A rock n' roll show
(Inspired by a 1920's play by Brecht)
On commission, Rose Cullis wrote a terrific contemporary drama about a fiercely autonomous, charismatically hard living artist. Promiscuously talented 'Baal' writes the songs that makes the young girls sing, but at home and on the road she's in conflict with her lovers, her band, her managers, and her growing notoriety.
Astrid Van Wieren starred indelibly as Baal and composed 7 kick-ass original songs which she sang with sass and passion. John Gzowski was the excellent band's excellent leader. The versatile company included John Evans as a Machiavellian record industry magnate, and Brenda Bazinet as his star-struck wife. In her Toronto main stage debut, Tara Rosling played the ingenue love object with grace and fury.
Canadian Premiere – Buddies in Bad Times, Main Stage.
“Jon Michaelson is renowned and respected for his musical theatre direction. Astrid Van Wieren was born to sing these songs. Damn fine rock and roll!'
Director Sarah Stanley
“A wonderful gutsy idea…this production avoided many pitfalls and delivered many rewards…it had power, depth, and enormous creativity…and the music is as inventive as the text. Such a work deserves to go all the way and have national exposure”
Mira Friedlander, Variety
“Music and performances provide the theatrical jolts…and the poetic monologues and the sexually and emotionally hot scenes between Van Wieren and Rosling strike theatrical sparks …Van Wieren turns in a powerhouse performance…”
Jon Kaplan, Now Magazine
“The play is also a concert that the band around whom the action swirls delivers with punch, with Van Wieren showing off terrific Janis Joplin licks as well as a knack for emotionally direct messages…As the mesmerized ingenue, Tara Rosling turns in a canny, calibrated portrait of a vulnerable soul…”
Geoff Chapman, Toronto Star
Script by Rose Cullis Directed and dramaturged by JM
Scenography, Videos, and Wardrobe design by Denyse Karn & Ken Winter
Lighting: Stephen Plotkin and Brad Trenaman.
Stage Manager: Heather Cornick Photos: Kelly Ross & Charlene Olson
Astrid Van Wieren, Tara Rosling, Brenda Bazinet, John Evans, Paul Braunstein, Adrian Churchill, Tara Samuel, Chris Adams, John Gzowksi, Jason Miller
VIDEO CLIP/s * - (with Tara Rosling, and Astrid Van Wieren)
SONG TRACKS (writer/singer : Astrid Van Wieren)
CLOSE YOUR EYES