After years of often daily attempts at humour and virtually any stray thought I could snare on my keyboard, I'm changing the name of this space from Such Is Life, to May I Present:.
That should still allow me to post on a wide variety of topics, but steer the focus for readers to my most common writing efforts now, on Folk, Roots, Blues & Americana music!
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Sunday, July 05, 2015
Stage West Calgary presents "Rumours & Dreams" - A Look Back At Fleetwood Mac
Stage West Calgary
"Rumours and Dreams - A Look Back At Fleetwood Mac"
(playing June 25 - August 30, 2015)
photo courtesy Stage West Calgary
I should precede this review by stressing that Stage West Calgary's latest ensemble musical revue is just that, a theatre-styled retrospective with a slender storyline that unites the musical numbers. It is NOT a Fleetwood Mac cover band show in any way, shape or form, which is pretty obvious once the lights come up onstage.
As a matter of fact, this revue show touches on the music of other influential bands as well, those that had immediate connections to the band - such as Jefferson Airplane and Heart. Those connections are discussed by the show's co-creator Randy Johnson, in a video interview and feature that will appear online in my Calgary Herald space over the next day or so. My official Herald review will appear there soon as well.
This Fleetwood Mac production occasionally mirrors the band itself - explosive power, subdued and delicate melodies, and a few misfires. It is ironic that as a bit of an overture, the show starts both acts with Tusk - a song from that double album of the same name. Despite achieving sales and chart hits that would make it a runaway success in this current fragile music era, it was considered by many critics to be a self-indulgent flop. Personally, I love the song, and always love to hear those drums and recurring chant, so I wasn't among those in that camp.
However, it is a pretty accurate reflection here. This cast is composed of so many talented singers that have helped propel productions here before - like Katie Beetham, the award-winning powerhouse star Lady Of The Lake from the just-closed Spamalot.
Add in Aurianna Angelique (Love Train), Andrew McGillivray and Brent Thiessen (80's Solid Gold), plus Nikki Ponte, marking her second Stage West show during The Calgary Stampede (Uptown Country Girls) as some of the familiar faces that are back. Each of those singers and actors have moments here that sparkle, especially in some of the re-imagined versions of these iconic songs.
It is that statement, in how these songs are so iconic, that there are a few stumbles. If you've grown up wearing out those albums, then the cds that replaced those, it may be that you have a certain expectation of those tracks, as they were recorded and cherished. But that said, it's not enough to discourage you from being in the seats there to hear the standouts, of which there are many. Never mind the always stellar house band, led by the musical director Konrad Pluta.
A slow start, a few meanderings that mirror the band's career in a spooky sort of way, but overall, the effort has more shine than a gold or platinum record.