Volume 6 Issue 5 - February 2001


Bv SARAH B. Hooo

If you didn't see much

music theatre in· January, you

only have a few days in

February to catch up with some

of your best choices. First of

all, The Canadian Opera

Company is presenting its usual

winter double bill. This year it's

Venus and Adonis, running

until February 3, and The Girl

of the Golden West, until ·

February 4. Venus and Adonis

is a brand-new production that

was performed last year· at the

Santa Fe opera. Composed by

Hans Werner Henze, the opera

features dancers from Serge

Bennathan's Dancemakers

company. The Girl of the

Golden West, on the other

hand, premiered almost 100

years ago at the Met. Ontarioborn

baritone John Fanning,

who plays the leading role of

Jack Rance, praises Puccini's

fantasy of the Old West: "The

orchestration is spectacular," he

says. "The colours in the

orchestra, the colours in the

music, are very evocative of the

Old West, and yet the love

moments are very, very


From the Girl .of the Golden

West. to the one with the glass

slipper, Rodgers and

Hammerstein's Cinderella, runs

from January 30 to February 4

at the Pantages Theatre. Once

you've heard that Eartha Kitt

. Music Theatre

Last Chances

Be quick to catch Febrl!ary music theatre

Edward Franko, director Nina Scott-Stoddard, performer

in Tryptych's Rigoletto

plays the Fairy Godmother,

what more do you need to

know? It has Deborah Gibson as

Cinderella herself. The Prince is

Paolo Montalban, reprising his

role from the ABC/Disney

television special that won him

the dubious honour of being

named one of People Magazine's

"50 Most Beautiful

People" .

Meanwhile, the Canadian

Stage Company's Larry's Party

continues until February 3. The

new musical by Richard

Ouzounian and Marek Norman

is based on the novel by Pulitzer

Prize winner Carol Shields.

Directed by Robin Phillips, the

production is about a man's

search for self-knowledge. It

stars Brent Carver, who created

the lead role in Kiss of the

Spider Woman and most

recently wowed as Tevye in the

Stratford Festival production of

Fiddler on the Roof. The

extremely strong supporting cast

includes Barbara Barsky,

Michele Fisk, Susan Gilmour

and Jack Wetherall.

If you miss the Canadian

Opera Company, don't despair.

You still have plenty of time for

Toronto Opera Repertoire.

This unique institution is

actually an arm of the Toronto

District School Board's Con:

tinuing Education Program.

Now in its 33rd season, Toronto

Opera Repertoire serves as a

musical finishing school for

young opera performers and a

performance outlet for dedicated

amateurs. Michael Burgess and

Paul Frey are among TOR's

many graduates. This year

founder Giuseppe Macina

directs two deeply loved

favourites: Bizet's fiery Carmen

(February 14 to March 3) and

Verdi's tragic La Traviata

(February 16 to March 4), both

at the Bickford Centre Theatre

at Bloor and Christie. Adult

tickets are only $20, so TOR is

a guaranteed operatic bargain.

Another consolation for -

slow starters is\the re~rise of

Charly Chiarelli's one-man

show Cu'Fu? from February 8

right through to to March. 4 at

the comfy little Artword

Theatre at King and Portlancl.

Accompanying his tales with

extended riffs on the harmonica,

Chiarelli tells about growing up

Italian in Hamilton. Loosely

translated, the show's title

means "So who did it?" In the

context of the play it is both the

bittersweet punchline to an

extended anecdote and a kind of

universal question that perhaps

lacks an answer. Since its debut

at Artword in 1995, Cu'Fu? has

become a durable hit in'many

other venu

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