The Belfry Theatre has another hit on its hands.
Chelsea Hotel – The Songs of Leonard Cohen is brilliant reimagining of Cohen’s most notable music. From the clever sets and staging to the terrific performances, you won’t be disappointed by this enthralling evening of musical performance.
It might take you a minute to tune your ear to the new arrangements of Cohen classics by director/choreographer Tracey Power, who conceptualized the experience in 2012 and premiered it at Vancouver’s Firehall Arts Centre – but it will be worth it.
In an interview with Monday Magazine earlier this month, Power described it as “a theatricalized concert. The songs spoke to me. It’s a poetic journey.”
Those words could not be more apt.
The stage, set with mountains of crumpled paper, writing on the walls, moody lighting and great sound production, provides a perfect setting for six commendable performances by Rachel Aberle, Lauren Bowler, Steven Charles, Benjamin Elliot, Marlene Ginader and Jonathan Gould.
All have respectable resumes in music and theatre and make picking up a violin, strumming a guitar, singing, dancing and tapping out a tune on the piano or tooting a kazoo look as natural as breathing.
Power’s choice of songs is perfect, from Everybody Knows to Susanne, Dance Me To The End Of Love, I’m Your Man to Hallelujah and Bird On A Wire, you’ll hear your favourites and see them as you never imagined.
The way the songs are brought to life, really intensifies the music and brings both tears and plenty of laughter. The choreography is creative, contemporary and provocatively fun.
Whether you’re a lover of Cohen’s music or have never really listened to it, this show will make you a fan of the man and will definitely take you away to another place and time where the story of love, gained and lost is written on the walls.
Chelsea Hotel – The Songs of Leonard Cohen at the Belfry Theatre until Nov. 15.