The Satchmo' Suite really swings + VALENTINES
Louis Armstrong comes to life in The Satchmo’ Suite at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre. CJSF volunteer, Kelsey Singbeil, took in opening night of the jazz musical on February 6.
“You play your instrument like you live your life,” says Louis to Hubert, as the two characters explore the latter’s difficulties in music and love. Louis, or Satchmo’, teases Hubert’s true feelings out through his trumpet and song, and the audience is treated to Jeremiah Sparks’ rendition of Louis Armstrong’s ability to charm and engage his audience.
Spark’s enthusiasm and voice infuses the performance with energy, yet Andrew Moodie, as Hubert, steals the show in his understated approach to his conflicted character. The two play off each other well, highlighting the incessant positivism of Armstrong, and the everyday personal challenges that face both Hubert and the audience.
Accompanied by the impressive playing of Colin Matthews on cello, John Gilbert on piano and Derry Byrne on trumpet, the performance is infused with the jazz and rhythm of Armstrong’s musical legacy. The three musicians’ presence on stage conjures up the scene of a jam session, with Louis and Hubert working with and through the music to express their thoughts. As Spark’s singing and Matthew’s playing carry the audience away from their own personal challenges, performance taps into the power of Armstrong’s music.
In The Satchmo’ Suite, co-writers Hans Boggild and Doug Innis, succeed in telling the story of Armstrong in a way that is both accessible and entertaining.
The Vancouver East Cultural Centre presents The Satchmo’ Suite
An Eastern Front Theatre Production
Directed by Hans Boggild
February 6 -16, 2008 - 8pm