Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Almighty Voice comes home.

We never got a bigger laugh from Awas! A showstopping laugh from one word in Cree.  Literally showstopping. Derek Garza had to wait for the wave of laughter to crest and recede.

The sold out opening night house was half full of students from ITEP at the University of Saskatchewan. We could tell from the laughter who had the language. After the show, one of the Cree-speakers said about Derek Garza, “he did pretty good, I always understood what he was saying”.  One audience member who is just learning the language said he loved it because he could understand most of what Derek was saying, because Derek spoke like he did, as a learner.

The BackStage Stage at the Frank and Ellen Remai Arts Centre is an intimate (read: small) space.  When Almighty Voice comes into the audience to flirt in the second act, he travels all the way to the back row. When audience members are weeping in the final moments, the actors can hear their breath, their sniffles. Not only did they stand at the end, they stomped their feet on the hollow seating risers, and so the ovation sounded like thunder.

Three sold-out shows. Three standing ovations. As I write this, the company is on its way to Vancouver, but Almighty Voice will be remembered here in Saskatoon.

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