Monday, July 30, 2012

RWB Steps Out - "The Doorway" to Tour Canada's Maritimes

In this part of the Northern Hemisphere, there's no wish for those lazy, hazy days of Summer to pass... still, in a sign of great things to come, Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet posts the next dates for "The Doorway" - the resonantly rewarding ballet choreographed by Jorden Morris and set to the words and music of Leonard Cohen. (These Maritime Canada tour dates are presented in several of those same venues which launched Cohen's triumphant return to the concert arena in 2008.)

For these Autumnal dates, Allison Crowe reprises her role performing "Hallelujah". Cris Williamson, whose live recording of "Sisters of Mercy" capped the premiere runs, joins the RWB company to perform the song live on-stage.

Full details tba

Maritime Tour:

Halifax, NS - November 7-8, 2012 - In Tandem, The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, The Doorway, and Pas D’Action - Rebecca Cohn Theatre

Fredericton, NB - November 9, 2012 - In Tandem, The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, The Doorway, and Pas D’Action - The Playhouse

Charlottetown, PE - November 10, 2012 - In Tandem, The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, The Doorway, and Pas D’Action - Confederation Centre of the Arts

Saint John, NB - November 12, 2012 - In Tandem, The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, The Doorway, and Pas D’Action - Imperial Theatre

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Newfoundland Vinyl - TNL's 21-song-salute is a hit

Audiences and critics love "Newfoundland Vinyl" - Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador's 21-song-salute to the island's popular music which premiered at this Summer's Gros Morne Theatre Festival.

Calling it a "superb musical tribute", travel/adventure bloggers Keith and Heather Nicol note the "talented Allison Crowe from Corner Brook does a fabulous job as musical director" and there's heapings of praise for the cast which "does an amazing job singing songs while playing a host of instruments", and credit to director Jeff Pitcher for bringing all together!

In this down-home video, enjoy NL Vinyl's talented cast performing "Don't Come Where We're To" (Stay Where You're At - what could be the unofficial, winking, anthem of island states everywhere!)

This rambunctious tune was a hit for Joan Morrissey - Newfoundland's "First Lady of Song" - on her giant 1973 album "Home Brew".

Newfoundland Vinyl runs until September 2, 2012.

NB Should you happen to notice a couple of characters in powder blue jackets that don't quite blend with the band as seamlessly, say, as Elwood and Jake Blues - that's Old Ed and Young Ed. It's ok, they're in the play. They didn't sneak past security onto the stage... or did they?

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Friday, July 13, 2012

Newfoundland Vinyl - Opening Night

"Overture, curtains, lights,
This is it, the night of nights,
No more rehearsing and nursing a part,
We know every part by heart..."

"Newfoundland Vinyl" opens tonight!!

"Could not have asked for a better cast and crew" posts Allison Crowe, from her station in beautiful Gros Morne National Park - where she's serving this Summer as Music Director to the production.

Cast and crew of "Newfoundland Vinyl" are so intent on readying for tonight's opening - Friday, July 13 - there's been no time for any back-stage scoops. Link has kept the paparazzi at bay. Here's word on this rollicking musical ride direct from Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador's website - and from this Summer's Gros Morne Theatre Festival program - with more fun to come.

Here's the 45 rpm version:


Written & Directed by:
Jeff Pitcher

Musical Direction by:
Allison Crowe


The vinyl hits of the 1960's, 70's and 80's by Newfoundland's biggest recording stars come to life as Ed & Ed throw a fundraiser for themselves! For your toe-tapping, tear-jerking enjoyment the Eds feature the music and songs of A Frank Willis, Roy Payne, Joan Morrissey, Rex Hemeon, Dick Nolan,

Eddie Eastman and more! A magical evening of music and madness from Ed's remote studio in the Ethie Room at the Shallow Bay in Cow Head this program is not commercial free!

Opening: Friday, July 13, 2012 - runs to September 2, 2012
$30 Adults; $15 Students (price includes HST)
Book by calling 1-877-243-2899 or book online
Venue: Ethie Room, Shallow Bay Motel and Cabins, 193 Main Street, Cow Head, Newfoundland and Labrador- Proud home of the "Gros Morne Theatre Festival" for 17 years!
Tel.: 709-243-2471 or 1-800-563-1946

Newfoundland Vinyl - stage riser, detail of set - designed by GMTF's Derek Butt

Here's the long-play version:


COLIN FURLONG - is an actor from Mt. Pearl, NL and 2012 marks his fifth season with GMTF. Since last season, Colin has appeared in Hanlon House (New Curtain Theatre); Oedipus Rex, Antigone (Arts and Culture Centres); Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Breakout Prod.); and RIG (Rising Tide/Arts and Cul-ture Centres). Other select credits include AfterImage (Artistic Fraud); Brand New Beat, The Tempest (Rising Tide); In the Backseat (Eastern Front); Whereverville, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (New Curtain); Stones in his Pockets, Leaving Home, The Cripple of Inishmaan (Theatre Newfoundland Labrador), and an appearance as Harry Holden on CBC Television’s Republic of Doyle. Colin holds a BFA (Theatre) from Memorial University, Grenfell Campus. Enjoy the shows, and enjoy Cow Head!

