Firehall Arts Centre

Chelsea Hotel directed and performed by Tracey Power. Musicl direction and arrangements by Steven Charles

Dates and Venue 13 December 2014 – 3 January 2015, Tues –Sat | Firehall Arts Centre, 280 E Cordova St

Director Tracey Power Set Designer Marshall McMahen Costume Designer Barbara Clayden Lighting Designer Ted Roberts Sound Designer Xavier Berbudeau Stage Manager Jaime Tait

Reviewer Ed Farolan

This musical montage of Leonard Cohen's earlier songs gives us a glimpse of his secret life when he was a young man in his 30s, the beat generation of the 60s. I suppose some of these songs were written when he was staying in New York, possibly the Chelsea Hotel. where he wrote an angst-ridden song called "Chelsea Hotel #2".

Steven Charles together with Tracey Power did a powerful interpretation in dance and song of Cohen's songs. Acting, dancing and singing together with Tracey Power and Steve Charles are Rachel Aberle, Ben Elliott, Marlene Ginader and Kayvon Kelly. I'm impressed with these talents. Not only do they sing, dance and act, they also play all kinds of musical instruments, from piano to drums to violins, guitars and ukeleles. My, my, what talent!

No wonder this show has been reprised so many times since it first opened in 2012. It's been touring for the past two years, and its next stop in January 2015 is Calgary.

I hope they make it to New York and play in Broadway. It's only appropriate because the show deals with one of the landmarks of New York City. In her notes Tracey Power says, "Much in the same way Cohen uses words to paint a poetic picture, I used his songs as inspiration to paint a poetic picture".

Kudos to Power and Charles and the entire production staff for an enjoyable presentation. If you have a show that keeps on coming back, there must be something good about it. And this one is a damn good show. So don't miss it!

© 2014 Ed Farolan