Arts Seen – week of April 17 2014

Dave Kelly’s intense play is a hit and eavesdropping in coffee shops

Dave Kelly has a hit on his hands with Dad Day 1 at Lunchbox Theatre written by and starring the former morning television host and directed by Rebecca Northan (whose Legend Has It was also a hit at the recent Alberta Theatre Projects’ playRites Festival). Having seen Kelly onstage and onscreen and chatted with him on a handful of other occasions I expected his one-man show would be an entertaining moving story about the fear awe and joy involved in becoming a dad — with evidence of his quick humour and occasional potty-mouth scattered throughout. Instead this show is an intensely raw and powerful look at his own upbringing in a loving but rigid home the difficulties and sacrifices he faced in finding his own way in the world and yes the overwhelming experience of becoming a parent — and what that teaches us about our own parents. The show has been selling out and this weekend is the last chance to see it (at least for now) — as of press time there were still some tickets available for the Friday and Saturday shows ( lunchboxtheatre.com ).

You can combine your coffee break with a theatre break over the next couple weeks as Swallow-a-Bicycle Theatre brings a revised version of Eavesdrop: The Coffee Shop Show to three inner-city cafés. The play debuted at Caffe Crema in Bridlewood in 2012 and playwright Mark Hopkins has redeveloped the script with some help from Theatre Calgary artistic associate Shari Wattling to “really dig into the characters that inhabit a coffee shop.” Patrons at Weeds Café in Capital Hill Caffe Beano in the Beltline and Vendome Café in Sunnyside will put on a pair of wireless headphones and hear a soundscape designed by Ryan Von Hagen and Brock Geiger that enables them to identify which customers are actually the characters including a frustrated writer a man seeking connection and a troubled stranger. The shows run until May 2 and the schedule and ticket information is online ( swallowabicycle.com ).

Three other smaller theatre companies have new shows opening this week — you can read about The Old Trout Puppet Workshop ’s previews of This Little Piggie and Third Street Theatre ’s The Passion of Sergius and Bacchus in this issue and you’ll find an article about Downstage Theatre ’s adaptation of Carla Gunn’s Amphibian online at ffwdweekly.com .

The University of Calgary’s department of art is holding three exhibitions to showcase the work of its graduates: The Little Gallery will display graduate work including printmaking painting photography and sculpture (April 21 to 25); Nickle Galleries will present I Look for the Once Forgotten… which highlights artwork in multiple disciplines by graduating students in the studio concentration program and explores concepts ranging from the mysteries of the body the unconscious memories and childhood and family bonds (April 24 to May 24); and finally PUSH at C2 (formerly MOCA) an annual juried senior art student exhibition showcasing the diversity and skills of 39 emerging artists in mediums of sculpture painting drawing printmaking and photography (April 25 to May 4).