SANDY GOW - is an actor, director and musician from St. John's, Newfoundland where she is the Artistic Director of C2C Theatre. Sandy graduated from Sir Wilfred Grenfell in 2006 with a BFA (Acting) and has since worked for RCA Theatre, Rising Tide Theatre, Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland and the Arts and Culture Centre. Favorite roles include Jade in Play Me Home (dir. by Petrina Bromley) and Faith in the Oracle at Gros Morne (dir. Sarah Stanley), as well as Blandy in Fear of Flight and Emile in Emile’s Dream (dir. Jillian Keilley).

CRAIG HALEY - is thrilled to be returning to the GMTF for the first time in ten years. Originally from Grand Bank, he is something of a rolling stone - spending much of the last several bouncing between Winnipeg, Edmonton and Calgary working for Jubilations Dinners Theatre. Like many of his coworkers in Cow Head, Craig has a BFA in acting from SWGC.

JESSY MATTHEWS - is from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and is in her third year of the acting program at Grenfell. With ten years of guitar lessons and general musical training, Jessy is excited to bring her passion for music to the festival. This is her first summer at Cow Head and she is honored to work with the talented cast and crew. Memorable shows include The Winter’s Tale, Hotel Paradiso, Sweeny Todd and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

STEPHANIE PAYNE - Home town gal, Stephanie, just completed her Education degree last summer and has spent the fall and winter substituting along the lovely Northern Peninsula. She still finds time to be Mommy extraordinaire to her beautiful little girl and of course sing and play music, at various local concerts and events on the West Coast, most recently at the annual March Hare in Corner Brook. She is thrilled to be back at the GMTF again!! Have a great summer everyone!

MIRANDA POWER - is originally from Chapel Arm, Newfoundland. She has been involved in various musical groups for several years and worked with TNL since she started Grenfell’s Theatre Program in 2011. Previous shows include It’s A Wonderful Life and Sexy and Dangerous. Miranda is sending love to her family and friends from coast to coast. Enjoy the show everybody!

LEAH PRITCHARD - is from Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia. She’s a fourth year student at MUN-Grenfell campus in Corner Brook, third year theatre. Leah has been lucky enough to play Aniello in Hotel Paradiso, and Paulina in The Winter’s Tale. She has worked with GMTF as an usher, but is delighted to be back, and as an actor this time!!

RORY LAMBERT as Ed - Rory is an actor/writer from Central Newfoundland with BFA in Performance. As an actor he most recently in Revue 2010 (Rising Tide Theatre), Art (c2c theatre) and in the title role of the Arts and Culture production of Oedipus Rex. As a writer Rory’s have been produced by the Victoria Playhouse, Tide Theatre, the Grand Bank Theatre Festival, End Theatre and Rebel Island Theatre. He is to return to the GMTF and to reprise one of favourite roles; Old Ed.

ADAM BRAKE (as Ed II) - Adam is proud to be returning for his fourth season at GMTF. Previous credits for TNL include: Young ED, Ed and Ed’s B&B; Jacob Mercer, Saltwater Moon; and Jim, A Rum for the Money. More recently Adam has been working as a Youth Theatre Instructor for TNL and working as a teacher in the western school district. After a short hiatus from the stage, Adam is happy to be back in beautiful Cow Head this summer!


Director - Jeff Pitcher
Musical Director - Allison Crowe
Stage Manager - Kirsti Mikoda
Asst. Stage Manager - Stefanie Power
Set Design - Derek Butt
Costume Design - Lindsay Code
Sound Design - Dirk Ave
Lighting Design - Johnny Cann
Head Carpenter/Crew Chief - Lisa Lahue
Scenic Painter - Natalie Tsang
Props Person - Cristin Barr

Director’s Notes:

The music in tonight’s show was the soundscape of growing up in Newfoundland and Labrador in the 60s and 70s. It was a time when our musicians had left home for greener pastures on the mainland but they found themselves writing and singing about the place they left behind. As fast as they could cut the vinyl, our radio stations were making them hits with the listeners back home – Newfoundland Country we called it and we cheered on our musical stars; A Frank Willis, Roy Payne, Harry Hibbs and a host of others in our hope they would strike it big in Nashville and Toronto. And some of them did! And all of them were stars. Our stars! And we’re very fortunate to have our very own Canadian star as our musical director – who better to arrange this musical journey than Allison Crowe! ~ Jeff (Pitcher, Artistic Director, TNL)

