The musical adaptation of Michel Tremblay’s play Les Belles Soeurs opened to critical acclaim last night in Montreal.
The original Les Belles Soeurs debuted in Montreal in 1968 at Théâtre du Rideau Vert.
In 1991 The Stratford Festival mounted a production directed by Marti Maraden.
On her Twitter feed, the Montreal Gazette’s Pat Donnelly noted that playwright Michel Tremblay joined producer Alan Sandler and the cast of Belles Soeurs onstage after the performance. She also tweeted “How good is Belles Soeurs, the Musical? Very, very good. It’s on its way. Perhaps to the moon.”
Perhaps picking up on Donnelly’s reference to the stratosphere, in his review of the opening night performance the Toronto Star’s Richard Ouzounian praised the “cast of 12 knockout women, many of them familiar to Toronto audiences, who sing with gusto, act with panache and provide the jet propulsion that keeps moving the show forward,” adding that “the songs they sing [are] head and shoulders above what we normally get in our national musical theatre.”
Ouzounian’s space ship metaphor continued in his last lines suggesting that the “potential rocket ship of a musical could blast off into the thinly populated stratosphere of truly successful Canadian musical comedies.”
Ouzounian, however, didn’t have praise for director René Richard Cyr, suggesting he “seems to have nodded off at the helm.”
In fact, Ouzounian says that Cyr is holding this show back, suggesting Cyr needs “to pass the staging baton to someone who could invigorate the proceedings.”
Click for The Toronto Star’s full review of Belles Soeurs the Musical review.
CBC Montreal Arts reporter Jeanette Kelly tweeted: “I’m disappointed music seems to have lost its zest”
Blogger and broadcaster Sharman Yarnell tweeted: “A stage full of women, powerful music and superb acting”
Be sure to bookmark this page; I’ll add more reviews as they become available.
Update 1): In her review Pat Donnelly notes that the play “Les Belles Soeurs” is successfully transformed and “is now clearly a musical in the Broadway sense, albeit with Brechtian overtones”
“The singing voices in this cast are outstanding, which makes for great chorus numbers, like the madcap Ode to Bingo in the second act,” writes Donnelly, closing with the line “No musical lover should miss this historic production.”
Read Pat’s full review of Belles Soeurs – The Musical review in The Montreal Gazette.
Here’s a teaser video produced to support the production:
The Musical has already been extended through November 16, 2014.
Click for information and tickets from The Segal Centre.
by Keith Tomasek