Tag Archives: October 2016

At ATP’s New Musical, Fortune Falls

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.

Photo Credit: David Cooper 2016

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.

Photo Credit: David Cooper 2016

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!

Photo Credit: David Cooper 2016

Eating BBQ at Trolley 5, Calgary, AB

There are so many incredible restaurants in Calgary. Truly, there are. So many, in fact, it is hard to keep up! If ever I wonder where I should go for a meal, there is only one source I trust to send me to the right place— my mother. Mom somehow knows about all the newest, trendiest, and most delicious restaurants in the city. So, naturally, for her birthday, we went to the newest, trendiest, most delicious restaurant on 17th Ave. SW, Trolley 5 Restaurant & Brewery.


We sat upstairs in the wide-open restaurant, and I perused the menu, my eyes drawn immediately to the barbecue section. I laughed at my dad’s somewhat jokey suggestion of sharing the big barbecue platter, the Pit Master’s Platter, for four people. Mom just rolled her eyes. When the server came over, I asked, “what is Trolley 5 known for?” Her answer was music to my ears, “definitely our barbecue.” Awesome. We talked about sharing a few plates, a few different meats, and maybe a salad (although who are we kidding). In the end, the somewhat jokey suggestion of sharing the Pit Master’s Platter for four ended up being not so jokey, and we told our server this is what we desired. Salad shmalad.


The platter arrived. Both my dad and my eyes lit up. Chicken, smoked turkey, ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket, beans, potato salad, coleslaw, and cornbread. Holy moly. We made a promise to each other in that moment that we would make sure we took some food home. We couldn’t possibly eat all of this meat. The platter, served alongside Trolley 5’s fleet of house-made barbecue sauces ensured our mouths were watering.

The meal was delicious! The brisket was so tender, it didn’t even require chewing, the cornbread and beans were mouth watering, and the pulled pork was a perfect example of why I am not vegetarian. Sure enough, we could not finish the meal, which relieved mom. We packaged the rest of our meat up and I dreamed about the amazing meals I was going to have the next few days.


Alongside the ludicrously tasty barbecue, Trolley 5 is the newest brewery in town. Growlers, that hang on the trolley snaking through the restaurant and over the bar are, of course, for sale, and for the true beer connoisseurs, brewery tours are available for booking.

Thanks for the delicious beer and barbecue, Trolley 5!


Eating Poko Popcorn

Popcorn truly is the perfect snack. When watching a movie, you don’t want your snack to be too loud and crunchy as to over power the sound from your TV— popcorn! When having a few beers with friends, you don’t want your snack to be too salty, or you wake up the next morning with swollen fingers and a numb tongue— popcorn! Riding a bicycle, walking down the street, laying in the sun, paddling a canoe, climbing a mountain, holding a baby, soaking in a bath tub— popcorn, popcorn, popcorn!

Poko Popcorn is the newest snack to ‘pop’ up in our city, and to introduce the hippest and coolest new snack food to Calgary, Poko held a tasting event at National on 17th, where six of Poko’s flavours were paired with local brews served by National. I know, a popcorn and beer tasting event— this is what dreams are made of, people. We met Cam, the man with a dream that one day people could buy popcorn that is air popped, tumbled with flavour, and served warm. I could listen to this man talk about popcorn all day. I have never seen anyone more passionate about snacks in my whole life. We tried six flavours, salt and butter, white cheddar, salt & vinegar, cheesy dill pickle, spicy jalapeno cheddar, and salted caramel. They were paired with six beers, that Natasha Pieskar, the brand manager for National, chose for us.


We learned that the word “Poko” doesn’t really mean anything, it is just a radical name that’s easy to remember, and fun to say. All the flavours Poko serves were created by Cam and his team. When deciding on the white cheddar flavours, they tested nearly 40 different kinds of white cheddar. All the flavour decisions were made by friends and families. “What do you guys think?” asked Cam, “I love butter,” said one of the attendees.


The evening was a blur of popcorn, beer, and laughter. Ryan and I ate every last kernel, and drank every last drop. My favourite flavour, the white cheddar, was paired with the delicious Open Road American Brown Ale from Alberta’s own Troubled Monk Brewery. It was like eating a grilled cheese sandwich. “Nothing has the kind of mouth feel this does,” said Cam.


Poko Popcorn has four locations in Calgary and is hoping to expand across the country— just what Canada needs, more popcorn! So next time you’re craving the perfect snack, do yourself a ‘flavour’ and go Poko.


At Illuminasia at the Calgary Zoo

Much to some Calgarian’s dismay, the days in Calgary are beginning to get shorter and shorter. Summer is coming to an end/ended quite abruptly with the snow we had over the weekend, and we must begin to adapt again to living in the dark. One of the things Calgary is really good at, among our incredible patios, our absurd number of festivals, and our beautiful winter markets, is lighting up the dark. And what better way to light up the dark than with beautiful lanterns?!


For the second year in a row, the Calgary Zoo is the host of Illuminasia, Lantern and Garden Festival. The festival showcases authentic Chinese lanterns that are arranged throughout the grounds, and guides visitors through the Four Noble Plants, representing the four seasons. “In Chinese Art, the Four Noble Plants are represented by the orchid, bamboo, the chrysanthemum and the plum blossom. These four plants represent the seasons and how they unfold from one season to another.” — illuminasiacalgaryzoo.com


Our journey began in spring. Snails, blossoms, mushrooms, and various flowers lit up the path. In summer, we found more flowers, and the most colourful animals. We gasped at the colours of the flowers, and the sheer number of lanterns. Autumn colours illuminated the maple trees and the multiple moose lanterns, and the real life bunny that grazed nearby made us laugh. The penguins waved to us from the winter section, and the twinkly trees behind them were captivating. It was all so very magical. So magical, in fact, I had to dust off my thesaurus to find enough synonyms for the word!


As if a spellbinding evening, lit by bewitching lanterns wasn’t enough, the admission to Illuminasia helps to support the Calgary Zoo’s conservation efforts to protect species at risk, here at home and around the world. Illuminasia is on until October 16, so dust off your winter boots, scarves, and toques, invite your family, your friends, your lover(s), and head down to the Calgary Zoo to experience an enchanting evening. Thanks for the beguiling night, Calgary Zoo!