HAYLEY MALOUIN AND NICK DENO
Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll: sounds like a job for one woman.
Look out Niagara, “Keef” is coming home! Suitcase in Point’s original production The Keith Richards One Woman Show resurrects the legendary, un-killable Rolling Stones guitarist through the eyes of an obsessed fan experiencing a trippy journey of rock stardom.
After its creation by Niagara artists Deanna Jones and Cole Lewis in 2011, this rock ‘n’ roll infused show packed onto a tour bus and proceeded to bring down the house all over Canada.
Keith Richards’ return at the end of March is its homecoming after an incredibly successful tour out West, where Suitcase in Point gained well deserved national recognition, sparked by their nomination for the 2014 Dora Mavor Moore award for Best Touring Production.
Jones masterfully plays the unusual combination of Keith Richards and insomniac superfan Mona from Welland, Ontario.
Paying true tribute to Richards, it is a gutsy, electrifying performance. Musician Kevin “Attic Daddy” Richardson accompanies Jones with his electric guitar and a wealth of vintage rock ‘n’ roll knowledge. In 2001, Jones and a group of other theatre lovers and fresh graduates from Brock University’s Dramatic Arts program formed Suitcase in Point Theatre Company to bring unique and extraordinary perspectives on local life to Niagara.
Fourteen years later, Suitcase is still doing exactly what they intended. Amongst performing satirical cabarets in local bars throughout the year, the company still finds time to produce St. Catharines annual arts festival In The Soil every April.
Fictional Wellandite and obsessed Stones fan Mona also appears to be distinctly ‘Niagara’. The story of a woman realizing that emulating her idol isn’t as important as embracing her own selfhood rings true to St. Catharines’ recent artistic expansion and continuing departure from a Torontocentric art scene.
It seems as if Suitcase in Point is at the forefront of this artistic growth, supporting other artists as well as creating their own work.
What’s exciting about Keith Richards is its blend of both tourability and home audience appeal. Audiences have raved about the piece’s self-reflexive capacity, and rock ‘n’ roll fans will love the homage paid to Richards.
The St. Catharines art scene can take pride in this show.
The Keith Richards One Woman Show will be featured in the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre on Mar. 25 at 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. The 7:00 show is sold out but tickets are still available for the 10:00 show at the box office or at arts.brocku.ca.
*** Haley Malouin and Nick Leno are both in the Dramatic Arts program at Brock and are members of DARTcritics.ca. This article is courtesy of Centre Stage Magazine.