June 4, 2019

The ‘invisible women’ of World War II are celebrated in a stylish new musical at Calgary’s Vertigo Theatre

By: Stephen Hunt 

Title: The Invisible – Agents of Ungentlemanly Warfare
Written by: Book, music and lyrics by Jonathan Christenson
Venue: At the Vertigo Theatre in Calgary

The title of Catalyst Theatre’s muscular new musical – Invisible! Agents! Warfare! – sounds vaguely Marvelesque, and really what’s not to like about that?

The Invisible – Agents of Ungentlemanly Warfare, which had its world premiere Thursday night in Calgary, stirs up echoes of a few of the better recent superhero screen stories, as it tells – in its own uniquely musical theatre vernacular – the story of an Allied squad of fearless, heroic women who drop behind enemy lines during the Second World War in order to sabotage the Nazi war effort.

This show takes a dash of Captain America, a dollop of Agent Carter, and a fistful of Wonder Woman, and adds the sensibility of Bob Fosse, the late, great director of Cabaret.

Well, Bob’s gone – but not, in designer Bretta Gerecke’s sleek and evocative set design, which seemed to take inspiration from that of Cabaret and had me waiting for Joel Gray to slither onstage, forgotten.

In fact, Mr. Fosse’s vision has given rise to a whole new generation of musical theatre makers such as Jonathan Christenson, who wrote the book, lyrics and music to The Invisible – and about 22 other musicals before that, some of which (Nevermore, about young Edgar Allan Poe), have made it all the way from Edmonton, Catalyst Theatre’s home base, to London’s West End and Off-Broadway.

Source: Globe and Mail 

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