FRINGE 2016: Captain Aurora II: A Superhero Musical Sequel

I need to start this review off by being honest about myself in a few ways. The last thing I want to be as a journalist is biased but that's not always possible, so let's put a few cards on the table:

1. I love super hero anything and everything. I don't care how well or poorly it's been done, I'll love it because it's super heroes.

2. I generally dislike musical theatre, especially if it takes itself too seriously.

3. I'm friends with Trevor Barrette, the creator and director of Captain Aurora II: A Superhero Musical Sequel. This may sound like an inexcusable conflict of interests in writing a review about his show, but in my defence, we only became friends after I saw two of his musicals (To Be and Captain Aurora I). In fact, we're friends because I loved both of those musicals so much that I wanted someone so talented and brilliant in my life.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's get started. Captain Aurora II is a brilliant adaptation of an old school style comic book into a piece of musical theatre. It doesn't lose anything in the change of mediums, but it gains everything. All of the heroes, the villains, the universe and everything, including the music, was born from the brilliant mind of Barrette. Let's break it down.

The Music

All original music, and also all live. At the back of the stage sat a trio with a piano, violin and cello. Those three ladies were on point the whole night! Their beautiful playing complimented the show, supporting the singers and always present, but never drowning out any of the plot. To be honest, I kind of forgot the music was live at some point, not because of all of the action was hiding the musicians, but because they were so together that they could have easily been canned. It was awesome.

Every single actor on stage had a beautiful, incredible and powerful voice. I lost count of how many times I got chills throughout the whole show, but it happened during nearly every number, with both the company singing as a whole and with solos and duets. The cast was quite large, so I'm afraid I won't be able to go in depth into how much I loved and appreciated each individual singer, but there are a few things worth mentioning:

1. The company's intonation was incredible. Their unisons were in tune and their harmonies were beautiful.

2. The composition and arrangement was wonderful. There were clear musical themes associated with different characters which carried over from Captain Aurora 1. These themes were elegant in their simplicity. Even though it'd been a year since last seeing or hearing any of this, the themes were memorable. It made the universe we were in that much more immersive.

3. The character's singing expressed who they were in interesting ways. For example, Talos, a cyborg, sang predominantly in staccato, the most robot-like articulation.

4. I'm a sucker for counterpoint, especially if it's executed this well. Listen for it in The New SkyGuard.

I could go on for ages, but we should probably move on.

The Rest Of It

The choreography was awesome. The fight scenes were well planned and well done, and the representation of the SkyGuard's powers were very well thought out (I could go on about that alone for ages but no ones likes spoilers). The creative use of lights in the costumes showed when a superhero was using their power, and the same lights used in the sets made the divide between different places clear. The use of movable set pieces lent an interesting element to fight scenes and otherwise added a delightful visual aesthetic to the show. The costumes were creative and uncomplicated, with everything being simple, colourful additions to plain black. This made costumes changes easy and seamless but also made it obvious who was who on stage. It was very easy to follow.

Lastly, Captain Aurora II is a stand alone piece of theatre with an intriguing cliff hanger at the end. You didn't have to see the first one to enjoy this one, but they also fit together seamlessly. I am a difficult person to impress with musical theatre, but Barrette has been three for three so far. I'll end this off with an open letter to the man himself.

Dear Trevor,

Please don't stop making Captain Aurora musicals. We all want more.


Erica & co.

They're at La Chapelle for the rest of the weekend. Hopefully there are still some tickets left. See you there!

Captain Aurora II: A Superhero Musical Sequel plays at La Chapelle, located at 3700 St. Dominique, at the following times:

- Saturday, June 18 from 22:00
- Sunday, June 19 from 12:00


Erica Bridgeman is part of CJLO's Official Fringe Team covering the sights and sounds from the 2016 St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival. She also hosts The F Hole every Monday afternoon from Noon – 2pm ET, only on 1690AM in Montreal and online at