Musical Director’s Notes:

When TNL first asked me to be a part of this show, I was in equal turns excited and totally nervous. I was not alive in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s -- on top of all that, being from British Columbia - I come from away! What could I do? The answer proved simple - I completely immersed myself in the music - music that is touching, often humorous, and always filled to the brim with stories that are both heart- wrenchingly real and beautifully told. To take myself back to somewhere I’d never been until a few years ago - all I have to do is listen, and I’m welcomed with open arms to Newfoundland. No matter where you’re from or where you’re going, these stories and songs speak with a clarity and a kind word of wisdom that only comes from truly living. I hope that this show is as much fun for you to experience as it is for me to help create. ~ Allison (Crowe, Music Director, Newfoundland Vinyl)

Playing from July 13 to September 2, 2012

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Coverville - Birds of a Feather

Coverville!, the long-running awarding-winning podcast and radio program today presents its "Episode 883: On a dark desert highway, indie hodgepodge in my hair".

Coverville's Host and Producer Brian Ibbott kindly includes "the amazing, amazing, voice of Allison Crowe" - performing Leonard Cohen's "Bird on the Wire", in this collection that also features covers of Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, Badfinger, the Allman Brothers, Sara Bareilles, John Prine, Rolling Stones and an instrumental of George Gershwin's "Summertime".

Over the years, this pioneering 'cast has enlisted Allison's recordings for cover stories on the Eurythmics, The Lovin' Spoonful, Counting Crows, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, and fittingly - her first-ever appearance on Coverville was in Episode 202 - when she and Peter Gabriel, Madeleine Peyroux, Laura Burhenn, The Pixies, Maxx Klaxon, kd lang, and Jennifer Warnes were heard in "The Leonard Cohen Cover Story".

Allison Crowe - first-ever guitar performance in concert - Bewley's Café Theatre, Dublin, Ireland - Billie Woods foto

Episode 370, airing October 9, 2007, John Lennon's birthday - is devoted to on-air chat with Allison Crowe, and spinning her covers of Counting Crows, Hunters and Collectors, Cyndi Lauper, and Joni Mitchell.

You can play, and download, all 883 Episodes of Coverville, and become a Citizen, online - and hear Coverville on KYCY 1550 AM in San Francisco every day at 2 pm. And, if you're going that route, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.

It's a show you can check out any time you like - but you can never leave unhappy :)

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Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Bird on a Wire - encore

Alighting in time for July 1 Canada Day and July 4 Independence Day celebrations is the newest recording from Allison Crowe - a cover of "Bird on the Wire".

This Leonard Cohen classic has been covered by Jennifer Warnes (on 1987’s “Famous Blue Raincoat” collection AKA “Jenny Sings Lenny”), as well as by Johnny Cash, Judy Collins, Joe Cocker, Bob Benvenuti, Katey Sagal (for the US tv program “Sons of Anarchy”), Tim Hardin, The Neville Brothers… in total, more than 140 recording artists since its release on Cohen’s 1969 album “Songs from a Room”.

Nearly a decade ago, Crowe's singular cover of another Leonard Cohen masterwork, "Hallelujah", had the rare distinction of twice being featured by UK trade Journal "Record of the Day" - before becoming a world-wide favourite. Now, her version of "Bird on a Wire" receives encore coverage from DrHGuy, AKA Allan Showalter, the erudite and entertaining blogger behind the web's go-to sites for "a pastiche of posts with song, dance, snappy chatter, and notes on prose, poesy, love, lust, life, & Leonard Cohen".

Allison Crowe pre-concert at Evangelische Osterkirche, Berlin, Germany - Billie Woods foto

Says the good Doctor:

"Allison Crowe's cover of Leonard Cohen's classic 'Bird On The Wire' is mournful and, true to the lyrics of the song, conscientiously abjures cheap conventional sentiment or ginning up the type of pseudo-consolation that relies on false promises of living happily ever after, e.g., that irreparable conflicts will somehow be resolved, emotional damages repaired, or the pain of personal loss alleviated. Yet, Crowe's voice and phrasing convey such empathy and intimacy that solace and succor are nonetheless granted through grace."

It's a great cover of a great song."

This holiday week Allison Crowe is busy rehearsing the cast of "Newfoundland Vinyl". She's Music Director of this play - a rollicking ride through popular music's coming of age in Canada's most eastern province, the island of Newfoundland. Written and directed by Jeff Pitcher, the show debuts at the Gros Morne Theatre Festival this July 13.

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