Oct 28

Lunchbox Theatre and Forte Musical Guild’s ‘Lest We Forget’ is a gorgeous tribute to our veterans

by Jenna Shummoogum · 0 comments

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Lunchbox Theatre has a tradition of producing a show that has a theme centered around remembrance in November. In past years the company has programmed shows like In Flanders Fields and Jake’s Gift. This year’s play is a co-production with Forte Musical Guild and is a musical revue. Lest We Forget features all original songs that tell stories of the sacrifices our soldiers and their families have made for freedom and peace. The production is an amazing creation that honors the sacrifices of our veterans, their families, and the ordinary citizens affected by war.

The show opens with the title song written by Joe Slabe, who contributes his talents to singing, playing various instruments, and is the musical director of the play. The ensemble consists of Eric Wingston, Selina Wong and Elinor Holt. The first couple songs are beautifully written but lacks emotional punch at first. The creativity and poignancy really gets the audience during ‘For King and Country’ and ramps up in ‘Call of Duty.’ The latter song tells of a young man (Wingston) playing video games while his mom (Wong) fights the war in Afghanistan. The song draws parallels about not letting your teammates down in a video game and real life and the contrast is moving.

Between these musical numbers, video projection plays on panels hung across the stage (designed by Julia Wasilewski) featuring photos and video of people telling their stories of war. These videos feature veterans, and families and kids who are questioned on what war is. Wasilewski’s design is brilliants because the panels shift to show a different story or image and it is an immensely creative way to tell these stories.

Joe Slabe performs a song entitled ‘Child of War’ where he tells a story of how he is a child of war, while the images light up behind him. With lines like ‘conflict lives in my blood, in my bones,’ this piece is  poetic and moving. The song ‘For the Fallen’ features gorgeous projection and video design by Kris Mish where a landscape of black and white fields, with red poppies, shines in the background. All of the cast have powerful singing voices and all have such versatility in playing different roles within each song. When the play closes with the Canadian anthem you can’t help but feel an immense feeling of gratitude towards the people who have sacrificed so much so that we can have peace in our lives.

Lunchbox Theatre and Forte Musical Guild’s Lest We Forget runs until November 12. More information is available online.

Photo Credit: Benjamin Laird Arts & Photo.

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