Young talent pays tribute to Broadway

Laval’s own Amélia Beaudoin to perform

The Marie-Prose arts school has come a long way in the last six years, already a leader in teaching dance and singing to the next young generation of artists. After a few television appearances, dozens of shows each year across the province, the formation of advanced troops of singers and dancers, Marie-Prose is now touring with its own productions, including an exciting new tour entitled FROM MARIE-PROSE to BROADWAY, with 24 ultra-talented singers and dancers joining forces to pay tribute, through eight dynamic tableaus, to great Broadway musicals.

Led by founding director Pascal Martineau, the show is touring the greater Montreal area, including its stellar young contingent of Laval performers Amélia Beaudoin, Alessia-Marie Pietraroia and Mayssa Ajjour.

With stops north and south of the island beginning this weekend, the cast takes on everything from Grease to Sister Act, Hairspray to Mamma Mia, Disney and La La Land, showcasing homegrown Quebec stage talent.

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(1) comment


I must confess, having visited Montreal many times over the years, and being able to visit Canada as a young child and witnessing the World's Fair way back when, my admiration for things Canadian as a whole and Quebec-ois in particular never diminished. Rather, like artisan bread, it grew from that first visit on. Within my mind was planted the firm seed that here was a special people, a special and distinct culture .... one I had never encountered before. I sampled her foods, the flavours of where had a kind of soul-warming affinity as people walked past your small tables outside on the sidewalks, and even the sparrows alighted upon the arms of your chairs, inquiring if that piece of bread might be spared for a family of five? The stuff of memories, you see, dwell inside the heart forever....

And so it is with the Marie-Prose Art School, a school that churns out mega-talented persons of different venues, of different persuasions and personalities. Deep inside I've asked myself the question, " How does a school manage to not only teach performing arts with things like grace and knowledge - if not spirit itself?" One may never know the answer to such inquiring thoughts, but the end results never fail to impress....

I have a confession to make; I've never heard and/or seen the likes of Amélia Beaudoin, Alessia-Marie Pietraroia and Mayssa Ajjour perform. But I have every reason to think that they dazzle members of the audience on a regular basis. I myself witnessed the near-meteoric rise of one Ari Skye, also of Montreal, whose name was unheard of in performing circles perhaps two-three years ago. My point? It is this: talent can be like gems found deep within the heart of a Nation, brought up to the light of day... the impurities gleaned away, the facets cleaved and ultimately, the final product polished repeated and put on full display for an admiring public to see. Whether these "diamonds in the rough" were discovered one way or the other isn't the point of this writing. Not at all. For I call attention to the fact that south of your border of something happening in America as I write this to you. Over and over again, throughout schools of higher learning so to speak, Humanities departments are being axed and/or diminished entirely. And the tragedy of all this that is taking place apparently echoes in these same halls of higher intellect, with the reasoning being that there are Humanities students graduating with diplomas who have no "Humanities jobs waiting for them afterwards." In other words, there's an American dollar to be made.

The tragedy within all of this is profound, but there is still Hope. To our spiritual North so to speak. For it is Canada in general and Quebec in particular that always finds a way to highlight....celebrate....all things artisan. Be it bread, paintings, performance arts, poetry matter. I know your entire beings will put gallant effort into keeping what is so clear and pristine, so inventive and original that defines you. I say this: "Carry on, Canada! Carry on, Quebec! And so God help us all....lead the way...."

I, like you, celebrate the newest names of the newest performers who will stand before you and sing their Muses out no matter the venue. It is in their very blood to do so. And what profound JOY I see in the eyes of many when they do.

I have another confession to make. Being nearly completely deaf, I can relate to you that my complete joy in being able to listen to music now is nearly lost, but I still can retrieve that joy, that rapt appreciation that others feel when a performer totally floors them, one performance at a time.

Like the proverbial artisan bread that I so loved for the first time when I visited Montreal many years ago - I must say that Montreal, year after year, seems ever-able to raise the essence of its very best people to newer and newer heights. What utter and complete joy must be found there! In closing, know that not everyone thinks there is a complete importance in our devotion to the Arts as a whole. By your example you'll lead, Montreal. And those of us who'll remain where we are can still be entertained by a society where all due respect is paid to those who so plainly have something special to share.

Such is the special Light that arrives from far away, but never fails to illumine my soul. Can anything be more special than this........................................? [smile][thumbup]

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