Kevin Prokosh

  • Jersey Boys preview: Harmony, handshake, history

    A quiet moment in the jukebox musical Jersey Boys sees Four Seasons lead singer Frankie Valli shaking hands with keyboardist Bob Gaudio on a verbal deal that has assured their mutual financial security for the last 50 years. Valli, known for his otherworldly falsetto, and Gaudio, the quartet’s main tunesmith, agreed in 1962 to link their fledgling careers, sharing the revenue generated from performance fees and songwriting royalties for the rest of their lives. For two guys raised in Newark housing projects, no contract-waving lawyers were needed — their word was enough.
  • The Addams Family provides a nostalgic throwback for its Winnipeg debut

    The Addams Family, the American chamber musical getting its Winnipeg debut by Dry Cold Productions, wastes little time in giving its audience what it already knows and wants. Baby boomers wishing for a nostalgic return to the trash television of the ’60s are immediately assured they have come to the right place with the welcome appearance of Thing, the death-fixated clan’s disembodied pet hand, whose finger-snapping accompanies Vic Mazzy’s indelible theme music from the cult TV sitcom.
  • These poems don't lie on a page ...they need voices and a stage

    They take the microphone and, in only three minutes, court an aggressively fickle audience with verse that synthesizes their cultural outrage, political dismay or personal heartbreak. It's playoff time and 16 of these spoken-word -- or slam -- poets have been putting the finishing touches to original works they'll perform for judges tonight and next Wednesday at the Handsome Daughter on Sherbrook Street. Eight semifinalists will be selected tonight and next week and move on to the finals on June 3 at the Park Theatre.
  • Actress happy to find herself the mane attraction

    Winnipeg Jewish Theatre received unexpected publicity for its upcoming production of Bad Jews when the New York Times recently profiled the dark comedy's exclusive hair club of actresses, which includes city performer Connie Manfredi. Bad Jews playwright Joshua Harmon had a specific image in mind for Daphna: "Two-thirds body, one-third hair," and then painted a detailed verbal picture of what those tresses should look like in the script.
  • Northern exposure

    Do you hear the people sing? That stirring anthem is almost audible all the way from Flin Flon, where the mega-musical Les Misérables opens May 1, at the R.H. Channing Auditorium. It's been 15 years since Crystal Kolt dreamed a dream of the people of the northern mining outpost creating their own production of Les Misérables, one the largest and most successful franchises in the history of musical theatre.
  • To thine own self, local actor stays true

    Today is Rodrigo Beilfuss's 32nd birthday and his gift to himself is the greatest role in English theatre. The Brazilian-born actor is self-producing Hamlet (with another local indie stage company) at Studio 320 until Sunday. The University of Winnipeg graduate will play the most daunting of all Shakespeare characters.
  • New MTYP artistic director programs season with heart

    In deliberating with staff about what titles would make up his first Manitoba Theatre for Young People playbill, artistic director Pablo Felices-Luna found his suggestions were often judged on whether they fit the character of the company. "What kept coming up in conversation was this little phrase, 'the heart of MTYP,'" says Felices-Luna. "Some would say this play captures the heart of who we are or that the heart of that play is not where we are. I thought, 'That's what the season is about -- figuring out, exploring and asking what the heart of MTYP is all about.'"
  • Of Mice and Mozart

    Manitoba Opera will pair the Mozart masterpiece The Marriage of Figaro next season with the local première of Carlisle Floyd's Of Mice and Men, based on the novella and play by John Steinbach. The 2015-16 lineup reflects the division within the MO audience: half wants to see big-name operas and half, made up of longtime subscribers, is anxious to see new material. Larry Desrochers, general manager and CEO, hopes each side will find something to look forward to in the company's 43rd season.
  • Winnipeg actor Darcy Fehr went back to university at 40 and finds himself onstage in classic play

    Darcy Fehr didn't like the university dropout role he was playing, so he went back to school to take on one of theatre's greatest parts. A longtime professional actor in the city, the 40-year-old Fehr is finally finishing the bachelor's degree he started 17 years ago at the University of Manitoba. As part of the requirements for his backstage course in the theatre program, he built and painted the set for the Black Hole Theatre's current production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
  • Play's twist puts spin on fists and kisses

    Typically, Noël Coward's masterwork Private Lives climaxes with jilted honeymooners Victor and Sibyl locked in combat as their grinning former spouses slip out the door together. The poor dears are written as pale symbols of British propriety, and even Coward viewed them "as little better than ninepins, lightly wooden and only there at all to be repeatedly knocked down and stood up again."
  • Never fear: Coward fare is frothy theatrical fun

    While much of the stage drama served at the Master Playwright Festival since 2000 has gone done like a stiff belt of the hard stuff, CowardFest 2015 has only champagne cocktails of comedy on its menu. At the launch of the Noël Coward celebration Thursday at the Gas Station Theatre, executive producer Chuck McEwen said festival-goers will see their mid-winter blahs smashed by the debonair Englishman's witty repartée and memorable bon mots.
  • On with the show!

