With its opening performance already sold out, Hamilton Theatre Project’s production of Adam Gwon’s Ordinary Days runs over two weekends starting January 29th at The Staircase Theatre. This will be the Hamilton premiere of the 2008 musical comedy, described as a ‘moving and intimate piece of contemporary theatre.’
The story centres around four big city dwellers searching for meaning and happiness in their lives amid feelings of love, loss, and loneliness. ‘Jason’ and ‘Claire’ are trying to navigate a romantic relationship, while chance circumstances bring ‘Deb’ and ‘Warren’ into each other’s lives. It’s about finding beauty in the everyday, and of ‘appreciating simple things in complex places.’
Directed by Hamilton’s Luke Brown and with musical direction by Ancaster’s Kate Boose, Ordinary Days is performed by a local quartet of performers that includes Vicktoria Adam, Jeff Giles, Amber Mills and Nick Settimi.
“The play is sweet with a tightly wrapped statement about how as much as we want each day to be something exciting, sometimes the days when nothing happens can be the most exciting,” says Settimi.
He plays Warren, a struggling artist who finds Deb’s lost thesis notebook. “As a performer, a lot of what Warren asks in the play I have asked myself in real life,” Nick explains. “How to fit in in an ever changing industry; keeping myself known when new artists are being found everyday; and, in the end, what do I want to have remembered about me?”
Nick Settimi is a versatile actor with a raft of TV, film, and theatre credits to his name, many with Drayton Entertainment and Theatre Aquarius. He’s a big fan of a fabulous villain or a smart and irreverent story. “My favourite role...was ‘Ursula’ in The Little Mermaid. I was the first man in Canada to get to play the role, so that was super exciting and nerve wracking as well.” His dream role would be ‘Elder Cunningham’ in The Book Of Mormon.
Settimi says that Ordinary Days is not your ‘stereotypical musical theatre.’ The writer and composer has created “a very challenging score for four people to sing,” he explains. “Gwon’s melodies are very unique and because it’s an only two instrument show (voice and piano), he has to fill in the sound more with the piano; we may have to sing something completely different that isn’t even hinted at in the score. He also loves to play with different dynamics and unconventional tempo changes, which to the ear keeps you very engaged and interested in what will come next.”
He lauds Kate Boose, “our incredibly talented and gracious musical director [who] will stun the audience with how beautifully she has mastered this complex score.” Additionally, Settimi says that the staging of show has required a lot of careful decision making by director Luke Brown to channel the audience’s focus toward the unfolding action while the other actors remain onstage at the same time.
Nick Settimi says preparations for the run have been challenging yet rewarding for the entire cast. “With four people in the show and only a piano as our source of music, it is super intimidating and extremely vulnerable as performers. In bigger musicals you have ensembles, secondary and third storylines to follow, and downtime off stage to rest before going back out, but this show is only us onstage the whole time for 82 minutes straight with all [the] music.” He says finding the right balance of energy and stamina is crucial to sustaining the performance over the long haul.
“Dynamically, it’s very exciting. It’s what I like to call a cannon show! You get blasted out right at the start with the opening number, and then it goes and does not stop till the end.”
New York reviewer Adam Feldman has called Ordinary Days ‘heartfelt and clever,’ with lyrics The New York Times termed ‘crisp, fluid, and funny.’ The Dramatist has previously named its composer and playwright, Adam Gwon, one of ‘50 to Watch,’ and his musicals have now been seen on six continents, translated into at least as many different languages.
“Ordinary Days has a simple and universal message that I think everyone can resonate with,” Settimi says. “Whether it’s love, loss, or figuring out what your purpose is, you can connect with one or multiple stories that will be shared in this beautiful show.” V
January 29-30 &
February 6, 7 & 8 at 8 PM
February 8, 2 PM Matinee
/ January 29: SOLD OUT!
The Staircase Theatre, Bright Room
27 Dundurn St. North, Hamilton
Tickets: $25 (Adult); $20 (Student/Senior/Arts Worker)
Cash at the door or buy online: hamiltonchoirproject.com or eventbrite.ca
For information: (289) 937-2552, firstname.lastname@example.org