HicksBiz Blog

This Romeo and Juliet sets The Citadel ablaze - Review by Graham Hicks

This Romeo and Juliet sets The Citadel ablaze Graham Hicks review Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare Citadel Theatre – Maclab Stage Edmonton, Alberta, Canada April 5 – 27, 2014 Ticket information The opening to the Tom Wood-directed Romeo and Juliet will stay emblazoned in my memory as long as there is memory upon which to be emblazoned. Eighteen cast members on the stage (plus nine teen apprentices) are fighting, some with sword-play in the initial Montague/Capulet brawl. It’s a swirling galaxy of choreography, initially in slow motion to pounding lights and music, then shifting gears to real life speed, finally, slowly, winding down as the elders of the two warring houses and the rulers show up to sort things out. I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for big fight scenes, especially when the actors are in the prime of their athletic lives as these kids on either side of 30 are – rolling and flipping and dancing with those swords, up ‘n’ over ... Read the rest of entry »

The Unrevealed Potential of Conni Massing's Invention of Romance - review by Graham Hicks

Graham Hicks review The Invention of Romance By Conni Massing - world premiere Workshop West Theatre La Cite Francophone, 8627 91 St. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Through April 13, 2014 Playwright Conni Massing can pull in an audience all by herself, because the turf she occupies is so darned honest, and sweet, and insightful … and pure prairie-grown cracked wheat. Her writing stays comfortably within memories and stories of Central Alberta, of small-town incidents, of people who leave for the big-cities but the country never quite leaves them. Just look at the titles – The Aberhart Summer, Jake and the Kid, Gravel Run, Dustsluts, Homesick … She’s the reason I made my first trek to a Workshop West Theatre production in many a year, for the premiere of her latest play, The Invention of Romance, playing in La Cite Francophones’s performing space through April 13. The play I had no trouble with, though it’s a tad loose and will be better a much better scri ... Read the rest of entry »

How wondrous the Citadel Theatre's production of Mary Poppins - review by Graham Hicks

Mary Poppins A musical based on the stories of P.L. Travers and the Walt Disney Film Shoctor Stage, Citadel Theatre, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada through April 20, 2014 Ticket information. (Buy quickly. This show is going to sell out, especially at the low-end $35 rate) Review by GRAHAM HICKS Posted at www.hicksbiz.com March 21, 2014 780 707 6379 graham.hicks@hicksbiz.com @hicksonsix How wondrous the Citadel/Theatre Calgary stage production of Mary Poppins (The Broadway Musical)! How mysterious that Mary Poppins, despite the 1964 Walt Disney movie, the West End/Broadway production of 10 years ago, and at least five songs that have burned their way into the memories of most of the English-speaking world, remains a lesser figure in the pantheon of favourite children’s fictional characters. At least that’s the case in North America. The original book of Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers, didn’t travel well across the Atlantic, and the entire Mary Poppins’ series (eight books) made ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Chocolate, sweet chocolate - Edmonton Sun, Feb. 11, 2014

Gentlemen, the hours are counting down to the dreaded V-Day. It’s not that we don’t love you, ladies. We truly do. But we are men. We’re practical, unromantic. We are incapable of creating wondrous, exciting Valentine Day’s experiences every year, year after year. In fact, we dread Valentine’s. No matter how you pretend otherwise, we know we are judged. If he really loved me, he’d surprise me with a spa weekend at the Fairmont Banff Springs, or a week in Hawaii. If he really loved me, he’d do more than buy a box of Turtles and cellophane-wrapped roses from the grocery store … which he does every year! Gentlemen, I offer a low-cost (all things considered) solution. Buy her top quality, hand-crafted chocolates. Chocolates to drool over. Chocolates so good that you stretch out the pleasure. Only one a week! This past weekend, I earned major Valentine’s brownie points with Maria. I booked a chocolate-making session at Peter Jo ... Read the rest of entry »

HICKS ON BIZ: No need for condo-panic in Edmonton - published Edmonton Sun, Feb. 7, 2014

