Bauer Theatre dances and laughs


An update on that play that was like, acted out or something.

Cerulean Blue is a musical comedy by Drew Hayden Taylor, emphasis on the comedy. Filled with rich dialogue humor, the fast-pace repartee between characters is an outstanding feature of the play. A packed audience left Bauer Theatre with sore cheeks from laughing all evening on November 10.

Cerulean Blue is the name of a struggling blues band. Russel defines his vision of the band’s music as “avant-garde”. When new member Billy joins the band, Russel must compromise his one-way vision. Cerulean Blue characters have strong values and beliefs and their conversations with one another are especially interesting when personalities collide.

The author, humorist and playwright from Curve Lake First Nations has published non-fiction, fiction and edited collections. As well, his work appears in the revered Canadian literary magazine, Rampike (1979-2015). Taylor’s work is published in currently-running magazines Paragraph, Prairie Fire and Maclean’s. As well, Taylor is the author of 30 books.

The playwright’s 2014 commission by Ryerson Theatre School is a culturally relevant revival during this 150-years since confederation in Canada. This most recent series of performances from November 8-11 & 18-19 were commissioned by Theatre Antigonish, with support from the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture & Heritage.

Through humour, the play informs the audience of aboriginal traditions such as a language-fast; speaking only one’s native language for a predetermined amount of time. Also, there is a proposed smudging; a purification by burning medicinal and sacred herbs such as, sage, sweet grass and/or tobacco.

Featuring StFX students, members of the Antigonish and neighbouring aboriginal communities, the play was a local success. Chief Paul J. Prosper of the Paqtnkek First Nations community endorsed the production of the play in the program with these words of encouragement, “Cultural expression is a vital component in growing, healthy communities. We look forward to taking part in future initiatives with Theatre Antigonish to explore stories that resonate among our friends and neighbours. To our guests at today’s performance of Cerulean Blue, which includes Paqtnkek’s Virginia Silliboy and her daughter Nyesha – Enjoy the show! Wela’lin/Thank you.”

Next production hosted by Theatre Antigonish is Miracle on 34th Street; a holiday classic, retold as a 1940s radio show, with live choral music. The one-night production on December 10 is presented in partnership with The Antigonish Choral Ensemble and St. James Handbell Quartet.

Looking ahead to next semester, I am going to see Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman at least once between March 6 and 10, 2018. The Tony Award winning play is a spellbinding adaptation of Ovid’s myths told through stories in and around a large onstage pool. Although I have yet to read the play, I am familiar with Metamorphoses. The pool is predictably for the myths of Narcissus and Echo (Book III), and Midas (Book XI); among other myths which include water-nymphs, river-gods and perhaps even a voyage down the river Styx to an underworld pool.

Theatre Antigonish hosts a variety of plays based on ancient, classic and modern times. Tickets are $15 regular, $12 senior and $10 student.