Monday, August 10, 2009

Provocative New Cabaret Hits The Guild

A Peek At “Martha’s Box”
The Guild
August 12 & 13, 8pm.
Licensed 19+, Provocative Content
Tickets $16.

Charlottetown – After you’ve been touring around the world with the hit stage musical Mamma Mia! for 5 years, what do you do for an encore? If you’re Island-raised Marlene Handrahan, you take a break from Dancing Queen and S.O.S., and head back to PEI to put the finishing touches on a musical cabaret show called A Peek At “Martha’s Box”.
The former Miss Stacy from the Charlottetown Festival’s production of Anne of Green Gables – The Musical™ is bringing her new show to the Guild in Charlottetown for a two-night only run on Wednesday, August 12 and Thursday, August 13 at 8 pm. Handrahan describes A Peak At “Martha’s Box” as “a saucy evening of stories, musings and music”, which prompts the actor to ask, “Do you hate tag lines as much as I do?”
Handrahan stresses that the show is “more cabaret than theatre - no set, no staging.” With the emphasis on the entertainment, the cabaret format gives the actor an opportunity to present highlights from her more formal work entitled Martha’s Box as well as some notable musical additions. “The stories are based on the character I created for my play Martha’s Box, though here they’re presented in a more intimate and very musical setting,” explains Handrahan.
The original piece saw Martha, after the end of a relationship, rummaging through a storage locker in an attempt to locate a set of dishes, and finding remembrances of her life in the process. Says Handrahan of the cabaret version, “The story, or arc, is similar to the play in that the evening reflects on relationships, growing up, sex, finding yourself, and finding those damn dishes!” Though wearing its double entendres intentionally, Handrahan adds that the cabaret’s title “refers to the storage space that Martha uses as a metaphor for compartmentalizing her life.” And of course, the audience will be peaking at the play by getting highlights during this full-length cabaret performance.
Joining Handrahan onstage is Halifax singer/songwriter Brad Davidge whom Handrahan describes as “an incredible musician and a really intuitive artist.” Davidge will be featured performing some of his own material, as well as accompanying most of the stories. Handrahan adds that the music “plays an integral part in the piece. I really see it as a duet - both elements really influence each other - the rhythm of the music kind of drives the rhythm within the monologues, and vice versa.”
Handrahan and Davidge met while doing Eastern Front Theatre’s production of Canada’s Songbird: A Musical Tribute To Anne Murray in Nova Scotia this past winter. Davidge played with the band and joined the three female leads during duets. He’s also toured with artists such as Gordie Sampson, Bruce Guthro, Lennie Gallant and Natalie MacMaster and has shared the stage with Faith Hill, Don Henley, Allison Krauss, Yo-Yo Ma, Rosanne Cash, Randy Bachman, and Wynton Marsalis. Davidge’s professional experience has also seen him perform at Carnegie Hall, The Hollywood Bowl with the LA Philharmonic and Symphony Hall with the Boston Pops, and appear on Good Morning America, Late Night with Conan O’Brien and ABC’s New Years Eve Special with Peter Jennings. In 2002, Davidge released a critically acclaimed solo recording, Unfolded, produced by Gordie Sampson.
Says Handrahan of the opportunity to present this cabaret on PEI, “I love storytelling, and my writing has been informed by the community and culture I grew up in. To be able to combine the spoken word with music in such a complementary and spontaneous setting is a thrill.”
A Peek At “Martha’s Box” is part of The Guild’s Gotta Go Festival sponsored by Freedom 55 Financial, a Division of London Life.  Credit Union Central joins the festival as this show’s sponsor. For tickets and more information, contact The Guild online at www.theguildpei.com or via their box office at 902-620-3333.
The Guild reminds audiences that A Peek At “Martha’s Box” contains provocative content and is licensed.
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Written by Dave Stewart
Media Contact:
Cate Proctor, cate@theguildpei.com, 902-620-3474


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Posted by Gerry Gray on 08/10 at 03:50 PM
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