No, the sky is not falling. Last August, Hicks on Biz reported a high-rise condo tower boom happening in the city, 27 high-rise proposals in design, permitting or construction stages, most of them over 20 stories, 10 of them north of 30 stories. But in January, construction of the Glenora Skyline at Stony Plain and 142 Street came to a crashing halt. Of the four towers, only a few floors of poured concrete from the first had emerged. Meanwhile, rumours have abounded of temporary stoppages in the construction of other downtown condo towers. As for office towers, Edmonton commercial realtors were suggesting before Christmas that the city was ready for another office tower or two. Now, suddenly, a few analysts are proclaiming Edmonton to still be awash in office space! Relax. First of all, as a rule of thumb, only 25% to 40% of “proposed” condo towers actually ever get built, and those will be by highly experienced, reputable builders with good-quality financing. There’s a ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks Weekly Dish: The Chopped Leaf a healthy choice - originally published Edmonton Sun FEb. 4, 2014

The Chopped Leaf Commerce Place, main floor 10102 Jasper Ave. 780 757 5323 www.choppedleaf.com Food: 3.5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3 of 5 Suns Service: 3.4 of 5 suns Lunch for two, $16 to $24. What a relief, to see a truly healthy, fast-food restaurant — offering mostly salads, with soups, brown rice bowls, quesadillas and salad rolls on the side — without making a big, hairy, self-righteous deal out of it! The Chopped Leaf, on the main floor of the downtown Commerce Place, doesn’t make pompous claims about being organic, or vegetarian (it’s not), has no trace of a ‘healthier than thou’ attitude. It doesn’t make outlandish health claims … it just happens to serve excellent healthy food, traits all too rare on the deep-fry circuit. Given its bounteous servings, the Chopped Leaf is reasonably cheap. Eleven to $12 gets you a full salad with a protein — i.e. a handful of chicken chunks, or shrimp or tuna. Eight bucks gives you the s ... Read the rest of entry »

Spending an hour in conversation with CHED's J'Lyn Nye

J'Lyn Nye of the 630 CHED Afternoon News show in Edmonton was kind enough to invite me on her show (while co-host Mark Scholz was on holiday) Feb. 13  for an hour-long chat about my 18 years of covering the city as the Edmonton Sun's "Hicks on Six" columnist.  We had a wonderful wide-ranging conversation about Edmonton, charities and the transition into the less-hectic life of semi-retirement, if you can call it that! Nye, to my mind, is one of the best interviewers in town. She should have a column! 

Mack & Cheese podcast is worth 20 minutes of your listening time

I keep forgetting to mention - on the Hicks on Six blog - whenever Mack Male (Mastermaq) get together to record our weekly (more or less) podcast  Mack & Cheese.  It's a lively 15 to 20 minute chat about anything and everything Edmonton between the young pup - that's Mack - and the old dog - that's me, the Cheese in Mack and Cheese.

Of late we've talked about Mayor Don Iveson's promising abilities as a smooth political operator, about what the heck will happen to Northlands once the Oilers/Oil Kings depart from Rexall Place, about that on-going bugaboo of co-ordinated regional governance when there's 24 municipalities at the table.

It's reasonably enteraining!


Entrepreneurs and senior business managers, this column is for you. It’s not about money per se, it’s about who is buying your goods/services, what they are buying, and how they are thinking. Last week, business consulting company Deloitte Canada brought its director of research Duncan Stewart to town to deliver his annual Deloitte’s TMT (Technology, Media and Telecommunications) predictions for 2014. On the same day, Ipsos market research/polling company CEO Darrell Bricker delivered the keynote address at the Alberta’s Industrial Heartland annual Stakeholder Update. Bricker’s talk was about the “new” Canada, which, ironically, had the undivided attention of the “old” Canada (regional municipal politicans, 90% white, over 55 and male) in his audience. There’s a thread here, an obvious one, a cliché fast moving to reality. If your organization doesn’t adapt to the “new” Canada, it will die. The new Canada&rs ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: The Parlour offers quality for everyone BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2014

The Parlour Italian Kitchen & Bar 10334 Capital Blvd. (108 St.) 780-990-0404 Centuryhospitality.com/parlour Food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 4.5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two, excluding beverages, tips and taxes: Basic, $35; loaded, $80 Edmonton’s Century Hospitality restaurant group (Century Grill, Lux Steakhouse, Hundred, MRK and two Delux Burger Bars) knows the secret to its undeniable success. It’s so smart. It deliberately stays about 30% behind the culinary sophistication of high-end bistros like The Red Ox Inn or the Three Boars, knowing those outlets attract a very small market of high-end discerning foodies. But the Century group venture far beyond the predictable conventions of the big-box chain restaurants. It presents, and presents well, something for everybody at the table — from the I-know-what-I-like crowd to the adventurous foodie out with friends and family. Even the tried ‘n’ true — pizza, steak, hambur ... Read the rest of entry »
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