The national tour of Jersey Boys will explode onto the Vancouver scene in the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in September 2012. Somehow I missed seeing Jersey Boys in New York, London and Toronto, so I was excited to hear about this upcoming show.
I grew up in an era when a musicologist might say that rock-n-roll was supposedly past its peak. Elvis was off in the army and Buddy Holly and Richie Valens had died in a plane crash.
But far away at the southern tip of Africa, no one had told us teenagers that rock 'n roll was dead. Every weekend a group of us gathered in the large garage that had been converted into a rec-room and we danced the afternoons away.
We did not need drugs to fly high as kites. We didn't drink and we didn't smoke. We were not concerned with fashion fads or fast cars. All that mattered was how good a dancer you were and how much fun you had dancing. We "twisted" and "rock 'n' roll'-ed but our favorite dance style was "bop", which I think has evolved into today's East Coast jive. And as my regular readers know, I have never lost my addiction to dance.
Last year I came across some interesting posts in The Guardian newspaper's theatre blog on the subject of stage roles for older women. Critic/blogger Lyn Gardner asked "what happened to great stage roles for older women" and academic/critic Karen Fricker responded by naming some great classic roles.
Since "older' is a relative term - viewed differently at 70 then at 20 - Fricker suggests "middle age [for which there is actually no one accepted definition anyway ] and best played by an actress in her 50s or above."
On Mother's Day two years ago, my daughter and I shared something special; the privilege of hearing twenty brave and talented actors share with us the facts of their mothers' lives - My Mother's Story: A Mother's Perspective . Together we laughed, we cried, and we thought of my mother, Amanda's grandmother, and the part she played in our lives. As we drove home we discussed the empowering effect that relating the arcs of their mothers' lives seemed to have on these women, and that we both felt enriched by the experience of seeing this work.
This Mothers' Day, Sunday May 10th, My Mother's Story 2009 will run at The Granville Isand Stage at 4 pm. In 90 minutes, you will hear about the "extraordinary lives of 20 ordinary women". This year will be the fourth staging of this event by Jenn Griffin and Marilyn Norry. While some of the women that will perform have been part of previous events, others will be new. Even if you have seen previous shows, each script is different as playwright Jenn Griffin interweaves 20 life stories into a story that reaches out from countries as diverse as India, South Africa, Vietnam and England, and evokes memories of love, abandonment, hope and despair. It is impossible to hear the words without something resonating within your own heart. You can buy tickets through VancouverTix.com . They are $23 dollars, reserved seating - and going fast.
Jenn and Marilyn share a moment of amusement over the script As often happens, the end-result you will see on stage, represents the synergy of two talented women bringing together their individual concepts to make something that is more powerful than the sum of the individual ideas. Both Jenn and Marilyn set out to write the story of their mother but the impetus was different for each of them. Although I remembered a bit about the origins of this event from a brief chat after the first show I saw, and I learned more from My Mothers Story web site, I wanted to dig a bit deeper and so I invited Marilyn and Jenn over for a casual chat.