Last weekend to catch Onegin at the NAC

Looking for something to do this weekend?  Head to the NAC for the final weekend of its season opener Onegin, a modern musical based on the Russian Pushkin novel in verse. (You may recall Ralph Fiennes and Liv Tyler starred in a movie version about 18 years ago (was it that long ago?))

It is the 1800s and snobby, bad boy Onegin arrives in the countryside to look after his dying uncle. Onegin inherits the estate and sticks around for a while.  He meets the neighbours, Lensky and his fiancée Olga and her bookworm sister Tatyana, who falls for him.  He rebuffs her advances.  Being the naughty, shady boy that he is, toys with Lensky and Olga, flirting with her.  A duel ensues, Lensky dies and Onegin flees.  A few years later, he meets Tatyana again, who is now married and living in St. Petersburg.  Onegin claims to be smitten… I won’t spoil the rest.

The music is phenomenal, played by the Ungrateful Dead (drums, piano and cello) and based on Tchaikovsky. The singing for the most part is beautiful.  (Onegin has a few troubles hitting some notes but he is the perfect bad boy so you overlook it).  The singers are all dynamic and play their parts well.  There is not a lot of character development and this is not an intellectual, meaty piece of theatre but it is nevertheless entertaining.   

The costumes are great as is the set, and the story is timeless.  However, it is the dynamism of the actors/singers that make this great.  The energy on stage is palpable.

The cast includes Rebecca Auerbach, Shane Carty, Josh Epstein, Peter Fernandes, Hailey Gillis, Daren A. Herbert and Elena Juatco.  The Ungrateful Dead comprises Chris Tsujiuchi (piano), Barry Mirochnick (drums), Erika Nielson (cello)

It is a great night out and runs until Saturday night.