Go immediately and book some tickets for Beethoven Lives Upstairs (created Susan Hammond, written by Douglas Cowlling, adapted and directed by Dean Patrick Fleming). I almost never use the imperative, but this is such a fantastic and beautiful piece of theatre, (and the very last that Dean Patrick Fleming will direct as the artistic director for Geordie Productions) that you will regret missing it forever! In the beautiful D.B. Clarke Theatre in Concordia’s Hall building, (a theatre originally designed by Norma Springford), the fabulously elegant set designed by James Lavoie was astonishing and delightful. The various sets of stairs leading to the studio of Beethoven were the most effective and elegant metaphors for his music.
Quincy Armorer was delightful as the uncle, delivering an epistolary play with great warmth and variety. Lucinda Davis, one our city’s theatrical treasures, gave a marvelous performance as Christophe, who learned about more than just music from the maestro. Alex McCooeye was utterly convincing as the great composer, Eric Housknost delivered a compassionate Schindler and was outstanding in his many other manifestations. Leni Parker’s various performances were flawless. She could read a dictionary and make you cry and then laugh.
I had seen the previous production of this play and therefore I was surprised when the ninth brought tears to my eyes, but the structure and building suspense of this delightful play brings with it a magnificent musical climax and a worthy dénouement. The writing was wonderful and the direction inspired. This was a worthy tribute to the decade that Fleming has dedicated to Geordie Productions and his standing ovation at the end was an indication of how very much he will be missed.
Beethoven Lives Upstairs is at the D.B. Clarke Theatre (1455 Maisonneuve W) on Saturdays and Sundays until May 8. $21.28/$18.98/$16.68. Tickets HERE.