Friday, May 18, 2007

Behind the Scenes

Eric Idle and John Du Prez have once again collaborated on transforming a Monty Python film into a stage performance. This time, it's The Life of Brian as an oratorio called Not The Messiah. Its world premiere will be at the Luminato Festival in Toronto in June.

A friend of mine is singing in the production and was able to bring a couple friends into last night's rehearsal as part of a test audience. While I didn't get her e-mail in time to respond, another friend of mine did, and in an act of total awesomeness offered me her spot. So I went. Around an hour of rehearsing different parts and making changes (as they're still finishing it off) was done, and then a complete run through for the audience.

It was great. Eric Idle and Christopher Sieber (the original Dennis Galahad from Spamalot) were both soloists (with Sieber playing Brian), along with 3 other excellent singers, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Mendelssohn Choir. The guinea-pig audience was laughing along with the performers, singing and whistling to Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, and generally having a great time. It's only around for 3 performances in June and then who knows where it will end up, as it was commissioned by Idle's cousin, who happens to be a conductor here.

If you're a fan of Monty Python, then you really need to see it.

The whole Luminato festival looks fantastic actually, with some amazing speakers (Gore Vidal, Leonard Cohen and Phillip Glass), world premiere works, hard-to-find films (I'll finally be able to see Guy Maddin's Brand Upon the Brain!), and all kinds of artistic events that I think really raise the bar for festivals here. There's an old saying - there are only two seasons in Toronto - Winter and Construction. I'm not disputing this, but if you can get around the construction, summer in Toronto is a series of non-stop festivals and events that are definitely worthwhile.


katitude said...

As John Cleese said in a Monty Python skit...

You lucky, lucky bastard!!

Astin said...

AND as Eric Idle said in the performance last night :).

Get yourself a ticket for one of the June shows. It's not like you don't live here.