Jan 09

Evalyn Parry’s Spin is a well spun musical production

by Jenna Shummoogum · 0 comments

evalyn parry SPIN - Photo by Jeremy MimnaghA human powered, pedal-driven, vehicle - the bicycle. It is the centre and source of inspiration of Evalyn Parry’s Spin, a theatrical production that is part concert, part storytelling, part history lesson.

Alongside three musicians on strings, a projection in the background, and a suspended bicycle as an instrument of percussion, Parry leads us through on a musical journey, spinning words, rhythm and story together. She sings songs that tells us about Frances Willard and the beginnings of bicycle riding, and the need for women to be able to wear pants. Parry then gets to the compelling story about Annie Londonderry, the first woman to bicycle around the world. Londonderry publicized her ride, even changing her last name to advertise bottled water. It’s a fascinating story and Perry tells it between songs and within songs, all the while donning different hats for different characters.

Parry tells the story of women’s progress throughout the play, from fighting to have freedom from long skirts and corsets, to fighting for the right to vote. She even covers how 80% of what is bought on the planet is bought by women. Parry tells us the story of a letter she got from Mary, the great granddaughter of Annie Londonderry.

Brad Hart is on vocals and bicycle percussion, which consists of having the vintage bicycle equipped with electronic pickups to be an accompaniment to Perry’s storytelling. Most of the time, the bicycle is a welcome underlay to Perry’s earthy voice, but occasionally, especially when Hart is playing the spokes of the tires, it doesn’t work so well.

The lyrics and songs are catchy and fun, though on occasion a little awkward. The accompanying strings are a great addition to the production.

Even if you’re not a bicycle enthusiast, Parry’s Spin is a charming musical and theatrical production that is a joyful ride about the journey of the bicycle.

Evalyn Parry’s Spin is part of the High Performance Rodeo. More information is available online.

Photo Credit: Jeremy Mimnagh

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