Friday, June 11, 2010

LucieLu will make me broke

LucieLu have some of the most beautiful dresses around in sizes up to 5X! I've listed these alphabetically because I can't pick favourites. I think I'll be scooping up the Tatum and Eau Claire dresses once I have the fundage. So gorgeous!

Antoinette Poppy Dress, $62

Boho Maxi, $49

Eau Claire Dress in Dusty Lilac, $59

Frankie Dress, $64

Lucia Dress, $62

Margeaux Dress, $46

Pippa Dress in Coral, $62

Tatum Dress, $56

At the Theatre: Mamma Mia (3.5/5)

I bought tickets for my mother and I to see Mamma Mia as a mother's day present for her. She had seen the show with the original Toronto cast (some of whom went on to become part of the original Broadway cast) and the movie and was a big fan. I was raised on ABBA and the Beatles, so all the songs were familiar to me.

Off the top, Liana Hunt was a big disappointment as Sophie. She opened the show very weakly and for a while, I kept thinking 'what is all the fuss about?' And then Tanya and Rosie showed up and I said 'Aaaaaah'. Rachel Tyler (Tanya) and Kittra Wynn Coomer (Rosie) were definitely the highlight of the show for me. They had the best voices and such wonderful comedic instincts.

Another disappointment was Michelle Dawson as Donna. Sometimes she was great ('Mamma Mia' and 'The Winner Takes it All' stand out particularly) but sometimes she was so weak. I'm not sure if the numbers weren't in her range or if she was fighting a cold or losing her voice. It was a very uneven performance.

The dance routines were great fun as were the three (three!) encores. 'Waterloo' is my favourite ABBA song of all time, so I was pleased to see it done.

I found it interesting that the show is billed as a 'family' show, however. There were lots of kids in the audience and there was lots of sexual and drug humour on stage. I wonder how parents react when they actually see the show. It's interesting to consider.

I think Mamma Mia would be a great show with a stronger lead cast and my mother said she loved it when she saw it originally. With the high energy music and dancing, it's hard not to clap along and bop your head.

Mamma Mia remains in Toronto at the Princess of Wales theatre until June 20. The next stop on the tour is Vienna, VA.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

At the Ballet: National Ballet's Summer Mixed Programme (3/5)

I was fortunate enough to attend opening night of the mixed programme last Friday. It was a touch intimidating to be surrounded by obviously wealthy and influential people when I am neither, but I did get to meet one of my favourite people in the world - Rick Mercer. That had me riding on a bit of a high for the whole evening.

Pur ti Miro was the first ballet of the evening. I'll admit it: I just didn't 'get it'. Perhaps that makes me a philistine. Everyone else seemed to love it. I could see that it was technically difficult and I could appreciate the dancers' talents but it didn't move me. I don't go to the ballet often, so maybe if I were a more frequent patron, I would have been more affected by the performance.

Opus 19/The Dreamer. I thought this ballet was beautiful and lyrical. Sonia Rodriguez was stunning; I couldn't take my eyes off her when she was on stage.

West Side Story Suite was definitely the big draw for this programme. I think the dancers must have enjoyed themselves a lot, being able to vocalize their performances with dialogue and singing. Yes, they sing! Most of the performers were solid singers, but Stephanie Hutchison was not. She played Anita (my favourite!) and not only was her singing poor, but she fell while she was dancing. It was very disappointing.

I also felt that the soloist they chose to sing 'Somewhere' wasn't appropriate. It's such a simple, hopeful song and it needs a clean, crisp voice. Instead, an operatic soprano did the honours.

Overall, I enjoyed the evening, but I think with a few tweaks, the performance could definitely improve. As for Pur ti Miro, well, that's just my ignorance shining through.

The Mixed Programme is on stage at the Four Seasons in Toronto until June 13.

For those of you more fashion-minded, I dressed up (as one should!) for opening night:

I apologize for the blurriness; I take all my outfit photos with my iMac since I don't have a tripod/personal photographer.

Dress: Torrid, Bolero: Penningtons, Lace leggings: Torrid, Shoes (not seen): Geox, Jewellery: Torrid, Headband: H&M.