On the Horizon - February 17

February is about variety - part 2

Hi everyone, and welcome to part 2 of “February is about variety” at Horizon Stage. A couple of weeks ago I was writing about how distinctly different our shows in February are from each other. 5 shows, all unique. To recap, since the beginning of the month we have had Jim Witter, The Wardens, and Outerbridge: Clockwork Mysteries. Continuing on, I’m writing today to tell you all about Ivan Coyote: Kraft Singles for Everyone and Ellen Doty.

The first thing you need to know about Ivan is that apart from being an accomplished writer, Ivan is a fabulous storyteller. It’s like you’re sitting around the kitchen table, listening to stories of your own grandparents. Re-living the shared experience of growing up in a big family, in a small northern community, with all the quirks that come with it. Wait… I don’t have a big family, and I didn’t grow up in a small northern community, so how on earth can I feel like these stories are so familiar? Ah hah… that’s because Ivan is a great storyteller. When we saw Ivan perform at a Showcase event, the opening story was about the death of Ivan’s grandmother. I had tears in my eyes, literally, and as I looked around the audience, I saw many others sniffling unexpectedly. Now don’t get me wrong, the show isn’t sad, it’s not a tragic play, but the strength of the story that brought a room full of presenters to tears cannot be understated. Ivan tells stories of childhood, of family, and makes them feel like they are our own. Ivan deals with being an ex-Catholic queer in a big family, because that is Ivan’s experience. The show is not “about” gender issues, any more than the show is “about” taking a bath and using a frozen towel, but both are important in the stories. Ivan has written eleven books, created four short films, and released three albums combining storytelling with music. Ivan often performs at schools, dealing with topics like bullying, equality, and social justice. For our evening performance of Kraft Singles for Everyone, you’ll be treated to musical accompaniment along with touching stories about family, how we fit into our world, and our imperfect humanity. I really think this is going to be a special evening, and I hope you’ll consider joining us. Seating is general admission, and only $25 per ticket, on Wednesday, February 22 at 7:30.

Changing gears once again, we’re closing out February with the soulful vocal stylings of Alberta’s own Ellen Doty. She sings like she belongs in the 40s, with that beautifully rounded sound of old jazz, but with an upbeat, modern twist. A little bit folk, a little bit pop, and a lot of talent. She writes a lot of her own work, and her album Gold broke the top 10 on several jazz charts. That’s pretty impressive for someone so young. Earlier in the season we had a group of Edmonton musicians, and I heard a lot of people in the audience express their surprize that local musicians could be “that good”. I’m always amazed that we tend to think of the really talented people as being from somewhere else. We all want to support local because we know it’s good to do, but I’m telling you, we grow a lot of talent here in Alberta, and in Canada. Ellen is good – and she needs you to hear her. Check out her video so you can see what I mean. It’s one of those concerts that is going to be wonderfully intimate, given the size of the stage and the closeness of the performer to the audience. On Friday, February 24, come enjoy a lovely evening of songs with Ellen Doty.

Tickets for all Horizon Stage shows are available at horizonstage.com, by calling 780-962-8995, or by stopping by for a visit at the City Hall Ticket Centre Monday to Friday 9-4:30. I hope to see you there!

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