The Wonderful World of Newfoundland’s Garrick Theatre
On the website for Elizabeth J Cottages under Newfoundland Attractions you will see the write up for Newfoundland’s Garrick Theatre that finally after many years re-opened after much renovation.
For the folks of Bonavista the Garrick Theatre Newfoundland is filled with wonderful memories of the old times of afternoon movies and popcorn with friends and family.
For Glenn and I it represented our favorite pass time in Toronto being a part of the arts; be it movies, plays, live performances of Cher or beloved Tina Turner – we would be there. To our amazement in Bonavista, just a 5-minute drive away with free parking and no huge crowds, we are now enjoying movies and live performances showcased at the historic Garrick Theatre.
For guests of our Newfoundland Cottages there now is an added wonderful opportunity to sit amongst our Newfoundland locals and experience what it is like from their hearts.
Never before had we experienced the carefree laughter and joy of Newfoundlanders coming alive dancing the Irish jig in the aisles and the stomping of their feet (a Newfoundland tradition more than clapping). Bonavista people are usually a quiet group even when in a crowd but put the Newfoundland music to their ears and off they go doing what comes natural…laughing, singing and jigging with abandon.
A wonderful singer named Rose Cousins came to our theatre in July or August along with Juno Solo Award Winner under Roots and Traditional album 2010, our very own Newfoundland artist Amelia Curran. This was a different show for the communities in the out ports that do Newfoundland music all out or nothing.
This is one of the first times a singer whose repertoire range was not the traditional Newfoundland sound but a broader repertoire of their own written music.
Rose knocked them off their seats with her great sense of humor and songs that haunted you long after the show ended. Her new CD is called The Send Off. Amelia Curran with her quiet dry wit and the deepness of meaning in her songs created another new way of hearing music for the crowd. One could feel the twitching of the tears on the edge of lower lids and the lack of breathing to know how touched the audience was by her songs.
This past Monday, we just saw comedian John Sheehan, an up and coming stand up comic, who used his Newfoundland roots as he only could to get the locals laughing at themselves. John’s second half was made for all with a sense of humor and we all laughed even harder. Watch this young comedian on his way up!
John shared the stage with another new group called The Once – who had amusing beginnings. Now here we will all agree on the small world or six degrees of separation phenomenon when they told the story of how they started. All three were at a cat call for Donna Butt – the Director of The Rising Tide Theatre – another attraction on my Elizabeth J. Cottages’ website of live theatre with plays telling the many stories about the times of Newfoundlanders in the older days.
Well, at this cat- call Donna saw these three individuals standing around and asked them one by one if they can sing, dance or play an instrument? Even though these three did not know each other Donna looked at them and said “Ok- you three are on in an hour – get it together and go.”
They all stayed on as actors and singers with The Rising Tide Theatre along with – yes – the comedian John Sheehan who played many a part as they did. It was only 11/2 years ago that this threesome put together this group calling themselves The Once. Another group to watch since they already are now with a record company and just returned from touring 12 cities and one was my hometown Toronto! Next they are off to Ireland to tour with – yes I knew you would know it – Juno award winning Amelia Curran!
Any performer especially any new- up- and- coming performers must come to The Garrick Theatre in Bonavista Newfoundland where the audience is filled with warm loving people who will clap you to deafness in appreciation for the fact that you took the time to come all the way out here to share your artistic gifts with them.
It is amazing from an island with a small population of approximately 400, 000 for the size of it – Newfoundland produces a huge share of talent in the arts industry!
Only made in Newfoundland!