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secret serviceFugue Theatre
Secret Service by Neil Weisensel and Kico Gonzàlez-Risso

Dates and Venue 28 September – 5 October 2013, 8pm (2pm matinees on 29 Sept & 5 October) | Performance Works, 1218 Cartwright St

Reviewer Ed Farolan

In these days of nostalgia, even the operetta is beginning to surface as a contemporary genre. A take-off from the biting operettas of Gilbert & Sullivan, Secret Service is a parody on the CIA, M15, KGB and other spy organizations.

The scene is set in a warehouse, where a secret meeting of a top spy takes place with his mistress, a dominatrix who, surprisingly at the end, is someone else. Just like Matahari with her disguises, the heroine in this operetta follows the trend of female spies where disguise is of the essence.

I was quite ambivalent as I watched this operetta. Mind you, the voices were excellent, truly operatic, but I was disappointed with the music which somewhat followed the "new wave" style of composition which most of the time time didn't sound harmonious. I'm also a bit wary about operettas where both dialogue and opera singing are involved. Unless it's a Gilbert & Sullivan, I'd rather have straight dialogue, ie, a comedy, or straight opera, but nothing in-between, unless it's a Broadway-style musical.

However, I do admire the Fugue Theatre for attempting to do this genre which, I believe, hasn't yet been tried by other theatre companies here in Vancouver.

© 2013 Ed Farolan