Saturday, August 10, 2013

Review: (Calgary) La Cravate bleue (Fringe: Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Victoria)

A story of art and bravery
by Josef Vermeulen

The first francophone show at the Calgary fringe, La Cravate bleue tells the story of a young man who is fed up with his life and decides to pursue his dream of writing a show on Broadway. Along the way he is faced with the lack of faith of his friends and co-workers, and a tough choice that will change the way his life turns out.

Creator Jean-Francois Plante-Tan’s performance was solid. His choice to bring a French language musical into an area with few French speakers was exceedingly brave. Don’t let the fact that the show is entirely in French discourage you. My own French is by no means perfect but I did not have trouble following along with what was going on. Certainly you miss some of the songs but you can easily follow the story along, and if you get lost, Plante-Tan has conveniently printed out a two page synopsis of the show in English. My only thought about how this show could have been better would be for the music to have more than just a piano. Since the music for the show is almost entirely pre-recorded it would certainly be wonderful to hear a bigger sound, I know I could not help but imagine what the orchestration for this music could have been.

It is wonderful that this young performer is performing in the Western Canada Fringe circuit (continuing from Calgary on to Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria Fringes) and bringing some fresh air into the almost exclusive English theatre of the west.  I certainly hope to see him and other Quebec based theatre companies out here in the future.  Go see it while you have the chance!

La Cravate bleue has one more perfomance in Calgary tonight
La Cravate bleue continues its tour to the Edmonton Fringe
It continues to the Vancouver and Victoria Fringes

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