- Mat Dunlap
- The Heavy Blinkers tea off.
A veritable smorgasbord of musical magic is going down this weekend at the Music Room. Zuppa Theatre's annual fundraiser features a star-studded roster to say the least: Rich Aucoin, Rose Cousins, Tanya Davis and Gypsophilia will all be in attendance amongst other Hali-household names. Called The Gigantic Lovesick Serenade: Songs for Lovers and Loners, the concert is in support of Zuppa Theatre's upcoming world premiere of The Attaining Gigantick Dimensions (April 12-21). "How can I bear witness to this aural alchemy?!" you may ask yourself. We're here to break the bad news: SOLD OUT. But take heart, music lovers! There's always next year, and we can almost guarantee there will be an equally impressive line-up. Mark your calendars now.
Zuppa launched the concert series six years ago in order to raise money for its production-to-be, Penny Dreadful. Zuppa's Ben Stone says that even then it was a variety show of first-rate proportions. "We seem to get the people who are yet to become famous. That first year Jill Barber, Jenn Grant and Matt Mays played, and it ended up being super fun and it created this buzz."
Stone says Zuppa's been lucky to have always been integrated with the music scene. "Because we've always had music in our shows and because we've always been friends with people in the music scene, we're able to ask for these favours, and they're able to donate their time year after year."
With only 90 tickets available to be sold, this year's concert is in support of what Stone calls the company's biggest design to date. The Attaining Gigantick Dimensions is an original script written collaboratively by Mike Geither and the Zuppa ensemble. Stone says they met Geither at a theatre prep school in New York in the early 2000s, and they've been plotting a script ever since. "Mike sent us a collection of four scenes of what he wanted to develop, and then he came up from Ohio and stayed with us while we wrote a first draft of the play together," says Stone. "He's coming up again at the beginning of March to do a final draft and then rehearse it and put it up in April in the Neptune Studio."
Taking its name from a research project by 17th-century Irishman Robert Boyle, The Attaining of Gigantick Dimensions is about a translator in the Canadian military who has just returned from Afghanistan to find that his father is terminally ill. "Set against those huge life experiences, it then becomes about the little moments in life and how those moments take on so much importance even against the backdrop of mortality," says Stone. "We get obsessed with the minutiae and we lose perspective."
In order to capture that mood in the design, the set will be primarily a miniature version of Halifax, with miniature skyscrapers, miniature churches and miniature businesses, which the actors will walk around, sit on, stand on, open up and look into. "Within the houses and buildings there will be cameras, so when you look into the buildings our images will be projected above us onto windows even bigger than us," says Stone. "We really want the design to reflect the scene---thinking about the big picture and the small picture and how they affect our day-to-day lives."
The Gigantick Lovesick Serenade
w/Rich Aucoin, Rose Cousins, Tanya Davis, Grassmarket, Don Brownrigg, Dark for Dark, Stewart Legere, The Heavy Blinkers
Saturday, February 9, sold out
Music Room, 6181 Lady Hammond Road