    It was a year when the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra played Carnegie Hall, the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre hosted a multimillion-dollar Broadway-bound spectacular and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet staged a world première that commemorated through dance the traumatic legacy of residential schools in Canada. There was much to stand up and cheer about in local arts in 2014. Whether you were a ticket buyer or critic, there was an abundance of contenders for your top-10 list.
  • Young YouTube sensation gets big-league help on debut single

    On Monday, Internet sensation Maria Aragon will launch her recording career with the release of her debut single, Nothin' But a Beat. "For my first song, I wanted something I wrote myself," says the 14-year-old Filipina, who has amassed a huge YouTube following based on her steady output of cover songs. "I made sure it was something I'd want to sing live. I wanted an upbeat song that would get my fans dancing and feeling good."
  • St. Boniface francophone theatre gives Anglos iWay to understand its plays

    Le Cercle Molière, the St. Boniface-based francophone theatre, is building a bridge across the language gap with Winnipeg's English majority. Canada's oldest continuously operating stage company is introducing English subtitles to some of its performances next month with the intention of regularly allowing Canada's two solitudes to come together to be entertained under the same roof.
  • Kim's Convenience a very funny, heartfelt family sitcom

    You can get almost anything you need at Kim’s Convenience — including the latest success story in Canadian theatre. Among the rows of snack foods, soft drinks, lottery scratch cards and magazines on Ken McKenzie’s perfect replica of a corner-store set is one very funny, heartfelt family sitcom that successfully sells a recognizable struggling-immigrant experience.
  • Maids, mummies and more

    While the leaves are falling, curtains all over the city are rising on the 2013-14 Winnipeg arts season. Over the next nine months, stages will present new works, first views of heralded international imports and fresh takes on old titles. Premières abound, especially in theatre, which will debut at least eight new works by local playwrights, all but one female.
  • One site, three artists, endless possibilities

    The idea behind the inaugural One Trunk Festival is to send teams of artists to a Winnipeg site and create individual pieces that will fit into a larger collaboration presented Sept. 8 at the West End Cultural Centre. Andraea Sartison, the artistic director of the fledgling festival, assembled three crews consisting of a musician, writer and visual artist, including the trio of sound artist Andy Rudolph, filmmaker Deco Dawson and author Melissa Steele, who were assigned to capture the essence of the Elmwood Cemetery.
  • Agony and ecstasy marked theatre season

    It's a wrap for the 2012-13 theatre season as Shakespeare in the Ruins and Rainbow Stage prepare to take it outside for the summer. It's time to look back at a year that wasn't dominated by one local company, a year that showed many can contribute to stage excellence in the city. It will be remembered for the thrill of Samantha Hill making her Broadway debut in the lead female role of Christine in The Phantom of the Opera and the agony of Manitoba Theatre for Young People founder Leslee Silverman being turfed so callously.
  • MTYP plays it safe

    The financially strapped Manitoba Theatre for Young People has introduced a five-show 2013-14 playbill, half the size of recent seasons. It's a dramatic downsizing for the cash-poor organization but necessary, given it is almost $2 million in debt, says newly installed artistic producer Derek Aasland.
  • Longtime love of musicals takes Asper to Broadway

    A chance meeting with the producer of the long-awaited revival of the Broadway musical Pippin led David Asper to become an investor in the $8-million production opening later this month. It was Asper's younger brother, Leonard, who bumped into producer Bruce Robert Harris (2012 Tony Award winner Clybourne Park) in Newark, N.J., earlier this year and shared a cab with him into Manhattan. When the conversation got around to Harris helping bankroll the transfer of Pippin to Broadway from a successful Boston try-out, Asper told him that David was a huge fan of the beloved Bob Fosse musical and might be interested in adding his financial support to the project.
  • Merry about Poppins

    Paula Potosky, who in the last few weeks has emerged as an actress to watch, will play the title role of Mary Poppins at Rainbow Stage this August. "I'm utterly thrilled," she said yesterday. "This is my first big lead. I feel that if there is any lead I can play this is it. It feels natural to play Mary Poppins."
  • Harried RMTC adaptation throws caution to the Wind

    Only an adaptation of Margaret Mitchell's beloved American Civil epic tome Gone With the Wind could clock in at more than three hours and ultimately feel rushed. For her new stage adaptation that premiered at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre Thursday, first-time Toronto playwright Niki Landau cut characters, dropped scenes and cleaned up the 1,037-page novel's inherent racism so her play could tightly focus on the seductive, scheming and unstoppable Scarlett O'Hara. That's a winning move as actress Bethany Jillard is a beguiling Scarlett, every flirt and flounce in homage to a heroine to love or loathe. Frankly, Jillard makes us give a damn.
  • Rainbow Stage Hogg-wild about artistic director

    Ray Hogg will be welcomed to Winnipeg this week as the new artistic director of Rainbow Stage by a theatre community unhappy with the company's hiring process. The 35-year-old Toronto resident, making his first trip here since the announcement last month, will unveil the organization's 2013 playbill, but he likely won't hear the grumbling from actors, directors and designers who feel they were shut out of the search for someone to succeed the late executive producer, Ken Peter. Some are saying privately that they feel disenfranchised by the non-profit summer theatre over its failure to post the position and carry out an open search.
  • Rainbow Stage Hogg-wild about artistic director

    Ray Hogg will be welcomed to Winnipeg this week as the new artistic director of Rainbow Stage by a theatre community unhappy with the company's hiring process. The 35-year-old Toronto resident, making his first trip here since the announcement last month, will unveil the organization's 2013 playbill, but he likely won't hear the grumbling from actors, directors and designers who feel they were shut out of the search for someone to succeed the late executive producer, Ken Peter. Some are saying privately that they feel disenfranchised by the non-profit summer theatre over its failure to post the position and carry out an open search.
  • Former Barenaked Ladies singer on Strike!

    Steven Page, formerly the lead singer of Barenaked Ladies, has agreed to play the male lead in the $10-million movie version of Strike! that could begin shooting as early as next year. The Toronto-based tenor is the first to sign on to appear in the long-simmering big-screen adaptation of the Danny Schur/Rick Chafe 2005 stage musical set against the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike. Page, 42, will portray Mike Sokolowski, the Ukrainian immigrant Everyman who unwittingly finds himself at the epicentre of the labour strife.

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