Canadian politics has never been so exciting as when the cast of Trudeaumania re-enacts Pierre Trudeau’s time as Prime Minister of Canada. Trudeaumania is like Canada’s version of Hamilton for the States; the story of a man who greatly impacted Canada’s government and looked suave while doing it.
Trudeaumania has everything a musical should have: great choreography complete with cheesy jazz-hands and a tap dance-off, three songs within the first ten minutes of the show, and great ear-catching music. The music explores several different styles including: tango, traditional, rap, rock’n’roll and the blues.
The small but super energetic ensemble makes the show! Each member plays several different roles featuring their excellent vocal and facial expressions. Playing at the Firehall Arts Centre in Gastown this show is a must-see, and you might even want to go back for more!
Trudeaumania by Walking Shadows is playing at the Firehall Arts Centre 6 - 16 September as part of the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival.
~ reviewed by Selene Dublanko
Click "read more" for the full video transcript.
Hi there, Theatre Addicts, my name is Celine [DeBlanco 00:00:02], and I will be reviewing TrudeauMania, which is by Walking Shadows. It's playing at the Firehall Arts Centre, and I'm very excited to see it. It's a musical about Pierre Trudeau, and I saw them the other night at the Fringe-For-All, and I think they do their opening number, so there's lots of people, lots of dancing, and really good music. So I'm really looking forward to it, and I'll see you guys later.
Just finished watching TrudeauMania. It was cool, and it was fantastic. So I got to the theatre, not late, but just right before the show started, and it was packed. So if you're going to go see this show, I definitely recommend going early, like at least by 20 minutes early, to get in line, because once you get in line, the seats are first come, first serve once they open the theatre doors. So I actually took my mum, and we tried to get seats together, but there were no seats to be had. I actually had to crawl through a fence to get to my seat. Yeah, so definitely go early if you're going to go to the show.
And being there with the full house is always really exciting. You could really feel the energy in the crowd before the show started. I don't know if anyone had seen the show before, but there definitely seemed to be some supporters of the show in the crowd. There definitely were people cheering and applauding a lot throughout the show, and not just after songs, but they seemed to at least know some people in the musical maybe. I really enjoyed it. I do have to say though, that I definitely have a soft spot for musicals, but there was everything that was in this musical is, at least to me, what should be in a musical.
They had tonnes of songs. There are at least three songs within the first 10 minutes of the show. The show has a run time of 90 minutes, and there were many, many more. They had so many songs. They had a tango song, they had a blues song, they had a couple of rap songs, like every kind of style of music that you can think of almost, but it was all great and it all worked together. And yeah, so there was actually lots of singing and lots of dancing as well, but the songs also really moved the story along really well.
The plot of the musical is mostly about Pierre Trudeau and his climb to politics, and what he does when he is prime minister of Canada. So I definitely learned a lot more about Pierre Trudeau tonight, about what he did when he was in power. And so, yeah, I definitely learned a lot, and learned about Canadian history. So the whole ensemble and band and everyone who was in the production was very energetic and animated. They had just fantastic energy throughout the whole show. It never dips down in energy at any point.
All of their dancing was on point. The singing was amazing, they had some really great harmonies. The guy who played Pierre, I believe Adam [Olgui 00:03:46] I think, I really am sorry if I said that name incorrectly, was really great. He definitely brought that charismatic nature that I've heard so much about that Pierre Trudeau possessed. And he really brought that on stage and captured it I think. It was really, really good. He also had a really great singing voice.
I have two critiques for the show. One was that the sound quality was not always that great. I don't know if it was that the microphones were too loud for the actor's voices, but a lot of the times you could hear heavy breathing when someone else was talking, which was a little bit distracting sometimes. But I don't know if it's the Firehall Art Centre, but that could be improved I think. The other critique I had was there were two songs, I believe, that were done completely in French, and then there was some talking in between that was also in French, and as a hopelessly non fluent French speaker, I did not understand any of it. And so it would have been nice to have some subtitles. Those would have been appreciated. But however, I did really enjoy that they put in some French songs into the musical. It truly made it feel like a Canadian musical.
And while I was watching it, I was thinking like, "Wow, I really hope that they get to go on tour and go across Canada so that more Canadians can see it, and appreciate some of Canada's historical politics." Some other things that were really done well were impressions of celebrities such as John Lennon and Yoko Ono, as well as Barbara Streisand, and some of the other politicians that were in politics at that time. They're really great, did a very professional job. You could tell they practised those dance steps a lot, and they did a fantastic job at it. The band was on stage the whole time, just in the back corner. They also did a phenomenal job. Definitely no complaints there. They seemed to be on beat the whole time. And yeah, it was just filled with music. The whole time it almost felt like there were not that many parts of dialogue. There was dialogue for sure.
I would really like to go see it again. I'm trying to plan in my mind when I might have time to go see it again, but I would definitely recommend this show, especially if you like musicals. It has everything that a musical should have, even those cheesy smiles and some jazz hands. I saw those in there as well. So definitely go see it if you get a chance. It's a really good feel good musical. Once again, my name is Celine, and this has been a review of TrudeauMania by Walking Shadows, taking place at the Firehall Arts Centre. Really great show, definitely recommend it. We'd also love to know what you think, not just what I think, so please go ahead and comment below. Don't forget to subscribe to Theatre Addict's YouTube channel, and please check out our website for more reviews and interviews as they come out. So thanks for watching and please enjoy the rest of your Fringe.
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