A white Christmas in Kelowna…Snow White that is
There's a string of reasons why Snow White might make a great Christmas fairy tale production, but likely the best is to please a stage manager.
After season-on-season of sold out performances, Theatre Kelowna Society has decided to make its holiday fairy tale a modern take on the Grimm Brother's classic at the request of a talented stage manager.
"A lot of the shows TKS have done for Christmas have a fairy tale theme," said Jeff Samin, production director. "…The Walt Disney creation everyone is familiar with is from 1937, so the music is typical of the 1930s, but this is just a more modern take; hence the Rockin' Tale of Snow White."
The dwarves aren't sleepy or dopey and the Mirror levels its judgment in a rap. Nevertheless, from the opening number—Snow White's Hip-Hop Doo-Wop Bee-Bop Funky Little Rockin' Tale—through the dark-haired beauty's rhyming monologues, one can expect a pretty true-to-form production of the story, just with a little extra James Brown twist.
Rather remarkably, given its volunteer nature, the production will run for two weeks and the even Snow White, played by Okanagan Mission Secondary School Grade 11 student Alexa Cable, doesn't have an understudy.
"They have to love theatre. That's a given. For some of them this might be the only chance they get to do theatre all year, so they tend to suck it up pretty good," said Samin.
With a cast of 40 and a dozen crew, it's a large enough production that as final rehearsal wrapped this week, the kids had to kill time playing theatre games as the adults discussed the staging and last minute set design.
The set is built by retired teacher Brian Haigh, whose faux-marble crypt is quite the sight, even without Snow White.
If there's a gem in this story, however, it's sure to be the relationship between the Snow White and the Queen, played by Candice Dyck.
Though the characters clearly hate each other on stage, behind the scenes Dyck and Cable are thick as thieves, feeding off each other's every word.
Cable is in the same grade as Dyck's younger sister—Dyck is a teacher on call in School District 23—and the pair take giggly to a new level, particularly once Prince Charming, played by Jason Richards, who is roughly twice Cable's age and the source of several fits of giggles, shows up.
Taking on this challenge is no easy task for a young performer still coping with the ins-and-outs of studying.
"My teachers have been so understanding through the whole process," said Cable, who is about to begin her school exams. "I'll be so excited to see them in the audience. I know they're coming."
For Dyck, the show itself is actually the source of the stress.
"It's been such a great experience to this point," she said, admitting she's now having nightmares about her songs.
"I just don't want to let anyone down," she added.
Cable has a little experience working a multi-show theatrical run. She was in Viva Las Vegas with OKM last year and Beauty and the Beast in Alberta. To add to her list of accomplishments, and pressure for that matter, she also choreographed this show.
Dyck, on the other hand, is taking her first round outside the chorus with actual lines.
If off-stage hilarity is an indication of showmanship, they should put on a great show.
And behind the scenes, Samin will be trying to make sure Zip, Flp, Tip, Pip and the other more bee-bopping dwarves hit their lines.
A Rockin' Tale of Snow White will show in the Kelowna Community Theatre beginning this Friday, Nov. 23 and running through Dec. 2. Evening shows begin at 7:30 p.m. and run Nov. 23 and 24, Nov. 28and 30 and Dec. 1. Matinee performances will be held on Nov. 24 and 25 and Dec. 1 and 2.
Tickets are available through Select Your Tickets, 250-762-5050.