohen.

“Graceful, moving, achingly honest, the series of dance vignettes are set to Cohen’s songs and poems, exploring the emotional journey across the threshold to love and longing,” says the RWB of this new piece from Morris, creator of the tremendously successful and celebrated “Peter Pan” (2006 premiere) and “Moulin Rouge – The Ballet” (2009 premiere) for the company. For the live national broadcast of the 2011 Genie Awards, Morris created a sensuous pas de deux – embracing Cohen’s song “Dance Me to the End of Love” – performed by Corps de Ballet member Sophia Lee and former RWB Principal Dancer, and current Ballet Master, Jaime Vargas with music from Montréal rock band Karkwa.

Pure Ballet - Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet

“Working with the RWB is going to be such an awesome experience – even to just watch these amazing people dance is gift enough,” Allison Crowe says. “I am humbled to be able to be a part of such a beautiful project, in tribute to such a wonderfully talented and brilliant man, Leonard Cohen.”

Growing up in Westmount, on the Island of Montreal, Cohen entered the fringes of a life in music as a Buckskin Boy. Though “born with the gift of a golden voice”, and building a sterling reputation as a writer – author, poet and songsmith – in the ‘60s , ’70s and on, he’s endured stranger times to test his mettle. This century has witnessed a renaissance in appreciation of his work and Leonard Cohen reach his most cherished state as an artist. Emblematic of this status, in May 2012, as the RWB presents this new creation based on his art, Leonard Cohen will be feted for a lifetime of achievement in music and poetry – receiving the Glenn Gould Prize at Toronto’s Massey Hall.One of the world’s top concert draws, Cohen’s newest album, “Old Ideas”, charted #1 in countries ’round the globe.

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, based in the culturally-vibrant city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, is Canada’s oldest, and North America’s longest continually operating, ballet company. Founded in 1939, it’s the first ballet company in the world to be granted the Royal title – bestowed by Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. And, it’s the first organization anywhere to present a theatrical or dance production of Leonard Cohen’s work. During the RWB tenure of Artistic Director Arnold Spohr (1958 – 1988), in Summer 1970, Brian Macdonald choreographed “The Shining People of Leonard Cohen” which debuted in Paris. Later, that July, it’s staged at Canada’s National Arts Centre in Ottawa – with eclectic band Lighthouse, and a pair of bats from the belfry, opening the show.

Today, André Lewis, named RWB Artistic Director in 1996, (he began his association as a dancer with Royal Winnipeg Ballet School in 1975), oversees the launch of this newest creation, “The Doorway – Scenes from Leonard Cohen”. Jeff Herd, native Winnipegger, after a decade as company manager for Cirque du Soleil’s “O” at the Bellagio, in Las Vegas, and some years overseas, is back home helping further the RWB’s legacy in motion as Executive Director. Bob Stewart serves as Production Director. Tad Biernacki, is RWB Music Director and Conductor and, in this circumstance, kindly, match-maker. With costume design by Anne Armit and lighting design from Hugh Conacher, Jorden Morris’ piece is partnered with RWB alumnus Peter Quanz’s “Luminous”, and audience favourite Mauricio Wainrot’s “Carmina Burana” for an evening, (and one Sunday matinee), of classical and contemporary ballet that runs May 9 – 13, 2012 at Winnipeg’s Centennial Concert Hall. It’s a mixed program united as “Pure Ballet”.

A pure talent and communicator in song, Allison Crowe, is invited to perform her piano and vocal version of “Hallelujah”, a modern classic. First recorded by Crowe in 2003 for her CD “Tidings”, this Leonard Cohen song has been covered more than 200 times – in a wide range of styles. Iconoclastically, free of mainstream ties and marketing, Crowe’s version has steadily emerged among the most-enjoyed worldwide. A YouTube video of Allison Crowe performing “Hallelujah” live-in-the-studio has an audience of more than eight million people. Acclaimed Hollywood director Zack Snyder tags it “beautiful”, “sexy” and “romantic”. The bi-coastal singer-songwriter, born in Nanaimo, BC, and now home in Corner Brook, NL, is honoured to deliver her passion for the song live to the RWB’s lovers of “visible music”.

YouTube Preview Image

Crowe enters fine musical company with those whose performances will also illuminate “The Doorway”. Whether criss-crossing the country to visit hundreds of schools and inspire children, or expressing their humanitarian nature performing in Kenya and Dubai, dynamic Winnipeg duo “Keith and Reneé” (http://www.keithandrenee.com/) shine. The veteran pair make music of many genres, folk and country among them, that reach people via radio, tv, film and commercials. They penned “Good Year”, theme of Manitoba’s Homecoming 2010 and, fresh off a dream tour with entertainer Jann Arden, “KnR” bring to the Centennial’s live stage their heartland take on “Bird on a Wire”.

Alongside these performers, and recorded words and music of Leonard Cohen, the program includes an incandescent “Sisters of Mercy” as captured live on “Circle of Friends”, a 1991 album by South Dakota-born, US prairie-raised musician, activist and pioneer Cris Williamson (http://criswilliamson.com/). This was the 15th anniversary concert recording of Willamson’s “The Changer and the Changed”, an epochal album which went gold, (sales over 500,000), and is to indie and women’s music what Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” was to general pop in its day.

Info on “Pure Ballet: Fluid Motion Virtuosic Dance”, location, ticket details and more is found @ http://www.rwb.org/pureballet

Allison Crowe follows up this exciting RWB engagement with a rare off-stage role – serving as Music Director for “Newfoundland Vinyl” – a rollicking spin through popular music’s coming of age on “the rock” – presented in this Summer’s Gros Morne Theatre Festival by Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador. A “Tidings Live” album and video documentary is in the works with film-maker Peter Buckle. These North American activities precede Allison Crowe’s next European tour – featuring a concert return to Germany, Italy, England, Scotland+

Fuller details will be posted @ http://www.allisoncrowe.com

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