The Prairie Theatre Exchange in Winnipeg unveils Joni Mitchell: River this weekend, a new production that PTE artistic director Allen MacInnis describes as a "theatrical concert." Using 28 of Joni's songs, the imaginitively conceived segments making up the production touch a variety of subjects Joni addresses in her deft descriptions of what she's called "the arc of human relationships." MacInnis's Joni-inspired creations include "Falling in Love," "Psych Ward" and "Wisdom," in addition to other segments devoted to Joni's world view on war, big business and morality. Instead of dialogue, the actors use lyrics in solo and group performances to tell their stories. Musical arrangments for the show's songs, which include Big Yellow Taxi, Carey, A Case of You, Shadows and Light, Help Me and Woodstock, are by guitarist Greg Lowe. Joni Mitchell: River runs through February 10.
Originally founded in 1973 as the Manitoba Theatre Workshop, The Prairie Theatre Exchange teaches theatre for adults and children, and began to produce adult works in 1981; notable past productions include a production of George Ryga's The Ecstasy of Rita Joe, with aboriginal actors playing the aboriginal roles.
Stumped: Joni was the subject of one of the clues (in the Grammy Award category) last night on Jeopardy! (All right, I know it's not exactly a major news flash, but things have been kind of slow lately.) The clue: "She won a Grammy in 2000 for her Both Sides Now -- we loved her in the 60s." The clueless: Contestant number one buzzed in with the question "Who is Barbra Streisand?" There's a couple hundred bucks up in smoke.