The Arts

Shaw Festival 2007 – Paul Sportelli and Jay Turvey’s Tristan

Shaw Festival 2007 – Paul Sportelli and Jay Turvey’s Tristan featured image

by Paula Citron

I loved the original musical Tristan at the Shaw Festival. I was consumed by the score. I adored the clever lyrics. I relished the well-drawn characters. I delighted in the design. I raced to buy the CD.

Co-writers Paul Sportelli and Jay Turvey have adapted a Thomas Mann short story set in a German mountain sanatorium. Jeff Madden is Detlev, a romantically obsessed writer who falls in love with Gabrielle played by Glynis Ranney, a married woman with tuberculosis. The rest of the excellent cast are staff and patrons.

The story is part Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, part Offenbach’s Antonia from The Tales of Hoffmann. The two struggle against their fate while Detlev encourages Gabrielle to find her artistic spirit. Director Eda Holmes has fashioned theatrical magic in creating their romantic epiphany.

This musical demands that the audience leaves your cynical side at the door and give in to the passionate soul who lives within.

Tristan continues until Oct. 6.

From the Court House Theatre, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.

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