Nos Incontournables at the Salle Albert-Rousseau, Quebec City

Nos Incontournables at the Salle Albert-Rousseau, Quebec City

By Daydree Vendette

Nos Incontournables is a feel-good show that is meant to cash-in on nostalgia. The show is based on the record of the same name and both the show and the record are an hommage to Roger Whittaker and Sweet People.

Roger Whittaker had a surprisingly long career beginning in the 1960’s and lasting until his death in the mid 2000’s, and Sweet People have been popular working from the 1970’s on.

The singers included Paul Daraîche, Laurence Jalbert, Mario Pelchat, Natasha St-Pier, Cindy Daniel, Manon Séguin and Christian Marc Gendron. These players also cash-in on a fair bit of nostalgia for their past successes. While all successful, most of them knew their biggest successes years ago.

All that being said, the amount of talent up on the stage defied my expectations since I had not seen most of the singers live before. 

The show was introduced by Manon Séguin and Christian Marc Gendron with a song and comedic banter. Their energy and positivism set the tone for the whole show. This initial positive mood sustained the show through it’s more emotional and sad moments, namely Mario Pelchat’s rendition of “Une Rose pour Isabelle” which he sang to honour a loved one, and garnered a standing ovation. Manon Séguin’s interpretation of “Mamy Blue” sung for her mother, was another heartfelt performance that pulled on the heartstrings.

The singers played backup singer for each other during the show and introduced the following artists and songs. This made the show all the more interesting because of the dynamics between the players. Those moments of tension were most evident through the actions of Natasha St-Pier. Once during the show she told the audience that despite all of her success it was still an honour to sing with people she admired as a child. The need to set herself apart from the others was also felt from the way that most of her interactions were limited to banter with Mario Pelchat.

It was a little cringeworthy but incredibly entertaining. I think that most people noticed and brushed it off. In some ways, this type of attempt to set herself apart has become a part of St-Pier’s brand.

Sometimes this type of tension is beneficial to group interactions and binds the group closer together. I can only hope that the awkwardness was left onstage and that everyone was incredibly friendly offstage.

The show was well constructed and included a blue period which included the previously mentioned, “Mamy Blue” sung by Manon Séguin, “Mon Pays Bleu” sung by Natasha St-Pier, “Les Yeux Bleu” by Cindy Daniel and “River Blue” sung by Laurence Jalbert. Hearing Manon Séguin and Cindy Daniel live was a revelation.

The command of their voices was impressive and both women are able to relay emotion in impressive ways. Cindy Daniel was pregnant and sang both sitting and standing at different times during the show but her participation felt understandably restrained. I felt that Natasha St-Pier held back in her singing, as though the choice of songs did not show her full range.

I am going to cop to bias because I connected most to the women on stage nearest to my age. Chrisitan Marc Gendron, Paul Daraîche and Mario Pelchat and Laurence Jalbert all contributed amazing songs to the show and Christian Marc Gendron showed off his amazing talent at the piano throughout. Not one person could be said to be out of place. It was truly an ensemble that worked.

By gaging audience response, it is very clear to see that Mario Pelchat was the main attraction for most people.

Laurence Jalbert and Paul Daraîche also drew a lot of appreciation throughout the show. I think that the appeal and success of the the show is that many age groups are represented and the equal number of men and women in the ensemble created a nice balance.

Nos Incontournables was presented at the Salle Albert Rouseau on March 26 from 20h to 23h. Alain Morisod and Sweet People will be on stage at the Salle Albert Rousseau in May 2019.

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Categories: Arts & Culture, Reviews

About Author

Daydree Vendette

Daydree Vendette is passionate about all things that spread good vibes like animals, yoga, her rock collection, vegan food and creative expression in all forms. She has a master’s degree in literature and is a nerd searching for a field of study to latch onto next. She works as a technical writer and translator while pursuing other creative projects. She should travel more.

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