Beautiful Scars at Aquarius

We parked the car and headed to Theatre Aquarius to see Beautiful Scars, the Tom Wilson musical. A woman passing by stopped to talk.

“You’re one of those Theatre Aquarius types.” (I think it was my new hat.) “You’re going to see Tom Wilson.” I said yes. We chatted.

“Tom Wilson is the most honest person in Hamilton.” She smiled at us and walked away.

The production was impressive. The staging, the music, the acting, the singing. (For more detail, see Gary Smith’s review in the Spectator.)

Ronald Weihs, Judith Sandiford and Ryan Sero at Beautiful Scars
Ronald Weihs, Judith Sandiford and Ryan Sero at Beautiful Scars

What a breakthrough this production is, for Theatre Aquarius and for Hamilton! A brand new, original, mainstage production deeply embedded in our culture and our city.

Thanks to Mary Francis Moore, the Artistic Director. It took guts, but it took a lot more. She basically had one chance to pull this off. If it had not worked, it would be back to safe musicals and domestic comedies.

So she chose Tom Wilson, Hamilton’s local hero, how he discovered his aboriginal roots and became Tom Wilson Tehoháhake. It was an inspired choice.

We were invited to the Community Night preview, another brilliant idea: to reach out beyond the subscription list to build a new audience. Sitting beside us, by himself, was a quiet genteman. We chatted. (I chat quite a lot. I learned it from my mother.)

He told us he was Métis. Lived in a lovely, quiet spot by a lake, where he fished for bass, pike, pickerel. This was his first time in a theatre. He loved the show.

Everyone who came to the show was invited to have their picture taken (see above). How brilliant! How better to make new audience feel at home?

At GritLit, the previous weekend, we heard a talk between Mary Francis Moore and Tom Wilson. What was clear was the depth of commitment by both of them to developing the structure, the script, the music.

I guess it’s time I start going to Theatre Aquarius.


6 responses to “Beautiful Scars at Aquarius”

  1. Thank you Ron, it’s great to see your musings again. ❤️

    1. Thanks, Nina. I’m going to try to keep it up.

    2. Donna Reid Avatar
      Donna Reid

      Love to hear an update from you both.
      I saw Tom’s musical on Sunday. It was uplifting, sad, restorative & wonderful.
      Hope to run into you soon.

  2. Eric Ladelpha Avatar
    Eric Ladelpha

    Great to see and “hear” from you two!

  3. Thanks, Eric. Good to hear from you.

  4. Brian Morton Avatar
    Brian Morton

    I’ve been fortunate enough to be on there opening night invite list for the past year and a half. So I’ve seen quite a lot of Theatre Aquarius’ work now.

    Not to put down the people who ran the theater before, but there has been an incredible sea change since Mary Frances Moore took over operating the theater company. I freely admit on the huge fan of what they are doing. And the commitment to the First Nations, is really admirable. At least one show a season now explorers that history and Legacy.

    Nice to see you writing again Ron, keep at it!

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