Perhaps no character in opera is more poignantly tragic that Gilda, in Verdi's Rigoletto (opening this week at COC). Michael Levine's sketches for the production in Toronto tell the story of Gilda's sad descent - from woman in a proper dress to one in a loose shift.
Two revivals of celebrated solos also open this week. In Toronto, we have Rick Miller presenting his controversial and gorgeous Bigger Than Jesus. (You can read Rick Miller's fascinating piece for The CPC about his work.) In Montreal, we get a second look at Dan Bingham's bittersweet true story in Adopt This!
One of the biggest hits of Toronto's SummerWorks, Ride The Cyclone, begins its tour in Vancouver. You could not get away from the Twitter/Facebook buzz about this show and many of us will finally get to see why. (The tour moves on to Whitehorse and Toronto.) (Read co-creator Jacob Richmond's first-person about the creation of the musical.)
Speaking of musicals...What do you get when you mix Tim (Lion King) Rice, ABBA and a story about high-stakes boardgames? You get one of the oddest big-show, cult-following musicals of all time: Chess. The Mirvishes give it the full treatment this week.