White Rabbit – Songs for a New World

Fringe Festival is upon us once again. This year, however, I didn’t make plans to buy a pass. So, I’m getting to whatever shows I can. Yesterday, I took in the shows that were going on at One88, Venue 29. One88 is hosting 4 shows. All four were playing yesterday, and I started off with Songs for A New World by White Rabbit Productions.

White Rabbit Songs for a new world
Wall projection for Songs for a New World

Show time and ticket information for Songs for a New World 

White Rabbit Productions

White Rabbit Productions are celebrating their ninth season. Headed by husband and wife team of Jeffrey and Annette Kohut. From their website:

White Rabbit Productions is a project based arts organization in Winnipeg. Our mandate is to serve the community by providing opportunities for the creation of new works and development of artistic skills.

WRP does this by;

  • Creating works of music, theatre and multimedia.
  • Collaborating with artists and groups on the development of new works.
  • Providing training and mentorship for Winnipeg artists.

How the production of Songs for a New World came about is told in the White Rabbit blog, by Chelsea Rankin, one of the performers.

Songs for a New World

From the Fringe Advertisement:

Written by Tony Award winning lyricist and composer Jason Robert Brown, Songs For A New World is a contemporary song cycle about a new world that continually calls for us to follow.

Four Winnipeg performers play an array of characters facing that “one moment” – that moment before it all becomes clear. The moment of decision.
Will you back down and turn away?
Or will you charge through and fly to a new world of possibility?

The show proceeds to examine these questions through a series of vignettes. Some, such as Mrs. Claus about to give Santa the boot are funny. Others, such as a Spanish Captain worried about the fate of his ship’s crew are quite poignant. While the show emphasizes the “new world of possibility,” it also shows that the new may not necessarily be better than what is left behind.

This is the sort of show that will leave you thinking about it’s themes long after it’s over. It may even make you reflect on the choices you make, or that you chose not to make. This is a good show to go and see as a group, and then have a conversation over a drink later.

New World Performers

The cast of James Magnus-Johnson, Paula Potosky, Wes Rambo, and Chelsea Rankin is excellent. Each performer brings a unique style to their role. Yet, there are no weak links among this group. Added to, this when they sing together no voice is lost, but each voice blends with the others.

One of the challenges of this show is that the performers are called to take on several characters. While thematically linked, each character is a separate individual. All the performers do a great job of inhabiting these different characters and bringing each to life.

Added to this, Rachel Cameron (who is also music director) on piano, and Brendan Thompson on drums provide very solid support throughout.

White Rabbit’s Songs for a New World qualifies as a must see Fringe Show. Tickets are going fast. Make sure you get one before the end of next week.


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