Sunday, May 4, 2014

Time to get this back up to date!

It is most definitely time to bring things up to date!

The next project is particularly exciting for me:  Leonard Bernstein's "Wonderful Town", with the Citadel Theatre's Young Musical Company.  This group of talented young performers takes the stage May 31 7:30 pm. and Sunday June 1st at 1:30 pm and 7:30 pm.
Ticket information as follows:

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Auditions for "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee"


The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Music and Lyrics by William Finn; Book by Rachel Sheinkin
Conceived by Rebecca Feldman
Director: Kristen M. Finlay; Music Director: Sally Hunt; Choreographer: Jake Hastey

Sunday, January 6th from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, January 9th from 7:00 – 10:00 p.m.

Callbacks: Sunday, January 13th from 1:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Production dates: May 12 – June 1, 2013

Location: La Cite Francophone

Description of the Show: The show centers on a fictional spelling bee set in a geographically ambiguous Putnam Valley Middle School. Six quirky adolescents compete in the Bee, run by three equally-quirky grown-ups.

Casting Requirements: Please note: adults play the kids in this show, so no ages are posted because it just doesn’t matter! All characters are played by adults (16+).

Chip Tolentino: C3 – B4 (Tenor).
Former champion, going through puberty and it’s challenging  him.

Logainne Schwartandgrubenniere: C4 – D5  (Soprano).
Youngest speller, politically aware, awkward.

Leaf Coneybear: A2 – G4 (Baritenor).
A second alternate, wandering focus, delights in just being there!

William Barfee: Eb3 – Bb4 (Tenor).
Has a host of health issues, loud & combative, spells with his foot.

Marcy Park: B3 – E5 (Soprano/Mezzo).
Over-Achiever, plays piano, martial arts, dances, baton twirls.

Olive Ostrovsky: Vocal Range: B3 – F#5(Soprano).
Shy and lovely, misses her often absent parents.

Rona Lisa Perretti: C#4 – Ab5 (Soprano).
Long-Time spelling bee hostess, former champion.

Vice Principal Douglas Panch:
Stuck in his life, obsessed with Rona, wants the Bee to go well.

Mitch Mahoney: E3 – A4 (B4) (Tenor). Looks like a night-club bouncer, Comfort Counselor.

Schwarzy’s Dads – Carl Dad and Dan Dad; Leaf’s Mom, Dad and Siblings;
Olive’s Mom – C#4 – Ab5 (Soprano), Olive’s Dad, Jesus

Audition Requirements:

 • Vocal: 20 – 40 bars of a musical theatre piece. Please select a comic piece which shows off your voice and demonstrates your ability to show character and tell a story while singing. You will be asked to indicate what song you will be singing prior to audition.
Please bring sheet music with piano accompaniment OR Karaoke (without vocal) track on a CD. We will have a skilled accompanist there to play for you. NO ACCAPELLA.
Acting: Reading from the Script/Improvisation  exercise
Dance: Movement will be handled at Callbacks,  instructions will be sent to those called back.
Performers will be  booked in groups of 4-5 to accommodate acting requirements

To book an audition time, please email Kristen M. Finlay at or phone 780-406-1256.  Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Threepenny Opera

The Threepenny Opera, by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht, translation by Mark Blitzstein runs April 6-16 at the Walterdale Playhouse.

Set in the seedy underbelly of Victorian London, The Threepenny Opera is a tale of greed, corruption and revenge. Peopled with a cast of characters who walk in darkness, it combines musical elements of opera, cabaret and early jazz. Part social commentary, part comedy, part thriller, The Threepenny Opera was a landmark work when it premiered in 1928, and has been challenging audiences ever since.

Corrupt police officers, greedy businessmen, organized crime, and a dangerous serial killer named Mack the Knife. What more could wish for in a night at the theatre?

For further details, including ticket information, please visit Walterdale Playhouse at

Monday, December 20, 2010

"Oh the shark bites, with his teeth, dear"

The Threepenny Opera has begun!

Auditions have been held, casting is complete, and we are about to begin rehearsal work. We have been able to assemble a remarkably talented cast and crew, and I've no doubt this will be a very exciting production. A little edgy, a little twisted, a little subversive, and full of creative individuals who will bring Weill and Brecht's challenging work to life. The Threepenny Opera performs April 6-16, 2011, at Walterdale Playhouse. Tickets available through Tix on the Square.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fringe 2010

Yes, the Fringe is back!

Rehearsals are done, programs have been dog-eared, starred, paper-clipped and highlighted, and folks are planning to make the most of 10 days of theatre spectacle and madness.

If you haven’t done so already, go buy a program. They’re only $6, and you can purchase them throughout Old Strathcona, and even at Safeway this year, so it’s not like you have to go out of your way or anything. This year there are 11 main venues and 28 BYOV’s this year, spread throughout the city. Yes folks, the Fringe is coming to YOUR neighbourhood! 118th Avenue, the U of A, downtown and Cite Francophone all host Fringe venues this year. You don’t even have to go down to Old Strathcona to Fringe anymore.

