Last Chance: BC's Belfry Does Leonard Cohen, Sincerely

News   Last Chance: BC's Belfry Does Leonard Cohen, Sincerely
"First we take Manhattan, then we take...Victoria, BC???"

"First we take Manhattan, then we take...Victoria, BC???"

Forgive the wordplay on the Leonard Cohen lyric, but fans of the Canadian troubadour -- considered a living legend by many of his countrymen -- have only a few more chances to hear excerpts of his prose and poetry in a theatrical context. Sincerely, A Friend, which began previews at the Belfry Theatre Nov. 11 and opened there Nov. 13, adapts and interprets such Cohen tunes as the ruminative "Bird On A Wire," the plaintive "Hallelujah," the cynical "Everybody Knows" and the gentle "Sisters Of Mercy." The show ends its scheduled run Nov. 30.

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.

[By the way, Sincerely, A Friend, is not to be confused with Doing Leonard Cohen, a Cohen revue staged by Alberta's One Yellow Rabbit company in March. That piece concentrated more on Cohen's prose efforts, such as Beautiful Losers and Flowers For Hitler]

Taking its title from the last line (revised) of Cohen's song, "Famous Blue Raincoat," Sincerely, A Friend was created by playwright/director Bryden MacDonald. The piece brings together "five lost souls reliving their heartbreak" in a dark, eerie building. Sincerely was first staged in 1991 at Newfoundland's Stephenville Festival. Starring in Sincerely, A Friend are Karin Konoval, Cliff Le Jeune, Camille Miller, Ann Warn Pegg and Francisco Trujillo, backed by a five-piece band. For tickets ($12-$22) and information on Sincerely, A Friend at the Belfry Theatre on Gladstone Ave., call (250) 385-6815. Up next at the Belfry: the comedy troupe, "The Number 14," Dec. 3-21.

-- By David Lefkowitz

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