Jan 14

One Yellow Rabbit’s Calgary, I Love You, But You’re Killing Me comes out of left field

by Jenna Shummoogum · 0 comments

Members of the Ensmble in One Yellow Rabbit’s Calgary, I Love You, But You Are Killing Me. Part of the 30th High Performance Rodeo. Photo By Trudie Lee

We all have things that drive us crazy about the place we call home. For One Yellow Rabbit Theatre there are definitely things about Calgary that drive them mad. They explore all things Calgary in their new creation Calgary, I love you, but you’re killing me. Featuring creative artists Denise Clarke, Andy Curtis, Karen Hines, Jamie Tognazzini with musicians Jonathan Lewis, Kris Demeanor and David Rhymer, this production is choreographed theatre combined with music.

The production starts off by each ensemble member telling a story of how Calgary came to be. Clarke speaks of a girl and a fawn who got lost on the prairies and how their tears formed two rivers. Curtis tells a story of Joseph Tomato and an urban-rural vibe that they fell in love with. Tognazzini follows up with a story of bearded skiers, and Hines, the only one on stage to admit to not being from Calgary, tells her tale of how Calgary came to form. (Thus ensues the jokes of how someone from Ontario tells us about where we come from.)

Everything in the show is done with a twist of irony and a nod to the audience. It is meant to make you laugh. From talking about where your favourite place to have a breakdown is, to Demeanor narrating a story filled with music and working in a liquor store, this theatre production is quirky.

There are insightful parts, like the story of the oil man who lost his job, but points out that we all drive our cars, and we all have warm houses. But then there is a piece where the performers on stage take on roles as a magpie, squirrel and a gopher. This piece seems immensely out of place and seems to come out of left field creatively.

The pieces are all choreographed and have a running theme of Calgary. But the artists really miss the opportunity to dig deep into what makes this City great and incredibly frustrating at the same time. The content fails to resonate.

Calgary, I love you, but you’re killing me has some talented musicians and interesting musical composition but lacks a cohesive narrative. It feels more like vignettes stuck together than a full, complete story. It veers in different directions, with some catchy tunes but doesn’t offer anything to pull it all together.

One Yellow Rabbit’s Calgary, I love you, but you’re killing me is part of the High Performance Rodeo. More information is available online.

Photo Credit: Trudie Lee Photography

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