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Miss Caledonia – Vancouver

Posted on March 8, 2015 at 2:07 pm by David Jones — Make a Comment

Miss Caledonia

Wonderfully charming Canadian story of young girl in the 1950’s with a dream. 

(Note: Art is subjective. One-person’s sublime evening out is another person’s torture. I want to celebrate what went into creating the show and how I felt the audience reacted. Then I will allow my cynical Uncle Max to have a short retort. I will also post the cost of tickets.)

The thought is you can then decide is the show is to your taste and worth the money they are asking. Does Uncle Max talk you out of it? Or did the rest of the review convince you to go? Let me know.)

Miss Caledonia
until March 14th

then again at Evergreen Cultural Centre April 9th to 11th 

This is a winning show, winning and winsome. It builds gently, like a prairie breeze, and then it takes you by the hand, smiles sweetly and brings a happy tear to your eye.

Melody A. Johnson takes the true story of her mother Peggy, who at 15 decided the best way to get out of small town prairie life was to win a beauty pageant and turned it into a one woman show.

Well not just one woman. On stage with her is fiddle player Mary Fay Coady who creates a live soundtrack that prompts and sometimes acts as a sounding board for young Peggy’s venting and explanations of her pains and plans.

A simple farm life – they have a ‘table cow’, farm chicory and mull the idea of growing the more exotic ginger. The 1950’s town is filled with the whimsical characters filled with bonhomie but also set in their ways.

Ms. Johnson stage persona and demeanor is so quirky, appealing and fresh.
She distinguishes these characters with vocal ticks and body posture and as a writer she has created some daily life scenes, like stalking a killing a farm chicken or talking with a mouth full of pins while hemming a dress.

Directors Rick Roberts and Aaron Willis have also established some simple but effective stagecraft with props that allow two characters to converse back and forth.

The opening night audience was charmed and demanded the artists back for a 2nd curtain call and most of them stood up on their return.

UNCLE MAX RETORTS
Obviously my recent rants about one act shows were heard. This play is two acts but it’s only 75 minutes total, so the intermission kind of feels like a show extender.
In terms of production values, well, see picture above.
Every time I see a show about small town old timey Canada I know I am going to see a cast of characters with speech impediments or furrowed brows or both. I was not disappointed here.

WHO IS THIS SHOW FOR?
If you want to be transported to different time with engaging storytelling that provokes smiles while stroking your heart, than this simple but heartfelt show is for you.

WHAT DOES IT COST?
Tickets are $35 and they are $20 for students. 
Also they have “industry” nights on Mondays. Say you are in “the industry” and it’s $20.

 

This show completely won me over. I started the journey a little skeptical but the story had gentle twists and turns and Melody A. Johnson is so darn fun, it was very worthwhile and thoroughly enjoyable. It’s a wonderfully charming Canadian tale.

David C. Jones
@iamdavidcjones 

 

 



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