Blanche - The Bittersweet Life Of A Wild Prairie Dame
A Theatrical, Poetic Song Cycle
"One of the best shows of 2011 in New York" - Michael Giltz - Huffington Post
Written and Performed by Onalea Gilbertson
Music by Onalea Gilbertson, Jonathan Lewis and Morag Northey
Directed by Rachel Avery
BLANCHE is set in the far corner of a 93-year-old woman’s mind. The songs are poetic family movies inspired by the indomitable spirit of a woman who survived the Great Depression, WW II and tragic lost love. Told through the eyes of her Granddaughter, BLANCHE is a mash up of folk, torch, jazz and chamber music; featuring piano, violin, cello and guitar. Blanche's recorded voice is artfully woven in the soundscape. This exquisitely poignant theatrical song cycle reminds us- If we don’t tell their stories all will be forgotten…
(2013 Rodeo Cast)
Onalea Gilbertson Vocals/Piano
Jeff Gladstone Guitar/back-up vocals
Jonathan Lewis Violin/Clarinet
Brian Sanders Cello
Joseph Walls Lighting Design
BLANCHE was originally commissioned by the Banff Centre, was workshopped at the Sunset Theatre and recently had it's New York premiere at the 47th Street Theatre as a special event of the New York Musical Theatre Festival in the fall of 2011. BLANCHE played the Capital Fringe in Washington DC (July 2012), FringeNYC (August 2012) and Lunchbox Theatre as a part of the High Performance Rodeo (January 2013).
Blanche - Reviews
" …delicate, penetrating, captivating songs...a simple story beautifully realized..."
Michael Giltz - Huffington Post
Michael Giltz - Huffington Post Top 20 List of 2011
"Intelligent, nostalgic and quietly artful"
THE WASHINGTON POST
"Blanche: The Bittersweet Life of a Wild Prairie Dame is something special...If you simply love good music and strong storytelling, you will find it here. 5 STARS! ... best of Capital Fringe"
DC METRO THEATER ARTS
"One Hell Of A Show"
DC THEATRE SCENE
“…a vivid collection of songs that range from heartbreaking to let the good times roll.”
Stephen Hunt - CALGARY HERALD
“…one hell of a play which ranks right up there with the classic Canadian memory musical Billy Bishop Goes to War.”
Louis B. Hobson - CALGARY SUN