First we take Manhattan, then we take...Calgary???" Forgive the wordplay on the Leonard Cohen lyric, but fans of the Canadian troubadour -- considered a living legend by many of his countrymen -- will be able to hear excerpts of his prose and poetry in a theatrical context, thanks to One Yellow Rabbit Performance Theatre in Calgary, Alberta.
Their production, titled "Doing Leonard Cohen," will concentrate less on Cohen's songs than his literary efforts, such as Beautiful Losers and Flowers For Hitler.
Blake Brooker has adapted and directed the poetic material, which is staged by Denise Clarke (assited by Ken Cameron). Appearing in Doing Leonard Cohen will be Rabbit ensemble members Andy Curtis, Michael Green, Richard McDowell and Elizabeth Stepkowski.
Albums by Cohen include Songs From A Room, Death Of A Ladies' Man, I'm Your Man and New Skin For The Old Ceremony. His music was featured in the Robert Altman film, McCabe And Mrs. Miller, and his songs include "Suzanne," "Everybody Knows," "Hallelujah" and "Seems So Long Ago, Nancy."
"Leonard Cohen has been invited to the opening night," says production spokesperson Steve Schroeder, "he seems enthusiastic about the project, and so are we. I hate to use the word "avant-garde" because it makes things sound so dreary, but the show is avant-garde in the sense that it transfers work from one medium to another, fron the page adapted to the stage."
For tickets (C$10-$20) and information call (403) 244-9177.
--By David Lefkowitz