Theatrical concerts return to Soulpepper Theatre this month with their long-anticipated The Golden Record. Created by Divine Brown, Frank Cox-O’Connell (director), Beau Dixon, Raha Javanfar, Travis Knights Andrew Penner, Mike Ross and Sarah Wilson (writer), this is a stellar journey from space to home: a real look at humanity through song and story. Inspired by the Golden Record which was sent into space on the Voyager mission in 1977, The Golden Record not only tells the story of the process to create the record, but also of us, of humanity, and how we choose to represent ourselves through art and music. A joy from start to finish, The Golden Record cannot be missed!
The Golden Record was created by the same core team as The Shape of Home: Songs in Search of Al Purdy. I was amazed once again at the level of detail, research, care, and time they clearly put into creating these theatrical concerts. With quotes from Carl Sagan’s journals, real pictures and recordings from the Golden Record itself, and then their own opinions and inspirations from doing this research, The Golden Record is a beautiful way to learn and experience that pivotal moment in human history.
The majority of the creative team on this production were also the ones on stage telling the story. Along with them were Erin James, Erika Nielson, and Amanda Penner who formed a string quartet along with Javanfar. These multi-talented performers did everything: sing, dance, story tell, and play several different instruments to create this mind-blowing performance. This, combined with the beautiful projections of the images from the record as well as video and graphics to accompany their own choices for songs, it creates a mesmerizing, spectacular performance. Once again, I found myself terribly in want of a cast recording of not just the songs but the stories in between; I truly hope that this will happen one day. Even better if they can make vinyl copies too!
A few surprise things from this concert which I didn’t know I needed in my life but now truly believe I cannot live without:
- Stravinsky/Beethoven/Chuck Berry mashups
- Chuck Berry on a violin (trust me, mind blowing)
- Jazz Dua Lipa
- “Bad Moon Rising” but sung with a menacing tone
It seems that at the end of these concerts I’m consistently finding myself lost for words; they’re such an incredible experience and I find myself wanting to relive them over and over again. I was smiling from start to finish at The Golden Record, and I truly think anyone can find joy in a theatrical concert like this. The Golden Record runs at Soulpepper Theatre until November 20th so get your tickets ASAP! You won’t regret it! For more information and tickets, visit: Soulpepper Theatre – Plays, Concerts & Musicals
PHOTO BY BARRY MCCLUSKY