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Edmonton theatre troupe takes on New York and Blizzard of 2015

WATCH ABOVE: The Blizzard of 2015 has put an Edmonton theatre troupe’s dreams on hold, at least for one day. Fletcher Kent speaks to the local actors in New York City.

EDMONTON – The snowstorm dubbed Blizzard of 2015 shut down Manhattan Monday night, but for a group of Edmonton performers, it was a walk in the (Central) Park.

“We had heard reports that this huge snowstorm was going to hit and we all just assumed the show would go on, particularly as Canadians, as Edmontonians,” said actor Shannon Blanchet from New York, where her show Nevermore is being staged.

Nevermore: The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe is playing off Broadway at the New World Stages. Opening night was Sunday. The cast and crew – from Edmonton’s Catalyst Theatre – are planning to be in New York until April.

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She said the process of mounting a show off Broadway is similar to the process in Edmonton.

“What is different is having Brooke Shields come back and tell you she enjoyed it after your matinee.”

Blanchet said she’s living a dream she didn’t even realize she had until she was living it.

What isn’t surreal for this Alberta troupe? Winter.

“When we got the cancellation notice it was a bit sad because we were all looking forward to doing the show again in a settled way,” Blanchet said. “But then you think ‘we can do laundry!’ … we had a bonus day off and that was nice.”

READ MORE: The Blizzard of 2015: Much ado about nothing? 

She admits when she heard the forecast, she stocked up on water, but the storm didn’t end up being as powerful as anticipated, especially for an Albertan.

“I do Die-Nasty at the Varscona Theatre on Monday nights when I’m in Edmonton and it’ll be minus 40 and our house is packed. Edmontonians are not phased by that.”

“I was amazed when they said all of the Broadway shows were cancelled. But, that said, you don’t want to get six million people in however many tiny square miles in Manhattan and not be able to get them out.”

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Time Square in New York in the middle of Monday, Jan. 26, 2015 night's snowstorm. Courtesy: Ryan Parker
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Time Square in New York in the middle of Monday, Jan. 26, 2015 night's snowstorm. Courtesy: Ryan Parker
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Time Square in New York in the middle of Monday, Jan. 26, 2015 night's snowstorm. Courtesy: Ryan Parker
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Time Square in New York in the middle of Monday, Jan. 26, 2015 night's snowstorm. Courtesy: Ryan Parker
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Time Square in New York in the middle of Monday, Jan. 26, 2015 night's snowstorm. Courtesy: Ryan Parker
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Time Square in New York in the middle of Monday, Jan. 26, 2015 night's snowstorm. Courtesy: Ryan Parker
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The notification for traffic during the snowstorm expected in New York City Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. Courtesy: Ryan Parker
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Time Square in New York in the middle of Monday, Jan. 26, 2015 night's snowstorm. Courtesy: Ryan Parker
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Time Square in New York in the middle of Monday, Jan. 26, 2015 night's snowstorm. Courtesy: Ryan Parker
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Time Square in New York in the middle of Monday, Jan. 26, 2015 night's snowstorm. Courtesy: Ryan Parker
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Time Square in New York in the middle of Monday, Jan. 26, 2015 night's snowstorm. Courtesy: Ryan Parker
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The cast of Nevermore meet Brooke Shields after a matinee in New York. Courtesy: Ryan Parker
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The cast of Nevermore performing in New York City. Courtesy: Ryan Parker
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The cast of Nevermore performing in New York City. Courtesy: Ryan Parker
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The cast and crew at the Nevermore meet and greet in New York City. Courtesy: Ryan Parker
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The cast and crew of Nevermore rehearse. Courtesy: Ryan Parker
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The cast of Nevermore in New York City. Courtesy: Ryan Parker
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The theatre where Nevermore is being staged. Courtesy: Ryan Parker
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The cast of Nevermore visit Central Park in New York. Courtesy: Ryan Parker

She explained New York City doesn’t have the infrastructure to handle the amount of snow that was forecast.

“The snow started to fly, and for us… we went out for a walk immediately. It was really warm, really nice. The streets were quieter, but we did not get what Connecticut is getting.

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Blanchet said they spotted New York City garbage trucks with plows on the front doing double duty to clear the streets. But, by the time they woke up Tuesday, it had stopped snowing.

“It’s one of those things that has made me realize that I am an Edmontonian and that we actually live in a very winter climate.”

“They were complaining about winter when it felt like spring to me.”

Photographer Ryan Parker – who’s also performing in Nevermore – took some photos of Time Square during the snowstorm and provided them to Global News.

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