(Posted 9 a.m., May 27)
hits all the right notes
By Fred Sherwin
cast of 'Goddess, or True as an Arrow' perform one of three production numbers
during the Orleans Young Players musical production. Fred Sherwin/Photo
Goddess, or True as an Arrow" is the second collaborative effort between
Orleans Young Players instructor Andrea Cochrane and musician Alan Dean
MacDowell who co-wrote "Sweet Nothin" together last year.
The musical was
inspired by the works of Canadian playwright James Reany and loosely based
on the myth of Cupid and Psyche in which Pscyche is a princess so beautiful
that the goddess Venus grows jealous of her. In revenge, Venus sends her
son Cupid to earth to strike Psyche with an arrow so that she will fall
in love with a hideous monster. When Psyche falls in love with Cupid instead,
they plead with the gods to allow Psyche to ascend to the heavens where
she becomes an immortal and the two are wed.
In Cochrane and
MacDowell's version of the myth, which is set during the birth of rock and
roll in the mid 1950s, the god Bacchus has come down to earth and created
rock and roll which leads to no end of unrest and anti-social behaviour,
not to mention one heck of a racket.
To try and put
things back to normal Jupiter sends his daughters Venus, Minerva and Diana
to earth where they open a hair salon called "The Goddess In You".
Business is down when Psyche enters the shop and Venus hatches a plan. She's
going to turn the average looking girl into a beautiful poised young woman
and then have her beat Bacchus in a dance contest so that he'll go back
to Mount Olympus with his tail between his legs.
The plan goes
awry when Psyche, having beaten Bacchus, becomes a rock and roll star herself
which is where the myth comes into play. Venus sends Cupid to shoot Psyche
with one of his arrows so that she will fall in love with the first man
she sees and forget about her rock and roll career.
is a hilarious scene in which two girls who follow Psyche to the salon,
witness Cupid shoot her with the arrow. Believing that Cupid is a murderer
they attack him and stab him with his own arrows. When Psyche and Cupid
eventually wake up they immediately fall in love with each other.
This makes Venus
even angrier, so she hatches another plan in which she sends Psyche to the
bad part of town to look for a fictitious recording studio. While trying
to find the studio she encounters a trio of purse snatchers and is killed
while trying to get away from them.
Cupid begs Jupiter to bring Psyche back to life and make her an immortal,
which he does.
During the Friday
night performance, the cast members were all in fine voice although I have
to admit that Bacchus' high range was a little too trebly for my delicate
thought Cupid was superb. His/her solo performance of the title song "Straight
as an Arrow" was one of the highlights of the evening. It wasn't until
the final curtain call that I realized Bacchus and Cupid were played by
the same person Mary Doyle. Quelle surprise.
I also really
liked Erin Aucoin as Psyche and Sebastien Turcotte as Jupiter who sounded
amazingly like Leonard Cohen, or the lead singer from the Crash Test Dummies.
The rest of superb
cast included as Jamie Hurcomb as Venus; Meaghan Donohue as Minerva; Justine
Davies as Diana; Haley Brennan as Jane; Meagan McDonald as Marilyn; and
Alyssa Paliotti, Amanda Ricketts and Katie Webster as the three Zephyrs.
All but one of
the pre-recorded backing tracks were performed by Steve Bourdeau on piano,
Billy Buss on trumpet, Nathan Cepelinski on alto sax, John Gillies on tenor
sax and MacDowell on guitar and bass, while Brian Brown played piano on
"True as an Arrow".
Last but not
least, Gabrielle Lazarovitz added her voice to several of the tracks.
was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
to Front Page