4 shows to see at the High Performance Rodeo

The Calgary Eyeopener's theatre critic highlights four shows to see at the 28th annual three-week festival of creative performances beginning Thursday, Jan. 9.

Critic Jessica Goldman chooses her highlights from the 28th annual performing arts festival

It is the 25th anniversary of the High Performance Rodeo arts festival.

Calgary Eyeopener's theatre critic Jessica Goldman says this is a strong year for local and Canadian productions at the High Performance Rodeo.

  • Going to the High Performance Rodeo? Add your recommendations to Jessica's in the comments section below.  

She says this year's edition of the rodeo is presenting three successful shows from Toronto, a solo performance by a former member of the Kids in the Hall comedy troupe and a new production by Calgary's One Yellow Rabbit company — the host theatre company for the festival.

However, she says she is disappointed there are only two international theatre productions this year.

Nonetheless, she says it is an intriguing lineup with 12 theatrical or theatre-based productions. Here are her top four picks.

Gob Squad's Kitchen

Off-the-wall and different is how this production sounds to Jessica. Loosely based on Andy Warhol's film, Kitchen, this live performance from a German-U.K. collective mixes footage from the Warhol film with live video and scenes inspired by the downtown New York art scene. Jessica says it fits perfectly into the Rodeo's mandate to present ground-breaking work. Kitchen won the 2012 Drama Desk Award from critics in New York for most unique theatrical experience.

Royal Canadian Legion #1

Friday, Jan. 24 to Sunday, Jan. 26  7:30 p.m.

Do You Want What I've Got? A Craigslist Cantata

Writer and broadcaster Bill Richardson and singer-songwriter Veda Hille. (PUSH Festival)

From Vancouver writer and broadcaster Bill Richardson and singer-songwriter Veda Hille comes this musical production which features ads taken from the website Craigslist set to music. Jessica says although it may lack a strong narrative, she loves the contemporary take on our culture and the idea behind the show.

Martha Cohen Theatre, Epcor Centre

Wednesday, Jan. 22 through Sunday, Jan. 26   7:30 p.m.

Of Fighting Age

Calgary's Verb Theatre brings a theatre-museum hybrid production to this year's rodeo. (High Performance Rodeo)

Calgary's Verb Theatre presents a production that mixes theatre and gallery-going. Set in the Glenbow Museum, this peripatetic show allows the audience to follow the actors though the museum as they explore stories of warfare. The audience is also encouraged to keep wireless devices on and possibly become part of the performance. Jessica says this is classic alternative theatre and she is excited to see the production.

Glenbow Museum

Thursday, Jan. 9 though Saturday, Jan.11 7:30 p.m.

A Brimful of Asha

Writer and actor Ravi Jain in A Brimful of Asha, which also features his mother. (High Performance Rodeo)

A critical and popular success in Toronto, this production from Why Not? Theatre tells the story of an East Indian mother who is trying to arrange a marriage for her son. The twist is that it features real-life actor/director Ravi Jain on stage with his mother Asha and a story drawn from their life.

Engineered Air Theatre, Epcor Centre

Thursday, Jan. 9 through Sunday, Jan. 11 at 7:30 p.m.


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