After a difficult long, drawn-out week, a hard days work, and Jack Frost finally awakening from his slumber…I needed a genuine, good, pick-me-up on Sunday 11th December to lift my spirits.
So what better way than to go to the revival of Everying I Need, the one woman show, written and performed by Devon Hubka. I previously heard that this show had initially debuted at the famous Toronto Fringe Festival, 3 years ago, and was applauded on its uniqueness, humour, passion and most of all, it’s heart.
Described by Devon as a play intended “For anyone who had a dream that just wouldn’t die,” I was so excited, as this is an area I regularly need advice on.
As I sat in the warm, cosy Studio stage of the Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley Street, Toronto, I admired how well the set was put together. Left of the stage illustrated her past home life…her alone time…her space to contemplate. To the right was her rise to achieving her goals, from high school theatre to her professional musical training at The Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts. But it was the centre of the stage which was to show us Devon at her finest moments.
To accurately describe the show…it is a play which chronicles Devon’s life, from her childhood memories to her adult years, from her crazy employment history to becoming the actress, singer, writer and performer she always dreamt of being…and most of all, it touches on times in her life where self-doubt, disappointment and fear were the elements which were holding her back from being the best she could be.
From the moment Devon walked out onto the stage to a excited crowd, you could feel her bright, vibrant, warm energy envelop the theatre goers. And as the crowd grew silent, the lights dimmed and the spotlight centred…the show commenced.
From beginning to end, and everything in between, the show was fantastic and something that appealed to everyone. The performance combined story telling with song and dance, which made for a great crowd pleaser. With each scene, you felt as if you were travelling back in time and seeing each trial she faced for yourself; on her journey to this moment in time.
Not only is Devon a wonderful actor, with a natural flair for story-telling, but her voice is phenomenal. From her up-beat opening number of her rendition of Walk The Moon’s ‘Shut Up and Dance,’ to the songs of Broadway…every number was like ecstasy to our ears. As she reenacted past auditions before our eyes, we got to hear a selection of songs that she performed in front of theatre moguls, that would eventually lead her to her true destiny.
My 2 favourite Broadway songs of all time were performed by Devon that night…Defying Gravity from Wicked, and I’m Still Here from Follies; both musical numbers famously performed by characters who have been through the mill, and come out stronger, more aware and more in-tune with themselves afterwards. With each note and lyric, the hairs on my arms stood up, with goosebumps.
And if you thought that just singing and acting were her talents, then think again. This talented and creative young lady is quite a comedian also. She had the audience laughing throughout, with her funny stories, dramatic dance scenes and comedic improvisation, which proved a winning recipe.
When the curtain closed upon Devon’s final performance, the theatre goers rose to their feet in a standing ovation, which was truly well deserved. I had never been to a one woman show before, but after this, the bar has been set extremely high for those to follow. Everything I Need is so relatable in many ways, which makes for an impressive show. If it comes back to Toronto and cities beyond, I know that I’ll be booking my seat straight away.
Apart from her unquestionable gift of writing, her voice belongs on the big Broadway stage, without a doubt. If there are any big theatre executives reading this right now & in search for that new leading lady…then go no further than the star that is… DEVON HUBKA.
With a determined work ethic, adorable personality, infectious energy and a captivating voice, Devon is the definition of a star.
For more information on Everything I Need and Devon Hubka…click HERE.
For further information on other upcoming shows at the Alumnae Theatre…HERE.