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Review: ALMOST A FULL MOON Captivates Edmonton at The Citadel Theatre

Review: ALMOST A FULL MOON Captivates Edmonton at The Citadel Theatre

The production runs through November 27th.

Since its 2001 release, Hawksley Workman's Almost a Full Moon has enchanted listeners with its festive lyrics and whimsical melodies. These beloved songs take centre stage in The Citadel Theatre's production of the same name, captivating audiences and ringing in the Christmas season. Under Daryl Cloran's direction, the tales of a World War II-era couple, a rock star seeking out a mystery woman, and precocious schoolmates Tala and Philip come alive in three interweaving storylines.

The audience first meets present-day Marie-Eve (Lyne Tremblay), who tearfully anticipates her last Christmas in her post-World War II home. As she reminisces, her younger self (played by Alicia Barban) dashes onstage, inexplicably clutching a ladle. In a serendipitous twist of fate, the young Frenchwoman crosses paths with English-speaking soldier, Rueben (Kaden Forsberg). Their too-brief encounter results in a lovely duet, Baby This Night, and subsequent years of letter exchanges enabled by Rueben's French-speaking friend, Sebastien (Luc Tellier).

Decades later, the aging Marie-Eve maintains the holiday tradition of serving her family a magic soup using the same stolen ladle. Along with her elementary school-aged grandson, Philip (Felix de Sousa) and his new friend, Tala (Amanda Mella Rodriguez), Marie-Eve and other cast members perform a heartwarming rendition of Almost a Full Moon. Years later, the festive spirit lives on as the elderly Marie-Eve continues the magic soup-making tradition with boisterous young adult Philip (Peter Fernandes) and musically gifted Tala (Chariz Faulmino).

The third and final storyline follows escaped Vietnam War conscript, Lewis (Kendrick Mitchell), who finds himself in the possession of a second-hand Claire Fontaine notebook. Several years and a one-hit wonder (the infectiously catchy Claire Fontaine) later, the suave Lewis reconnects with his notebook's free-spirited original owner, Clementine (Patricia Zentilli). Though the production's storylines intertwine in a satisfying but ultimately bittersweet fashion, there are a few improbable moments that dim the narrative's sparkle. Despite these incredulous moments, Almost a Full Moon is an escapist holiday treat that will warm audiences' spirits like the show's proverbial magic soup.

Almost a Full Moon plays at Edmonton's Citadel Theatre until November 27.

Photo by Nanc Price for the Citadel Theatre's production of Almost a Full Moon (2022), featuring (from left to right) Lyne Tremblay, Felix de Sousa and Amanda Mella Rodriguez.



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