Catalyst Theatre and Alberta Theatre Projects have partnered to create the totally mesmerizing, beautifully haunting musical, Fortune Falls. This original work by Jonathan Christenson and Beth Graham, tells the story of a young man and his dream to grow up and work at the chocolate factory in his town. But this, ladies and gentlemen, is no lighthearted story of Charlie Bucket and his golden ticket. This is no fun little tale of the quirky Mr. Wonka and his mind boggling methods. No, Fortune Falls takes the audience on the tumultuous journey of Everett Liddelman as he reaches for his dreams and learns more about the chocolate factory and its biggest secrets.
The production has unbelievable sound and lighting design. The booming bass, the intricate and numerous sound effects, and the power of each actor’s singing voice ensured goosebumps rippled up and down my whole body multiple times. In a chat session after the show, actor Braydon Dowler-Coltman said, “it’s as if the technical aspects in the show become their own character.” He is right! The songs, the sounds, the lights, and the dark, all tell their own story between the lines of the script.
Fortune Falls is a new play, never before staged. This means the cast and crew were to be flexible during the entire rehearsal process. The show was, and may still be, always changing. Throughout the rehearsal process, lines were cut, characters were altered, and no aspect of the show was safe from change. Laurel Green, the Production Dramaturg, and an Artistic Associate for ATP, said, “it takes a very special kind of actor to work on new work like this.”
All in all, I say Fortune Falls is a must-see. Any play that has me frightfully jumping out of my seat one minute, and swallowing back tears the next, has to be a good time. Fortune Falls runs until November 5. Only a few more chances to be wowed! Let ATP and Catalyst Theatre take you and all your senses on a journey. Thanks for the show, Calgary!