ON THE SCENE
What: Day after day
Or: The Roxy Theater, 2657 Quadra Street.
When: from Tuesday August 3 to Sunday August 8
Tickets: $ 30 from bluebridgetheatre.ca
Linda Kash got a call from director Brian Richmond several months ago, who told her he had an intriguing job offer for the stage and film veteran.
Richmond wanted the Montreal native to play Doris Day in a solo play that premiered at the Blue Bridge Repertory Theater in Victoria, and asked if she was available in early August for all eight performances.
After checking his schedule, Kash couldn’t believe the turn of events. “Before Brian asked me to do it, I had already rented an Airbnb from Ucluelet, so I was planning to come here with my kids anyway,” Kash said Tuesday from a hotel room in Victoria. “It was really strange.”
Kash’s vacation schedule was such that preparation for the role was going to be rushed, but she gladly accepted the offer to star in Day After Day. Fate intervened once again, during one of his trips between Victoria and Ucluelet for rehearsals. “I didn’t know there was a [highway] pass closed from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., for blasting. I got there at 1pm, so for two hours I waited for 100 cars to pass this pass. Lucky for me, I had 1,000 lines to learn so I was fine. It was fortuitous. “
Kash’s debut as an iconic actor and singer arrives Tuesday at the Roxy Theater, where Day After Day runs through August 8. Blue Bridge will end its 2020/2021 season upside down with this gem from Victoria playwright Sarah Murphy, who uses a fictionalized account of a concert given by Day in the summer of 1968 as the focal point of the action.
During the concert, Kash takes audiences through parts of Day’s incredible 80-year career, and all the emotional ups and downs she’s endured.
“There is more to Doris Day than you might think,” she said. “When you face something like this, it’s a personal challenge. It’s a bit like climbing Everest.
Kash has plenty of experience in the one-woman performance arena, including a tour in 2019 as sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer in a Toronto production of Becoming Dr. Ruth. This is one of many singular performances on her resume, including her most famous role – that of an angel in the television commercials for Kraft’s Philadelphia Cream Cheese.
She played the character with mischievous glee from 1994 to 2011, before passing her wings to a new actor. The Angel of Cream Cheese is the role she’s best known for, but other appearances stand out, most notably her appearance in Seinfeld, in which she played George Costanza’s girlfriend. It was during the episode of The Lip Reader, starring Oscar winner Marlee Matlin, that Kash delivered one of the show’s most notable punchlines, the now infamous joke, “It’s not you, it’s me. “
As the daughter of Canadian opera singer Maureen Forrester, Kash has always been one step ahead of her contemporaries, especially when it comes to music-related roles. Growing up, she was surrounded by music and, under the influence of her mother, grew to embrace the unpredictability of life on stage and in front of a camera, much the same way Day did.
“This piece of history that I identify with so much,” Kash said.
She did not attempt to imitate Day’s vocals, whose exceptional range, timbre and vibrato would have been difficult to reproduce. She focused on giving audiences “a feel” for what the 2019-deceased Cincinnati product looked like on stage beyond its iconic hits, Que Sera, Sera and Sentimental Journey.
“More than anything, the songs she sang were absolutely beautiful. It is to pay homage to an era of music as much as to his way of singing.
Day’s reputation is immense, which makes for good theater. In turn, she was among the top-grossing singers and actors in the entertainment business and won an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in 1960. She also won two Grammy nominations, before receiving the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.
However, not everything has been accepted. Day After Day ended in 1969, before some of its well-known activities, such as its animal activism, were adopted by the entertainment industry as a whole. But audiences will walk away with a sense of who she was as a person, not just as a performer, Kash said.
“A lot of people in this rung, we think we know who they are, and we really don’t know. She was the highest grossing artist in the world for 10 years, before losing it all. It’s crazy to think about what she lost and what she finally got back. She was gentle and carefree, and probably very pleasant, but she paid for this image.
© Colonist of the time of copyright