Chris Wynters
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Chris Wynters

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | INDIE

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | INDIE
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter

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5:15 pm. The Winter's Tale Project, also at the Village Theatre, could be the hit musical of the festival. Shakespeare's difficult late romance and wintry fable has frequently defeated the best, and yet for the first hour this smashing production could do no wrong in my astonished eyes. Its director-book writer, Bridget Ryan, and her composer-lyricist, Chris Wynters, are more than smart: Their outstanding work is true to the wounded heart of Shakespeare's fantastic parable of obsessive sexual jealousy and insane betrayal, young love and transforming redemption. The immensely talented, 20-strong ensemble bring it all to spontaneous life in a chic black-and-white space with just two chairs and a door frame.

It's a hot, chancy first half ("Too hot, too hot!/ To mingle friendship far, is mingling bloods"), and it succeeds wonderfully. If Mr. Wynters' driving score has been influenced on occasion by Duncan Sheik's music for Spring Awakenings why not? "For Innocence Sake" alone, a lovely ballad for Hermione and company, singles him out as a confident new voice in musical theater.

It's the open-hearted innocence that slips during the more showbizzy interpretation of Shakespeare's near-impossible second act. They seem to be asking us, "Well what would you do with 'Exit pursued by a bear' and Shakespeare's springtime celebration of sheep-shearing?" For my taste, the wit of The Winter's Tale Project becomes too knowing in the pastoral scenes, its raw honesty and emotion drifting into irony.

Even so, the bear scene proves charming and very funny (accompanied by a brief scholarly aside on the history of bear scenes). The current production would work well enough at the Public Theater. And was there ever a conclusion to a musical more touching than one in which the damned are forgiven, lovers united and the lost returned to wondrous, resurrected life? - New York Post


Discography

As a solo artist:
Skywriting - Six Shooter Records (Toronto) - 2005- www.sixshooterrecords.com

With Captain Tractor:
Land - Lugan Records (Edmonton) - 1994
East Of Edson - Lugan Records (Edmonton) - 1995
Bought The Farm - Lugan Records (Edmonton) - 1997
Celebrity Traffic Jam - Square Dog (Toronto) - 1999
Hoserista - Six Shooter Records (Toronto) - 2000
North Of The Yellowhead - Six Shooter Records (Toronto) - 2005

For the Theatre:
The Winter's Tale Project Original Cast Recording - 2004 - scarabsounds
Red Lips, The Musical - 2001 - scarabsounds

Photos

Bio

After completing the Theatre Arts Program at MacEwan College in 1990 Chris began his career divided between music and theatre. Almost immediately after graduation his first band, THE BRAVE AND FOOLISH went on tour across Western Canada in support of their independent release, DOGS FOR DAYS. At the same time Chris was working as an actor in the Edmonton area, doing shows with CHINOOK THEATRE, STAGE WEST, and many with LEAVE IT TO JANE. At the end of the 1991 season, THE BRAVE AND FOOLISH starred in DIAMOND STUDS, which won the Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award for Best Musical. Chris and the band teamed up again with the Janes the next year and this time wrote a new musical, FRANKENSTEIN. Chris and musical co-writer Scott Peters won a Sterling award for Best Musical Composition for their work on that project.


In the fall of 1993, Chris formed the band CAPTAIN TRACTOR with Scott he's never really looked back. Seven albums, nine videos, dozens of awards, numerous border crossings and international excursions, tons of fast food and least twenty non-stop Canadian tours later...CAPTAIN TRACTOR is one of this country's most successful independent bands ever. Their album, EAST OF EDSON, is a gold record in Canada, having reached this mark through the efforts of the band's own record label, LUGAN RECORDS. They have since signed a record deal with SIX SHOOTER/WARNER.


In 2000, CAPTAIN TRACTOR and the Janes teamed up and remounted DIAMOND STUDS and Chris returned to doing theatre for the first time in six years. Soon after that he appeared in the Canadian Premiere of Stephen Sondheim's first musical, SATURDAY NIGHT. Next Chris teamed up with Tim Ryan and Jeff Smook and wrote RED LIPS, THE MUSICAL which was nominated for several Sterlings. He also appeared in that show and has continued to pursue acting. Recently he appeared as Johnny Casino in the Citadel Theatre's production of GREASE. He also played SKZSP the Guitar Player for the Angry Inch in HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH with Theatre Network for which he received a Sterling Award for outstanding Musical Direction. He even had a principal role in the Stephen Spielberg produced mini-series INTO THE WEST.


In 2003 Chris hooked up with Bridget Ryan and created THE WINTER'S TALE PROJECT for MacEwan College in Edmonton. The show was first performed by the theatre arts class of 2003. The show was remounted in 2004 by a professional cast in a workshop production at La Cite Francophone. Chris received Sterling Awards for Musical Direction and Best Score. The production also won for Best Independent Production and Best Musical.


In 2005 Chris released his first solo album, SKYWRITING, on SIX SHOOTER/WARNER and has been touring both solo and with CAPTAIN TRACTOR. Chris has received many awards as a songwriter including SOCAN's Songwriter of the year for his song, SOMEDAY and Alberta Recording Industry Assocition Award (ARIA) for Single Of The Year for a song called UP THE HILL.


Recently Chris built and opened The Norwood Studio in Edmonton, Alberta. He has been busy recording musical scores for film and television and, along with his partner JAMES MURDOCH (Indica/Aquarius), has been producing records for various artists, icluding AMY SEELEY, NICK PERREAULT, DEON BLYAN and THE WHEAT POOL.

Last summer Chris and Bridget took the Winter's Tale Project to FringeNYC where they had a very successful run at the Village Theater on Bleecker Street.

In the spring of 2008 Red Deer College produced the show and sold out the entire run.

Chris's latest musical, WedLOCKED, ran all summer at the Mayfield Theatre in Edmonton.