A whimsical, comical, musical celebration of French Canadian culture
Presented by Kabin and The Storefront Theatre
Book adapted by Tyrone Savage
Music and lyrics by James Smith
After a hit run at The Storefront Theatre last year, the Dora Award and Toronto Theatre Critics Award-winning Chasse-Galerie, adapted by Tyrone Savage with music and lyrics by James Smith, is now playing at the Young Centre as part of Soulpepper's current season.
Based on one of Canada’s most beloved folk tales, this high-energy original musical follows the adventures of four coureuses des bois stuck deep in the Québec forest on New Year's Eve. Pining for warmth and their loved ones, the four woods-women, Alex (Tess Benger), Lea (Nicole Power), Toba (Shaina Silver-Baird) and Michelle (Kat Letwin), strike a deal with a mysterious stranger, Damien (Tyrone Savage), who offers to enchant their canoe to fly back to Montréal. The catch: make it back before dawn, or pay the devil’s price.
There are a couple of other rules, too. For instance, the coureuses des bois are warned not to swear, which proves especially difficult for the whiskey-loving Michelle. When they arrive in Montreal, Damien and his helper Lucy Ferr (Ghazal Azarbad) put the ladies' friendships to the test as they meet Michelle's raucous boyfriend Michel-Paul (Michael Cox), Alex's girlfriend Jaune (Alicia Toner), a musician named Francois (James Smith) who teaches Toba how to play the fiddle, and Damien's brother Uriel (Hunter Cardinal) disguised as a mysterious poetic cowboy. As dawn approaches, each of the coureuses must choose between personal satisfaction and the well being of the group.
The chemistry between the four coureuses is genuinely heartwarming, and their story, while pure fantasy, is packed with moments of truth and hilarity. Many of the play's witty one-liners are delivered with expert comedic timing by Letwin's rebellious Michelle.
Staged in the round, Chasse-Galerie features a magical, woodsy set by Lindsay Dagger Junkin, romantic lighting by Melissa Joakim, and projections and puppetry by Daniel Briere. Audiences will swoon over the foot-stomping music performed brilliantly by Smith, Justin Han (drums), Jason O'Brien (bass) and the talented cast. Highlights of the show include a sing along involving a string of Quebecois curse words and crowd participation, as well as a high-stakes, fight-to-the-death fiddle battle. Not to mention the singing is fantastic.
Don't miss this unforgettable winter theatre experience. Chasse-Galerie runs until December 1, 2016 at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts. Visit soulpepper.ca for more information and to buy tickets.