Cougar Annie (1888-1985), or Ada Annie, was a pioneer settler who lived North of Tofino famous for having shot and killed over 70 cougars. Kat Kadoski’s storytelling skillfully touches only briefly on the cougar hunting, and gives the audience a more intimate view of Annie’s life. Annie, in all her strength and frankness, is seen through stories of how she broke in acres of land, ran a post office and nursery, outlived four husbands and saw many her children die.
Katrina Kadoski worked as a caretaker on Cougar Annie’s property for three years. While living there she started composing songs about Cougar Annie’s life, which eventually grew into a one woman show.
Cougar Annie Tales combines original songs, narratives, pictures and letters. I saw the performance on its opening night at Fringe. There were technical problems that at times hindered Kadoski’s movement and transitions, but this will hopefully be smoothed out for following shows.
Kadoski moves into her characters deftly, and she has a beautiful singing voice. Her songs are clever and the lyrics easy to understand. Playing mostly acoustically, the songs can get a bit drawn out on occasion. The best musical moments are when she switches to a cappella, electric guitar and banjo.
I highly recommend Cougar Annie Tales. For venues and showtimes visit www.victoriafringe.com.
After her first Fringe performance, Katrina Kadoski spoke with Phoenix Bain about the creation and aim of Cougar Annie Tales.