Cariboo Magi by Lucia Frangione
December 4-14, 2019 | The Havana Theatre, 1212 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
A drunk and discouraged ex-anglican minister, a sassy French saloon owner with a mysterious past, a disgraced child star and a Canadian miner with a flair for the poetic all seek a better future. They intercept a contract meant for a San Diego theatre company, form a bedraggled troupe of players and head north, making the treacherous journey through the wilds of the Cariboo Gold Rush to perform a Christmas play for the people of Barkerville, British Columbia.
On their way, they rehearse a ridiculous pastiche of Hamlet, The Last of the Mohicans, and A Christmas Carol, gradually finding a way to legitimize their only true talents as "professional liars." Cariboo Magi is an unabashed celebration of the power of theatre to renew our lives and banish our cares.
"It rises to the holiday challenge with heart and an ensemble performance that sings in the chaos."
- Vancouver Presents
"Shelby Wyminga shines as the resolute and furious Marta Reddy while Zach Running Coyote's broad smile and cheeky charisma sing throughout." - Vancouver Presents
"The set is lovingly detailed by Ariel Slack and the sound, by Tyler Dumoulin, strikes a sense of period nostalgia without being cloying." - Vancouver Presents
"The performances are strong, the set is lovely, and the direction by Joelle Wyminga is more than capable." - Vancouver Presents
"Wyminga knows exactly how to play into Marta’s furious concentration — and cultural stereotyping — without for one second losing sight of the character’s passionate, beating heart." - Colin Thomas
"In a performance that’s similarly writ large and spoken true, Stephen Elcheshen is also strong as the Reverend, who moves from weeping in the purgatory of his faltering faith to being madly in love with both women." - Colin Thomas
"Under Wyminga’s direction, the cast of four frolics their way through it — and reveals the script’s tender, subversive heart." - Colin Thomas
"Cariboo Magi with deft writing and deceptively simple stagecraft, brings home the reason for the season. It makes us laugh uproariously before gently guiding us to the true meaning of Christmas. "