Review Chuck & Albert
by Peggy Miles
Whether it’s energy or energie, Chuck & Albert have it. Whatever energy elixir Chuck & Albert are tapping, I want some. And if the dynamic duo ever decided to bottle it, they would never be able to keep up with demand.
If you’re an Islander, you’re probably familiar with these Acadian performers who serve up music, dance and comedy to enthusiastic audiences on a regular basis. And if you’re from away, attending a Chuck & Albert show is sure to be unlike anything you’ve ever witnessed before.
Chuck & Albert are performing this summer at the Harbourfront Theatre in Summerside. If you go, you’ll forget you’ve purchased tickets in order to attend, and instead feel like you’ve been sent a personal invitation by your quirky Acadian buddies Chuck & Albert, to join the rest of their neighbours and friends for a social evening of laughter and cheer.
They have a visual uniqueness and a multitude of highly animated facial expressions. Their bodies that bend with ease to the music and the intensity level is evident as sweat drips down their faces. The show never drags and feels like a continuous ferris wheel of entertainment.
The duo has a commanding presence on stage, but interacts with the audience in such a way that everyone feels right at home. In fact, it’s the audience participation that makes a Chuck & Albert performance really special.
I enjoyed the ‘C’est What’ part of the show, where the duo sets a comment box in the lobby during intermission and the audience is invited to submit questions, which are answered in the second half of the show. Whether the query is ‘Why are there skunks on PEI?’ or ‘Can you sing any songs in English?’, the guys find a witty way to answer and get a laugh from the crowd.
And what could have been a routine part of the show in which the audience is asked where they hail from, was instead made into an amusing display of down home humour.
The flexibility of these guys is incredible. At one point Albert jumped on top of Chuck’s shoulders, and the two proceeded to weave their way through the audience, providing a step dancing and fiddling demonstration all at the same time.
Their repertoire of instruments includes guitar, fiddle, the spoons, harmonica, saw, and various household items which were used as percussion instruments.
Although all of their songs are performed in French, they are introduced in both official languages. This also applies to story-telling and interactions with the audience. This is done in such a smooth transitional way, that whatever language an audience member speaks, they will easily understand and appreciate the show’s content.
There is a sense of anticipation throughout the entire performance. The duo is skilled at what they do, well-rehearsed and rarely misses a beat. Catch upcoming performances from Chuck & Albert on July 28 and August 4 and 18.