Family Musical DAISY AND THE WONDER WEEDS Debuts at Productions Coracole Today
Productions Coracole presents another family show appealing to theatergoers of all ages; the world premiere of Daisy and the Wonder Weeds by Jean Elliott Manning, directed by Coralie Heiler and Sylvain Millette, playing today, April 19 and the 20th. Along with a cast of entertaining characters, the show promotes awareness of environmental issues and holds messages of hope, integration, patience, acceptance and personal growth. This is neither secret nor science: everyone learns better while having fun- just in time for Earth Day!
Daisy and the Wonder Weeds takes place in the fictional city of Megapolis (somewhere between Oz and Detroit), filled with weary oxygen-seeking citizens and overseen by a corrupt mayor and his minions. We also find ourselves in an urban garden tended by an elderly and forgetful gardener, where larger than life flowers and weeds come to life, voices raised in joyful song. That is until faced with Mayor Megamore's plans to turn their little piece of heaven on earth into a high-rise parking lot. Will there be a happy ending? Of course! And the road to happiness in Daisy and the Wonder Weeds just happens to be paved with a slew of important 'green' messages mixed with memorable, toe tapping songs including 'Welcome to Megapolis' and 'Weeds'.
According to Jean Elliott Manning, Daisy's nurturing creator, the play is as current and relevant today as it can possibly be, "Have you ever felt small and helpless on those smoggy downtown days? Have you ever wondered how to save your city from diabolical developers, corrupt politicians, fraudulent banksters and well-intentioned, but invasive... weeds? Music helps. As does the power of intention. Daisy and the Wonder Weeds offers a floral how-to, reminding us that concrete cannot keep us down! What a joy to celebrate this premiere in the city where Daisy and the Wonder Weeds was written".
Coralie Heiler, Artistic Director of Productions Coracole, was drawn to the play after participating in the initial staged reading that was part of CETM's (Centre for Education and Theatre Montreal) Next Wave Festival of New Musicals in 2010. "I dreamed of staging Daisy and the Wonder Weeds the moment I saw those amazing flower hats." quips Coralie. "Seriously, I felt passionate about making Daisy blossom on stage ever since the first time I read the script. Working in collaboration with Jean Elliot and seeing the vision become reality with the help of my wonderful musical director, Marc Deslandes; co-director, Sylvain Millette; talented cast playing heroes, villains, flowers, weeds and neighbours; and 6 gifted musicians, really is a dream come true." Productions Coracole has big plans for Daisy and the Wonder Weeds, hoping to eventually tour this high-calibre show and share it with as many people as possible.
The set is designed by Montreal favourite Jean-Claude Olivier and masterful lighting is by André Szabo. But the whimsy in Daisy and the Wonder Weeds is largely provided by the fabulous larger-than-life hand designed flower and weed hats worn by the 16 cast members and musicians, bringing the garden to life. With over 20 songs and creative choreographies that include ballroom, contemporary, hip hop and even a Maori war dance, there is not a dull moment in the show.
Information about the cast and the company can be found at www.productionscoracole.com.
Daisy and the Wonder Weeds presented by Productions Coracole will run for three shows only at Théâtre Beaubois, a lovely, intimate 320 seat theatre, free parking, wheelchair accessible, located at 4901 rue du Collège Beaubois, Pierrefonds East (Pierrefonds/Roxboro area), close to the junction of Highway 13 and Gouin Boulevard. (Map available on Productions Coracole website), tonight, April 19th at 8:00PM; Saturday April 20th at 3:00PM and 8:00PM. Tickets: $25 adults, $18 children under 12, group rates available on request. For reservations: (514) 685-5093 or online at www.productionscoracole.com.
A trained classical performer with a profound love for musical theatre, company Artistic Director Coralie Heiler founded Productions Coracole, a young and dynamic non-profit West-Island theatre company, in 2009. From humble beginnings staging bilingual review style shows featuring excerpts from well loved and known musicals as well as selections from the classical repertoire, the company now presents fully staged book shows such as Le Pays du Sourire by Franz Lehar, The Slipper and the Rose by The Sherman Brothers and more recently, a concert reduction of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Le Fantôme de l'Opéra and Love Never Dies, in May 2012.
Growing up in South Carolina, Jean Elliott Manning was blessed with a mother who did NOT laugh when, at age 10, she sang 'Dites-Moi' from South Pacific with a southern accent. She vowed then and there to write (preferably bilingual) musicals, and her dream came true when she eventually moved to Montreal after stints in Paris, San Francisco and Los Angeles, where she attended the Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. With a much improved accent, she sang, danced, and wrote across la Belle Province for film, TV and theatre.