At 40, Rising Tide Theatre reminisces with Revue's Top 10

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At 40, Rising Tide Theatre reminisces with Revue's Top 10

At 40, Rising Tide Theatre reminisces with Revue's Top 10

Rising Tide Theatre is celebrating 40 years of productions, and Revue has been around for 34 of them.

No politician is safe from the scrutiny and biting humour the political satire serves up on stages around the province. 

In honour of Revue 2017, which is touring touring Jan. 12-Feb. 23, here are 10 standout memories, as recounted by Donna Butt, artistic and executive director, and Rick Boland, an actor who has been with the company for 30 years.

1. The best joke 

It's a Henry Gibson takeoff, according to Boland.

"Whose woods these are I do not know, I think I'll cut a truckload though."

2. The worst joke

There isn't really just one of these, said Butt.

"There have been about 40 minutes of material cut out of every Revue after opening night, so it's kind of a long list."

3. Who do you know?

They are household names now, but the Once, Mark Critch, Johnny Harris, Petrina Bromley, Susan Kent and others got their start at Rising Tide Theatre.

4. Musical favourites 

It's the tunes that have really shone over the years, according to Butt.

"Often there is something in the year that is too important to be left out that needs to be said and sometimes we will do that through music, so for me I Don't Hear Repentance, I Don't Hear Regret, which was a song around Mount Cashel, was really a powerful song," she said.

5. Favourite premier 

"I think because he was so much a part of our early days with Revue, Brian Peckford because he was capable of anything, you know everything out of his mouth was a story," said Butt, about who provided the best fodder.

6. Double double toil and...

"Lately, with the whole gender thing, I sort of had a bit of blowback for wearing a dress and calling myself transgendered," Boland said on what has sparked backlash.

7. Quick thinking 

The quickest addition to a show was DarkNL — and it was a nightmare.

"We were without [power] for the last part of rehearsing the show, but of course it was the biggest story of the year, so we had to come back and write that story," Butt said.

8. Evolution over the years 

"First of all, it was directly a news show, then it went into kind of themed shows where we [told] everything in bedtime stories, fairytales, or stories from the Bible adapted," Boland said.  

9. The best years 

"Unfortunately, what makes a good year for Revue is political disaster," Butt said.

"The year of the moratorium, for example, was a really good year for Revue … The year there was a huge NAPE strike that practically shut the place down, those things are really powerful things for us to work with."

10. A memory from the first Revue in 1984

"All the battles we had backstage to get the scenes in, everybody fighting for what they believed in," Butt said.

"But then I remember the laughter."