Two decades following the debut of the award-winning theatre adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s “The Overcoat”, Tapestry Opera, Canadian Stage and Vancouver Opera have created a delightful reimagining of the classic tale with “The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring” last night at the Bluma Appel Theatre in Toronto.
In a tour-de-force performance by baritone Geoffrey Sirett (Arabella, H.M.S. Pinafore, Seven Deadly Sins), the accomplished Canadian actor/singer elegantly showcased his strong stage presence, and mastery of physical acting, which made him a standout in this updated telling of the classic 1842 tale.
The story follows the life of Akakiy Akakiyevich (played by Sirett), a number-obsessed, low-level employee whose life is in shambles after being robbed of his elegant new overcoat following a dinner party. What follows is a journey into a world full of comedy, tragedy, and even a dash of surrealism, with Akakiyevich on the brink of madness as he sets out on a mission to find meaningfulness in his otherwise dull existence.
With an all-star supporting cast that includes Dora Award-winning tenor Asitha Tennekoon (Manager), baritone Peter McGillivray (Head of Department); mezzo-soprano Andrea Ludwig (Landlady); soprano Meher Pavri (Secretary); tenor Keith Klassen (Mokiya); baritone Aaron Durand (Sossiya); bass Giles Tomkins (Khodozat); and mezzo-soprano Erica Iris along with sopranos Caitlin Wood and Magali Simard-Galdés as the Mad Chorus, “The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring” has perfectly blurred the line between opera and musical theatre that this genre-bending adaptation has all the ingredients to be a sure-fire hit.
“The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring” continues its run at the Bluma Appel Theatre until April 14th before heading west for Vancouver Opera’s second annual Vancouver Opera Festival on April 28th and 29th as well as from May 4th and 9th-12th.