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Saturday, November 17, 2012

"Two Hit Wonders" Review

"Two Hit Wonders"
Stage West Calgary

The Saturday Morning "Somebody-Asked-Me-To, So-Here-I-Go" Entertainment Review:

"Two Hit Wonders"

Stage West Calgary

(apologies to Michelle Bouey for my photography fail above...she is in there!)


If you are a fan of music, be it from the 1950's, through to rather current hits, this show features the absolute tightest, strongest cast I've ever seen in a Stage West Calgary musical.

In earlier reviews, I've singled out Aaron Walpole for almost stealing the show during "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story". Since then, he's gone on to the Toronto in "Rock Of Ages", and is fresh from Broadway's revival of "Jesus Christ Superstar".

I remember commenting in my "All Shook Up" review that Daniel Greenburg was a standout, and he was terrific again in last night's performance.

Finally, I was Tweeting up Lee Siegel a week before opening night for "Two Hit Wonders" based on his past performances here, and if you were in the theatre last night, you would have seen why. Another alumnus of the recent "Jesus Christ Superstar" along with powerhouse belter Katrina Reynolds - just there alone this cast of ten is in enviable company.

That said, this show was like some kind of competition to see who could outdo the other. Every single performance was as good or better than the one before it, and turning my wee booklight on and off to scribble down notes, I was doing it so often it was like a strobe. I'll reserve some of those thoughts for my "official" review coming soon for The Calgary Herald.

For those that hit this review first after Googling for feedback - here's mine: 

Set: Subdued, but perfect for the use. Looked great even before the show started.

Music: Crackerjack. With the band onstage for added impact, these are some of the finest musicians, and even on opening night they never overpowered the singers. Not hard to envision when musical director Konrad Pluta has a hand in the goings-on... 

Costumes: Well done. Added very much to the experience.

Hey, back to the cast of ten - each and every one had ample opportunity to showcase their talents, and there was no opportunity squandered. I truly cannot downplay here that every single one of these performers rose to the challenges of each song they had a solo for. New-to-me actors Elena Juatco and Chris Sams may have just stood out a little more, but I would have to name every member of the cast if I were being interrogated by husky wiseguys trying to pry from me who the star of the show was.

Wrapping up, co-creators Howard Pechet and (also director/choreographer) Timothy French nailed this one. I know that I keep saying that "this is the best musical you will ever see at Stage West Calgary".

For my money, this one really, really is...

I'll post a link when my "official" Calgary Herald review is online, and keep your eyes open as well for my upcoming interview with this "cast to keep your eyes on"!

Chow for now!   


Mrs. That Dan Guy said...

Fantastic! Song I haven't heard in a long time. Amazing performers! LOVED IT!

ThatDanGuy said...

Thang Q, kind stranger!

Anonymous said...

The girl with the blond hair is amazing!!! I'm pretty sure she was in Billy Elliot in Toronto! What a fantastic show!

ThatDanGuy said...

Shawna Van Omme does have a credit for Billy Elliott on her impressive resume.

This cast is one of the best I have seen - hard to pick one over the other aside from personal tastes.

I advise everyone to judge for themselves...

Anonymous said...

I agree that it is hard to pick one over the other, but since you only mentioned a few, sounds like thats what you were doing!!
Amazing Cast!!!! Loved the show Sat. Night:)

ThatDanGuy said...

These folks are truly amazing. Link here soon to my interview with them!