Theatre Calgary 'thrilled' to stage first show since COVID-19 pandemic began

WATCH: This is a big week for Theatre Calgary. Performers are back on stage for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began. As Gil Tucker reports, it means a long-awaited return to work for more than 100 people, eager to once again connect with Calgarians.

This is a big week for Theatre Calgary, presenting a live show on its stage for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020.

TC is mounting the world premiere of Canadian writer/performer Rick Miller’s new one-man show Boom YZ, covering the period from 1995 to 2020.

“It’s the history, the culture, the politics, so I cover a lot of voices, a lot of characters, a lot of years,” Miller said. “I am just very grateful to be able to perform to anyone because there were questions about whether or not we could do this.”

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The show also marks TC’s first production since new executive director Maya Choldin joined the organization in November 2020.

“I am just thrilled to be able to welcome people back into the space,” Choldin said.

While Boom YZ is a one-man show, staging it means a return to work for more than 100 TC staff, among them technicians and office personnel.

TC will be following the production with A Christmas Carol, its biggest show of the year in terms of attendance and box office revenue.

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But it will be the drastically scaled-down three-person version of the story — offered in 2020 only online, available in that form again in 2021, but now also live in the theatre through most of December.

“We hope that people will come and celebrate Christmas with us again,” Choldin said.

TC will be taking several steps to keep audiences safe.

“Mask-wearing inside the theatre. We have distanced seating, reduced capacity,” Choldin said. “Everyone who attends needs to be 100 per cent fully vaccinated.”

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Boom YZ touches on the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In 2020, which is the last year that the show covers, it’s mostly just me standing still and with everything shut down and just trying to cope with the world that more or less held its breath,” Miller said.

Boom YZ is on stage at Theatre Calgary until Nov. 7.

“I want them to come to see live theatre because it’s just so different from what we can get on the screen,” Miller said. “Everyone’s keeping safe, we’re all doing the right thing and hopefully, we’re going to create a really unique experience.”

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