Sara Vickruck, Adriana Ravalli, and Kimmy Choi in the Firehall’s 2017 production of Circle Game. The show reinterprets Joni Mitchell’s iconic songs such as “Big Yellow Taxi,” “River,” “California,” and “A Case of You” through the ears and eyes of a new generation, connecting to the politics and world we know today. (Emily Cooper)

Circle Game re-imagines the music of Joni Mitchell in Chilliwack

Circle Game: Reimagining the Music of Joni Mitchell is a new take on the famous artist

Taking 29 songs from Joni Mitchell’s massive discography and reconceptualizing them, Circle Game: Reimagining the Music of Joni Mitchell is an endearing take on the musical influence and continued relevance of a Canadian legend.

On March 14, the Arts Club on Tour is bringing the music of Joni Mitchell to Chilliwack, and showing it through the eyes and ears of a new generation.

The “re-imagining” of Mitchell’s work comes mainly from co-creator and director, Andrew Cohen. His radical rearrangements of Mitchell’s classics give the songs a new sound as he speeds up or slows down the songs, rhythmically altering them and even redistributed the lines amongst multiple voices with innovative harmonies and counterpoints. Co-creator and director Anna Kuman makes his arrangements come to life through her imaginative staging and lively choreography.

As kids, they would listen to Joni vinyls while their parents would sing along, gleefully off-key, wondering what the fuss was about, explained Kuman and Cohen. Upon hearing her music again as young adults, they realized that the themes and images in her music were unlike anything they had heard before.

Nominated for three Jessie Richardson Awards, five Ovation Awards, and was the winner of the 2018 Ovation Award for Outstanding Professional Production and Outstanding Musical Direction, Circle Game is something incredibly special and not to be missed.

Delving deeper into Mitchell’s diverse canon and profound words, they became increasingly aware that this music, though written four or five decades previous, was so much more than simply the sounds of their parents’ generation.

Both those familiar and unfamiliar with Mitchell’s work will be able to relate to the words that remain relevant despite the years, as the cast connects her influential music to the politics and world we know today. Kuman and Cohen believe that anyone can enjoy Circle Game.

“Our hope for both the die-hard Joni fans and those less familiar with her work is that you leave preconceptions at the door and allow yourself to live (or re-live) the messages of her prose in this moment, in 2019, through the mouths of twenty-somethings,” says Kuman.

“We came to view this work as both a window and a mirror. The set, lighting, and wardrobe are predominantly second-hand— re-imagined from their original context, much like the music and lyrics,” says Cohen. “They originated before our time, yet we still feel a sense of ownership or stewardship. This experiment was born from the desire to create a piece that would both bridge a generational divide and posit their unresolved questions in a modern context. Just as Millennials have inherited the problems left to us by earlier generations, so too have we adopted their wisdom, warnings, and witticisms.”

From Mitchell’s iconic “Big Yellow Taxi” to “River” to “California,” Circle Game is a heartfelt ode to the entire catalogue of a Canadian icon. Whether you’re a fan or not, it’s a show that’ll leave you feeling closer to the songs that inspired and defined a generation.

Circle Game: Reimagining the Music of Joni Mitchell is coming to the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on March 14 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets in Zone A are $45 for adults, $42 for seniors and $40 for youths. Tickets in Zone B are $39 and tickets in Zone C are $29. Tickets can be purchased at the Centre Box Office, online at www.chilliwackculturalcentre.ca, or by calling 604-391-SHOW(7469).

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Motorists were ‘driving like their own Indy 500’ before fatal Abbotsford crash, court hears

Family member declares defence request for 90-day jail sentence a ‘joke’

SD 78 approves budget for 2019-2020

No changes to the bottom line, unanimous approval

Chilliwack biologist to speak on climate change at Green Party AGM

Dr. Carin Bondar is an author, adjunct professor and an explorer who has discovered new species

B.C. GAMES: Agassiz speed skater breaks through top 10 three times

Mya Onos competed with top speed skaters in province

World champion SFU Pipe Band comes to Chilliwack

SFU Pipe Band will put on a celebration of culture, music and heritage at Chilliwack Cultural Centre

VIDEO: Illicit drug overdoses killed 981 in B.C. in 2019, down 38%

Chief coroner says figures were down about a third in the province’s fourth year of the opioid crisis

VIDEO: Protesters block tracks in Maple Ridge

West Coast Express train service has been suspended, buses arranged for commuters

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

Man pleads guilty to stabbing woman, off-duty cop outside North Delta elementary school

The suspect, whose name is under a publication ban, faced 10 charges in relation to this incident

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Royals, Elvis, Captain Cook: Hundreds of wax figures find new life in B.C. man’s home

Former director of Victoria’s Royal London Wax Museum still hopes to revive wax figure tourism

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Most Read