Back Kitchen Release Party By Trevor Devall

Dates and Venue 19 June – 2 August 2008 @8pm | Granville Island Stage

Original music by Alison Jenkins, Don Noble, Tracey Power, and The Back Kitchen

Reviewer Susan Peake

The Arts Club Theatre Company is wrapping up its 2007-2008 season with this cleverly crafted musical adventure. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of enjoying The Back Kitchen Release Party in the past, you have until 2nd of August to do so.

A unique mix of Newfoundland foot stomping music together with a touching storyline as well as plenty of hilarious one-liners, this performance is a Canadian crowd pleaser regardless of your entertainment preferences.

Trevor Devall wrote the play back in 2004 and it was first performed at the Vancouver Fringe Festival. An immediate success, which included four Jessie Award nominations, it has stood the test of time and is still attracting audiences in the lower mainland and throughout the province. The original music was a collaboration with Alison Jenkins, Don Noble and Tracey Power as well as the members of The Back Kitchen.

Devall also plays the lead character, Ned Riley. Ned reunites the members of his band, after a five year hiatus, so that they can play their way from Newfoundland. to Vancouver – or as Ned puts it, “take a Newfie band from sun rise to sun set,” to attend the memorial service of one of the band members who has passed away. The challenges of bringing the band together and dealing with past issues are played out on stage with lots of laughs as well as a few emotional moments.

Devall is a prolific artist with a special talent for impersonations and his impression of Captain Kirk from Star Trek created quite a rousing reaction from the audience.

Other members of the ensemble include Sarah Donald, Tracey Power, Sarah May Redmond and Jonathan Teague, who each bring their unique talent to enrich this heart-warming presentation. Songs, such as “The Islander” and “I Am a Sailor” as well as covers of “Taking Care of Business” and “The Canadian Railroad Trilogy” assisted in taking us on this musical journey from Canada’s east coast to the west, with many stops along the way.

You don’t have to look far to find an enjoyable way to spend a summer’s evening with this home-grown winner. Enjoy!

© 2008 Susan Peake