Fisherman's Boy an enjoyable show
Stephenville Theatre Festival 2009 review
July 10, 2009
Musical Director: David Bennett
Stage Director: Eva Moore
Cast: Roy Berti, Shane Blanchard, Trevor Hinks, Ryan Tiller
When putting off a
tribute show to a great musical talent - one runs the risk of not only
making buffoons of themselves, but also the legacy of the person being
Fortunately, Stephenville Theatre Festival sidestepped this caveat
entirely with Fisherman's Boy and the quartet honouring Dick Nolan was
nothing short of outstanding.
Mr. Nolan was born in Corner Brook in 1939 - and was performing on local
radio in his early teens and went on to find fame on the national and
international music scene with his blend of traditional Newfoundland and
country tunes. Mr. Nolan was the first Newfoundlander to be nominated for
a Juno; to perform at the Grand Ole Opry; and to have gold and platinum
records. He passed away in 2005, having recorded more than 40 albums,
which collectively sold in excess of one million copies.
With a combination of powerful vocals and a natural rapport with the
audience, lead singer and guitarist Trevor Hinks paid fine respect to Dick
Nolan's legacy. His ease and confidence didn't seem to waver; rather, he
seemed to get better with each song. Ballads and ditties - and even Johnny
Cash tunes, which Nolan himself covered - were spot on.
Joining Hinks were Ryan Tiller, Shane Blanchard and Roy Berti. The four
looked to be having a grand time performing together, which added to the
show's overall feel-good atmosphere. Tiller was impressive on the
accordion, mandolin and electric guitar; as was Blanchard on bass and
backing vocals. As the show was set in Stage II, it was a treat to have a
close-up view of Berti on the drums.
As an aside, this is the first STF season for Hinks, Tiller and Blanchard.
Berti is the festival's ranking veteran, and one can only hope that during
this anniversary season, an audience will rise to their feet to cheer on
this musician who has played with and mentored countless other performers
over the years.
The set was spare, save for a few choice traditional Newfoundland touches.
Costumes were in the same vein, but Blanchard's shirt was clearly
ill-fitting. Overall, the sound was loud and clear. Unfortunately, the
lighting was a bit off at times, with the performers' faces occasionally
masked in unnatural hues.
Like STF's other tribute shows, there was no acting per se in this
production. But for an enjoyable evening of traditional music, this is a
show to definitely see. Fisherman's Boy is scheduled to play again on July
31, with a supper-show performance on Aug. 4.