When I saw the title of this show, my first thought was who is Jacques Brel? Well, now I know that he is a fabulous Brussels-born composer who lived from 1929 to 1978, and I'm sorry I didn't make his acquaintance sooner. The show (notice how I'm avoiding calling it a play, for although it is theatrical in nature, it is really a showcase of Brel's songs without dialogue or storyline) is a wonderful introduction to this composer's songs which all tell amazing stories. The four performers (Cliff LeJeune, Troy Adams, Anna Hurshman and Ann Doyle) complement each other beautifully in voice and physicality, and do a marvellous job expressing the gamut of emotions from horror to suffering to joy. Add a top-notch pit band, simple, expressive lighting and charming, clever costumes and you have a show that is très merveilleux.
To August 13, Chester Playhouse, 22 Pleasant Street, Chester, 8pm (July 30 2pm), 800-363-7529, chesterplayhouse.ca