Leonard Cohen casts a big shadow in Canada. Novelist, poet, singer, survivor and sex symbol, the craggy old Montrealer is the country’s Dylan.
The master is back on tour for a new album, Old Ideas, with a Vancouver show Nov 12 at Rogers Arena. However, for those who can’t wait, the Firehall Arts Centre is bringing back its hit show Chelsea Hotel, which features a number of Cohen’s best-known songs interpreted by a cast of talented musicians/actors.
But there’s a story, too.
Haunted by memories of his tumultuous love life, a writer (Glynn), desperate to find the words and inspiration for his next song, is haunted by muses and relationships from his past. Reluctantly, he comes face to face with his present love, whom he wishes he could not just forget, but erase from his memory. Ah, if only life were that easy!
Chelsea Hotel mixes music, dance, theatre and Cohen’s famous melancholy. Songs include classics like “Take This Waltz,” “I’m Your Man” (which cast member Lauren Bowler sings as a sexy kewpie-doll) and “Suzanne.”
For this return engagement, Glynn, Bowler, Rachel Aberle, Steve Charles, Benjamin Elliott and Marlene Ginader reprise their roles.
In its first go-round earlier this year, Chelsea Hotel was nominated for three local theatre awards, including one for Outstanding Production, and played to sold-out houses. Even Colin Thomas, the notoriously hard-to-please theatre critic at the Vancouver news and entertainment weekly the Georgia Straight, called the show “a knockout.” The cast, he wrote, is “freakishly talented… Everybody on-stage is a star.”
The Firehall (280 East Cordova Street), celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, presents Chelsea Hotel from Oct 3 – Nov 3, with half-priced previews Sept 28 to October 2.
Tickets are available through the Firehall Box Office by phone at 604.689.0926 or online at www.firehallartscentre.ca.