Du 10 février au 2 mars 2008
Livre par Ben Gonshor
Paroles et musique par Elan Kunin
Mise en scène par Bryna Wasserman
« Maître des menottes ». « Roi de l’évasion ». Vedette internationale. Depuis son décès, il y a 80 ans, Harry Houdini a fait l’objet de nombreux livres, films et émissions télévisées. Et maintenant, le Théâtre Leanor et Alvin Segal est fier de présenter une production musicale originale sur la vie du premier grand artiste populaire de l’Amérique.
Mettant en vedette un des numéros les plus célèbres de Houdini, ce portrait captivant et divertissant met en lumière la vie de Houdini, de ses humbles débuts de vaudeville jusqu’à l’apogée de sa gloire et à sa féroce lutte hautement publicisée contre les médiums, les Spiritualistes et leur popularité croissante.
Une création du Théâtre Leanor & Alvin Segal
Théâtre Leanor & Alvin Segal (Saidye-Bronfman)
5170, chemin de la Côte-Ste-Catherine
Billetterie : 514-739-7944
Don't miss Sunday-@-the-Segal for the upcoming musical production, Houdini, as we welcome local celebrity, Dr. Joe Schwarcz. Dr. Joe will be sharing his insight and passion about Houdini in his lecture titled, Houdini: The Man and the Myth.
Houdini, escape artist extraordinaire, was a complex man, loved by the public and hated by the fake psychics he exposed. His death was as much a mystery as his life. Love him or hate him, his story is a fascinating one.
Joe Schwarcz is Director of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society. He has received numerous awards for teaching chemistry and for interpreting science for the public. He hosts various radio talk shows and has appeared innumerable times on The Discovery Channel, CTV, CBC, TV Ontario and Global Television. Dr. Schwarcz also writes a newspaper column and has authored a number of books. He is a devotee of magical history, particularly that of Houdini.
Sunday, February 10, 2007
Coffee and refreshments will be served in the lobby afterwards
(Tickets on sale now for the first preview of Houdini at 1:30 pm)
At the Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre, 5170 Cote Ste. Catherine Rd.
FREE ADMISSION!! No reservations necessary, general admission
review by Genevièeve Germain
With its latest production, Houdini, the Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre brings a brand new and fully Montreal-based musical to the city. Written by the Theatre’s own Director of Marketing and Communications Ben Gonshor, Houdini is based upon the great illusionist’s life, most renowned for his escape acts. Although a certain amount of magic is brought to the scene, we also discover the man behind the magician. We meet Bess, his partner in life and in show. We also learn about Houdini’s strong attachment to his mother and his fight against spiritism.
Starting fifteen minutes earlier to invite the audience to the act, we find ourselves surrounded by action from the very begginning. While a colourful band plays a lively tune, the whole lobby is invaded by various circus figures, from public announcer to contortionist, trapezist and juggler. Already amazement from these mysterious and over-the-top figures bring an instant smile to most faces. As we enter the theatre, we see the circus on-stage and meet different characters who circulate among the public and interact in various ways, waiting for the show to begin. All shining with a hint of Vaudeville and always extravagant in their own way, this trip back in time is really charming.
And the extravagance doesn’t end there. Throughout the show we are faced with Yannik Larrivée’s various set designs, ending with a breathtaking luxurious red curtain that fills up the whole space with its three layers. Sarah Briens choreography and musical staging is always lively and constantly brings out the talent of this cast of twenty performers. Even real magical tricks take place upon the stage and leave us wondering about how it works. Under Bryna Wasserman’s direction, Houdini’s magical but also very humane journey unfolds with constant intrigue and mesmerism.
Houdini can also count on multi-talented performers that take on dancing, singing and acting with apparent ease. Valerie Boyle as Cecilia Weiss, Houdini’s mother, is memorable in her performance, especially as she interprets the song « I’m Happy », as we can feel all the overwhelming impact she has on her son’s life as a manipulative motherly figure. Kevin Kraft metamorphoses himself well from the young dreamer that Houdini once was to the aging and tormented performer he became. Supported by equally enjoyable performances from all cast-members, Houdini comes out as a well-polished production.
If you are a musical fan, then Houdini is definitely a must-see. Staging more ensemble acts in the first part of the play, then showing more serious facts about Houdini’s life in the second part, this production manages to be captivating from start to finish. Truly an entertaining act, Houdini seems to hold a very bright future ahead.