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Praise for STATIONARY: a recession-era musical

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“In STATIONARY: a recession-era musical, writer Christine Quintana delivers a witty show about the career dissatisfactions of 20-somethings. Soon after the characters file onto the office set, we figure out that they’re working for Northern Light Communications. Some of them claim to be in publishing, but really the business manages the placement of print advertising. These aren’t the jobs that dreams are made of. No wonder the office workers sing, “So, sorry, eight-year-old me.”

Still, there’s whimsy lurking under every desk—mostly in the form of musical instruments. A guy opens a laptop and, rather than typing on its keys, he starts to play the little xylophone inside. The receptionist has a drum kit stashed in her desk and the office manager’s stack of files conceals a keyboard. The surprise keeps working and it’s a sweet metaphor for barely repressed creativity… Mishelle Cuttler’s varied score helps Quintana create songs that range from the melancholy to the anthemic “Tomorrow, My Friend”.

Director McLean has pulled together a gifted cast. Quintana possesses a crystalline soprano, and Meaghan Chenosky (the short-skirted Mel) and Claire Hesselgrave (Britta, Mel’s heavy-drinking pal) are a treat when they rock out together in “Comin’ for You”, in which they imagine their revenge on the manager. Throughout, Hesselgrave’s comic timing is exemplary, and Kayla Dunbar’s choreography makes you want to dance along.”

Colin Thomas, July 20 2012, Georgia Straight

“Underemployment, never-ending student loans, crappy digs and loneliness all contribute to the malaise of eight young adults trapped in boring office jobs and overseen by a bitchy boss. But the music is far from boring and the voices are terrific, the harmonies sometimes sublime. Much like the Chelsea Hotel seen this season at the Firehall, every performer also plays several instruments—including ukulele, trombone, cello, keyboards and guitar. STATIONARY is at its best when it departs from the budding romance and focuses on the anger over unrealized dreams. But these are smart, talented, young theatre-makers and when they get rocking, they really do rock. When the rousing closing number, “Tomorrow, My Best Friend,” turns into a forlorn refrain, STATIONARY has the power to move us.”

Jo Ledingham, July 24 2012, Vancouver Courier

Praise for Flop!

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“Joy and skill: there’s a winning combo… Lipovetsky, who is a recent Studio 58 grad, is a wonderfully precise actor. Here, his multiple characterizations are fantastic—and the breathless transitions between them make them even more impressive. I particularly enjoyed the rapper Romeo, the toothy bravura of the musical-theatre geek, and the ditziness of the girl playing the Nurse: “I think there’s something wrong with my script. It’s, like, in Icelandic or something.”

With their exaggerated vocal and physical mannerisms, most of these characterizations are affectionate parodies. Then we meet Sarah. Slipping on a hairband, Lipovetsky is instantly all Grade 8 innocence. As Sarah, Lipovetsky delivers her audition, a collage of Portia’s speeches from Julius Caesar. It’s so simple and deep. You don’t often come across moments this pure.

And beneath Lipovetsky’s love for his characters lies a passion for the theatre. Labbe opens the show by talking about the seconds just after a performance starts: “For a moment, we’re suspended in infinite possibility.” Yeah, baby.”

Colin Thomas, March 23 2012, Georgia Straight

 

Praise for Oh My God!

Karina Palmitesta and Sarah Wilson. Photo by Christine Quintana, on location at St Pauls Anglican Church

“This play was simple, and simply superb. The actors (Karina Palmitesta and Sarah ‘Tich’ Wilson) and direction were both spot-on; the writing of Josephine Mitchell is genuine and rich without any sense of effort.  I recognized these girls, even though I’d never been them, because the few hours shown in their life were real – the story had heart. And, genuine heart, shared in well-crafted live theatre, is never boring. When a playwright, actors and all the people behind the scenes create a show which is true in the way this one is, it is a delight to do our part of being the audience.

If you are looking for something fresh, a play which only a Fringe Festival can make room for and which totally deserves its space on the roster, this could be it. Whatever subtle brainwashing the noisy, stereotype-filled, predictable stories of our modern “culture” have done to our expectations, “Oh My God!” simply wipes it away with a small vignette – two girls’ story of that time they were locked in the chapel, which is also the story of how friendship makes all the difference in getting through the hard days.”

Kyira Korrigan, September 12 2011, Plank Magazine

Praise for PARKED: an indie rock musical for novelty instruments

Brian Cochrane and Britt McLeod

” This collection of musical numbers begins with a woman rhythmically clinking her keys and singing, “Where is my fucking car?” The women in this ensemble are especially strong singers. Talent! Yay! And the lyrics are often clever. At one point, a lovesick young office worker warbles, “He’s in distribution/I’m in incoming/I file away my feelings when I see him.’”  – Colin Thomas, June 13, 2011, Georgia Straight

“Along with Exhibit A, the best of the bunch is Delinquent Theatre’s Parked: An Indie Rock Musical with Novelty Instruments, which begins with a woman, alone on the sixth floor of a parkade, singing “Where is the f—– car?”—a dilemma to which we can all relate. Seven performers sing and play musical instruments—including a ukulele and a kazoo—as the story moves from the lost vehicle to an office would-be romance and the possibly “off-ing” of the bitchy office supervisor. (There’s that violence again. But they settle for putting sugar in her coffee.) The music, the fresh harmonies and the lyrics are terrific. Keep your eye on Delinquent Theatre.”

Jo Ledingham, June 21 2011, Vancouver Courier.

Praise for Spring Awakening

From left: Wendla (Tich Wilson), Moritz (Chris Cook), Melchior (Alexander Keurvorst). Photo by Brendan Albano.

This production of Frank Wedekind’s Spring Awakening runs two-and-a-half hours. But don’t worry. For most of that time, it feels like you’re making love—with a robust, openhearted, and complex partner.”

“Tich Wilson is especially strong as Wendla…  Chris Cook is also compelling as Moritz…  Alexander Keurvorst does a fine job with Melchior’s intelligence and defiance. And Veronica Campbell brings leavening warmth and maturity to Melchior’s mother, the only fully sympathetic adult in the play.”

– Colin Thomas, July 24, 2009 Georgia Straight