Pipedream Theatre Project's Nine

Dates and Venue 2 - 6 June @ 8pm | Performance Works, Granville Island, Vancouver

Book Arthur Kopit Music & Lyrics Maury Yeston Director Mike MacKenzie Music Director Kevin Michael Cripps Choreographer Meagan Ekelund Costume Designers Zoe Green, Chantelle Balfour, Jui Kang and Christine Quintana Lighting Designer Alia Stephen Producer April Green Stage Manager Matt Hume

Reviewer Ed Farolan

What a great show by these young and talented singers and dancers! And what a challenging musical Pipedream has undertaken under the skillful hand of Director Mike MacKenzie and Choreographer Meagan Ekelund. Musical Theatre is indeed alive and kicking here in Vancouver.

I was impressed not only by the precision in the choreography but also in the singing. Brian McBride was just right for the part. He even looked like Daniel Day-Lewis who played the part in the star-studded cast of the movie version. Likewise, Kathy Fitzpatrick's acting and lyrical voice was simply fabulous.

I reviewed their highly successful musical, A New Brain, last year, but this year's musical tops it all with its huge cast and costumes galore. Kudos to Zoe Green, Chantelle Balfour, Jui Kang and Christine Quintana.for the fabulous costumes. I didn't know what to expect in this show, and I wasn't even sure whether they were doing this complicated musical, but Mike and Meagan, you pulled through with flying colours.

Big applauses went to Lizzie Barry who played the young Guido, and Stephanie Listopoulos as Sarraghina. Deborah Allman as Liliane Lafleur reminded me of the unforgettble Ethel Merman, and Madeleine Suddaby as Karla Albanese was indeed seductive in her rendition of "A Call from the Vatican".

Britt Macleod as Claudia Nardi exuded the beauty and charisma of Nicole Kidman who played this role in the film version, and Tristin Wayte as the concerned mother of Guido played her part extremely well, I think even better than Sophia Loren in the movie.There's nothing like seeing the original version, seeing the actors live on stage so different from the celluloid version.

Based on Fellini's semi-autobiographical film 81/2, the original Broadway production opened on May 9, 1982 and had 729 performances. It's being resurrected again because of the film version which was screend last year.

Congratulations to Pipedream. Keep up the good work, and I look forward to seeing your next musical production!

© 2010 Ed Farolan