(Final bit of housekeeping: I haven’t seen any of these shows, and I am not affiliated with any of them, they just look interesting to me!)
Ok, down to business:

This year’s Festival is called "We’ll Show You Ours”. Thespians have always been on the daring side, and a couple of shows seem to be quite literally showing us theirs– “The Human Body Project” and “Hair”. They are certainly not the only ones, though. Check out the content legend in the program if you don’t want any nasty surprises when you take Great Auntie Mabel to see a show…

It just isn’t the Fringe without Shakespeare, and this year’s festival offers the ultimate in convenience for you, the theatre patron. “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” brings you 100% of your festival requirement of Vitamin Bard, while leaving you plenty of time to take in other shows and performances.

Fringe Favorites Chris Gibbs, Keir Cutler, TJ Dawe, Jem Rolls and Erik de Waal are all back with new one-man shows. These performers are always a good bet – get your tickets early! This year also we also have “7 (x1) Samurai”, the one-man telling of the epic “The Seven Samurai” (or for those of you who didn’t take Film Studies as an elective, it’s the one-man telling of the movie that “The Magnificent Seven” was based on.).

Local playwrights, including Gerald Osborn, David Belke, Stewart Lemoine, Kenneth Brown, and Tony Cashman all have new works playing. Pair one of these established artists with an up-and-coming young company, and you have a fantastic mix of youth and experience.

If you find theatre in actual theatres too conventional, this is your year. A book store, an art supply store, several churches of various denominations, and a number of nightclubs, bars and restaurants are all hosting shows. My favorite BYOV venue locations of the year have to be “The Old Shed Just South of the Railroad Tracks” (Venue #35), and “Walking Tour to Four Secret Locations” (Venue #30).

There are 2 productions which look particularly interesting to me, for very different reasons. “The Metamorphosis” is a chamber opera setting of Kafka’s epic work. “The Way of All Fish” is a one-act play by the brilliant writer Elaine May (of Nicholls and May fame.) If you’re too young to have heard of any of these people, you can look them up on Wikipedia.

Other trends that caught my eye:

Sequels! They’re not just for Jerry Bruckheimer movies anymore! This year’s theatrical sequels include “Word of Mouth is Killing Us 2”, “Spiral Dive III”, and “Twisted Themepark II”. In keeping with the movie blockbuster concept, Guys in Disguise are performing in 3D this year. And you thought the eyelashes looked big before....

Monsters!: Victorian Zombies in “Famished”, vampires in “Dragula”, and mad doctors in “Songs for Caligari”. As if that weren’t enough, they all have actual live musicians! It just does not get better than this.

Tenors! “The PreTenors” return, and “Il Duo” make their Fringe debut. Tenors for everyone this year!

Puppets! And not just at the Kids Fringe. “The Supervillan Monologues” features puppets and humans performing words “written by evil masterminds”. So far as I am aware, this is the first Fringe show to actually use the words MUAH HA HA HA in their program description.

German Punk Rock! “Die Roten Punkte” return with “Kunst Rock”. If you are a fan of comedy, punk rock, musical satire or German art in any form (and frankly, who isn’t a fan of at least 2 of these), this is the show for you.

Finally, who do you suppose the Journal will send to review “Liz Nicholls: The Musical”. Hmmm, I wonder….

Have a great Fringe everyone!

Monday, May 31, 2010


I Love You, You're Perfect, Now CHANGE!

Opens June 17th at the Catalyst Theatre.

A humorous music look at relationships, from first-date-from-hell to love after being widowed.

This is a fantastic show -- hilarious at times, and poignant and moving at others. Beautifully performed by a superb cast, this show is guaranteed to have you laughing and crying. You're sure to recognize your friends, your spouse, possibly even yourself...

Tickets available at Tix on the Square:

See you there!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Give Peas a Chance

Even though it feels like summer already, it is officially spring. And what a busy spring it will be:

First up is Give Peas a Chance, the latest cabaret offering from the Three Peas. We perform April 23rd & 24th at the Catalyst Theatre. Show time is 8:00 pm, tickets at Tix on the Square, or at the door (cash only at the door). This year's show features music from Jacques Brel, Stephen Sondheim, Jason Robert Brown, Kander & Ebb, Ashman & Menken, Goldrich & Heisler, Noel Coward and others. The show is sounding SUPERB -- hope to see you all there!!!

Next, also at the Catalyst Theatre is I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change. Presented by ELOPE Musical Theatre, this is a delightfully witty show about the good, the bad and the downright hilarious aspects of dating and relationships. Performs June 17, 18 19,24, 25, 26.

Finally, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas is cast and starting rehearsals. Walterdale Playhouse presents this as it's final production of the season -- performs July 7-17.

See you at the theatre!