Heritage theatre brings back acclaimed Leonard Cohen tribute

Steve Charles and Lauren Bowler in Chelsea Hotel. David Cooper photo.

One of East Vancouver’s most treasured heritage theatres is celebrating its 35th anniversary season this year by bringing back one of its most popular productions.

From March 17-April 21, the Firehall Arts Centre (280 E. Cordova St.) presents the return of Chelsea Hotel: The Songs of Leonard Cohen. In the award-winning tribute, a group of actors/musicians presents a dramatic scenario that offers live performances of many of the late singer’s best-known, most-loved songs: “Everybody Knows,” “I’m Your Man,” “Hallelujah” and many more.

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Heritage theatre brings back acclaimed Leonard Cohen tribute

Hey that’s the way to say goodbye – Vancouver salutes Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen at Rogers Arena, Vancouver, Nov 12 2012.

Leonard Cohen at Rogers Arena, Vancouver, Nov 12 2012. Christine Redmond photo/thesnipenews.com.

Many music fans – and, dare we say, Canadian music fans especially – are still mourning the death of Leonard Cohen. The Montreal-born-and-raised singer’s death at 82 (announced Nov. 10) came to a shock to many, even though he seemed prepared to go, at least according to statements he made in an interview around the release of his 2016 album You Want It Darker.

As people have coped with the news, tributes have been pouring in. And Vancouver musicians and fans have begun planning their own salutes to the poet/writer/singer/songwriter. Here are two December events, a special movie screening and a musical tribute,that have been announced in the wake of his passing. If you know of any more, please leave a comment below so we can add to this post.

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Hey that’s the way to say goodbye – Vancouver salutes Leonard Cohen

Hallelujah! Leonard Cohen Musical Returns to Vancouver for the Holidays

Image sourced from firehallartscentre.ca

Image sourced from firehallartscentre.ca

Attention Leonard Cohen fanatics: The classic that puts the spotlight on Canada’s most beloved poet-crooner-novelist is back for a holiday run in Vancouver.

The Chelsea Hotel returns to the Firehall Arts Centre, Dec. 15-Jan. 9. The wildly creative musical is pieced together from Cohen’s acclaimed music and poetry. It premiered in 2012 to rave reviews (the Globe and Mail praised its “overwhelming inventiveness”) and has since played to sold-out shows across the country.

At the start of the musical, we encounter young Cohen suffering from a serious case of writer’s block. In fact, a literal mountain of crumpled paper rises next to his bedside at New York’s Chelsea Hotel. As the story progresses, he’s visited by a series of characters and lovers, all drawn to his outsized creative gifts and magnetism. Women are picked up and discarded; serious heartbreak and reflection ensues. And, in the process, Cohen discovers his artistic voice.

The plot, as it is, is fairly free form. But what really drives the musical forward is the interpretations of Cohen’s classic songs. The six performers pick up and play 17 different instruments – from guitars to cello, accordion, keyboards and even kazoo – as they work their way through the iconic Cohen catalogue.  Continue reading:
Hallelujah! Leonard Cohen Musical Returns to Vancouver for the Holidays