Raise the curtain on a new year of theatre
by Kevin Rushworth
She Has a Name
Women and children — innocent and without a voice to speak up against their everyday horrors — have become the faces of Southeast Asian human trafficking. When She Has a Name, produced by Burnt Thicket Theatre, makes its world premiere on Epcor Centre’s Motel stage, it is set to both shock and give voice to those who have none. A lawyer posing as a john tries desperately to build a legal case against a brothel trafficking girls in Bangkok, Thailand. In order for a young prostitute known only as Number 18 to testify, he must win her trust — a notion long since broken for her.
Runs Feb. 23 to March 5 at Epcor Centre’s Motel stage.
The Drowsy Chaperone
Simply put, as a musical within a comedy, it’s big, brassy and rich with the sounds of a bygone era. Theatre Calgary’s production of The Drowsy Chaperone — winner of five Tony Awards including Best Music and Best Book in 2006 — is set to transport audiences back to the decadent world of a cheeky 1920s musical when “all the world was a party.” When a musical enthusiast shares his all-time favourite cast album with the audience, the show bursts to life, complete with its own happy-go-lucky attitude, kick lines and a healthy sprinkling of jazz hands.
Runs Feb. 8-March 6 at Theatre Calgary.
As a term, “Big Brother” has conjured images of a malevolent state perpetually watching its citizens for indoctrination and control. From police states around the world to the Big Brother house, the dystopian masterpiece 1984 — penned by George Orwell in 1949 — still deeply resonates in our political and cultural world. A theatre adaptation of 1984 hits the Pumphouse Theatres stage with a combination of live theatre as well as demanding video techniques. At the end of this telling production, a word to the wise, do not listen to Rockwell’s Somebody’s Watching Me: it’s just awkward and perpetuates societal nervousness.
Runs Jan. 28-Feb. 5 at Pumphouse Theatres.
Legally Blonde: The Musical
I’m pretty sure that everyone has seen Legally Blonde; either because you thought Reese Witherspoon was smoking hot as the blonde sorority queen, Elle Woods, or you thought it was just plain funny. When musical numbers are added into the mix, criminal law has never been zanier. Legally Blonde: The Musical steps its way onto the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium stage with all the pink you could imagine and that little dog too. Remember: the bend and snap has an 83 per cent return on a dinner invitation, but this off-the-wall musical probably has a higher probability of fun involved.
Runs Feb. 15-20 at the Jubilee Auditorium.