Friday, March 9, 2012

Theatre--Review (UL Opera Theater and The Compound)

I attended the opening night of the very fine new musical entitled Grand Pre’, by Cody Daigle and Roy Bertucci. The theme is the times leading up to the deportation of the Acadians. This writing is at the request for a musician’s take on the show. I can not, however, proceed without recognizing the other aspects of the show. I will preface by stating the fact that “less is more” pervaded this production. Shawn Roy’s direction was impeccable: the staging, blocking, lighting, props, everything manifested the epitome of professionalism, as is his hallmark. Musically, the melodies and harmonies of the songs of Daigle and Bertucci beautifully reflected the primary emotions and themes of the show, including pastoral bliss, love, family disagreements, fear, loyalty, and such. Shawn Roy’s props and sets were minimal, but ample for the purposes. The costumes were period appropriate and aptly down-played, except for the British soldiers’ and officers’  uniforms, which were correctly extravagant. The singer/actors were spot on professional in their musical delivery and spoken emotional projection. Never was there an ego which called attention away from the task at hand. Music director and orchestrator, David Boudreaux, “brought the music to life,” as stated by both Daigle and Bertucci. With only one violin, cello, bass, flute, clarinet, guitar, piano, and percussionist, his arrangements sparkled and stirred with flurries of motifs and appropriate support for, and echoing of the songs’ melodies. I was intrigued at how such a small ensemble seemed to project the aural image of a much larger group. Especially notable is the fact that, as well-crafted as the orchestration was, it never overstepped the bounds of its function. In summary, I recommend attending the show as a delight for the eyes, ears and mind. And don’t forget the Kleenex.
---Kurt David Boudreaux

(Editor's note:  Kurt is a very well known and well respected musician in Lafayette, with a Master of Music degree from UL.  He is also the father of David Boudreaux, the music director and orchestrator for Grand Pre.)

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