“Because the night”: the life and work

«Parce que la nuit»: la vie et l’oeuvre

Photo: Yanick MacDonald
If we had not remember only one Patti, this would surely be the one that plays (and sings!) Céline Bonnier, with a happy mixture of conviction and self-condence.

The heavy task to make justice in a single show to an artist as diverse as Patti Smith. It is probably for this reason that Brigitte Haentjens will use the term “exploration” when it comes time to qualify Because the night, his tribute to the musician, singer, writer, painter and american photographer.

Explore, browse, observe, discover and examine, and finally to select, retain, and retrench ; in sum, to interpret. Clearly, this is what the artistic director of Sibyllines is given the time to accomplish.

The existence of Patti Smith being rich enough to support many visions, tolerate many readings of the events and of the intentions, emotions and decisions, the creator has desired to live all of this on stage. To embrace the paradox of living, translate the extraordinary complexity of this woman born in 1946, in other words, draw from life as well as at work, take to the intimate at the same time as the collective, intertwining as it should be the fates and times, Brigitte Haentjens has chosen to multiply the character, to capitalize on this choralité she has the secret.

If we had not remember only one Patti, this would surely be the one that plays (and sings !) Céline Bonnier, with a happy mixture of conviction and self-condence. Alex Bergeron, Dany Boudreault, Martin Dubreuil and Leni Parker, they embody, in addition to the key characters of an existence that is not banal, of the vital facets of the heroine, its strengths and its frailties, its aspirations and its fears, its impulses and its pudeurs, his avant-gardism and his childishness.

Borrowing much to Just Kids, a book-length biography published in 2010, but also to M Train, released in 2015, the show sets the stage for the crucial moments, pivotal encounters, but also, and perhaps even more importantly, the losses.

These are friends that wind prevails, wrote Rutebeuf. Patti conte its dead, makes tribute to the missing. There is first of all this child, abandoned at birth. Follow the farewell to Robert Mapplethorpe, Sam Shepard, Fred “Sonic” Smith, her husband, and then at Todd, his brother. Most often, it is music that the woman famous those she loved, those who nourished his art over the decades.

Thus, it grants during these two hours a prominent place in the song (and therefore to the English language), may be at the expense of the drama of a show that takes the time, for better and for worse, like a rock concert.

Because the night

Text : Dany Boudreault and Brigitte Haentjens, with the collaboration of Celine Bonnier. Directed by : Brigitte Haentjens. A co-production of Space Go, Sibyllines, and the French Theatre at the national Arts Centre. At Espace Go until march 31.

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