Vancouver Theatre: Chelsea Hotel: The Songs of Leonard Cohen
Chelsea Hotel:The Songs of Leonard Cohen
Conceived and directed by Tracey Power
Musical Direction and Arrangements by Steven Charles
Firehall Arts Centre
Till March 29 th, 2014
Vancouver, BC: Wow! I really enjoyed this show. The multi-talented cast of Rachel Aberle, Lauren Bowler, Ben Elliott, Steve Charles, Marlene Ginader and Kayvon Kelly have strong voices and great moves. I missed the premiere of Chelsea Hotel in 2012 so this was a completely fresh production for me and I was thoroughly captivated.
Tracey Power and Steve Charles did a masterful job of weaving together Leonard Cohen's words and music to paint a seamless portrait of a artist struggling with the act of creation, that needed no spoken dialogue to make it complete.
Set in a seedy hotel room, where The Writer (Kelly) is surrounded by mounds of crumpled balls of paper - sad discards of words and lyrics - various muses in white face, and playing a multitude of different instruments come to inspire and torment him.
While the whole cast sing and dance beautifully I specially loved the vocal harmony of the duets of Kelly and Bowler, and the physicality of Ginader with Kelly. Ben Elliott was wickedly compelling to watch. The ensemble has been touring this show across Canada, and play off each other with ease to produce a show that is smooth as silk yet bursts out with energy and passion.
The show runs till March 29 th. The remaining shows are sold out but if it's brought back, it is well worth a visit.
On my WOW factor scale I give this show a 4 out 5.