Neville Bowman as Theodore Gericault from a scene of “Raft: a Rock Opera”. Image contributed

Okanagan rock opera hits the stage again

Okanagan-written and produced, “RAFT a rock opera”, hits the Kelowna stage this month

When it first hit the Kelowna stage in 2015 it wowed local crowds and now it’s back to do it again.

Okanagan-written RAFT a Rock Opera is taking over the Mary Irwin Theatre in Kelowna’s Rotary Centre for the Arts from Sept. 13 to 16, 2017.

“It is homegrown and wonderful. The cast is phenomenal. I got involved again because I fell in love with it,” said Christine Daley, production/stage manager for the show, who also worked on the original production.

“We feel so many people missed out on this wonderful opportunity two years ago. We had to do it again.”

The musical is the brainchild of Randall Robinson and Pat Brown.

It is being called an ‘epic rock musical’ that chronicles one of the worst naval disasters in French history.

Through the incompetence of her arrogant captain, the Medusa reportedly ran aground in 1816. At that time there were not enough life boats so 151 sailors were set adrift on a makeshift raft.

“Condemned, as it would turn out, to unthinkable depravity and suffering,” reads the musical’s description.

Two years later an eccentric French painter, Theodore Gericault, read a factual account of this tragedy and painted Le Radeau De La MeduseThe Raft of the Medusa, a painting that became an icon of French Romanticism.

The rock opera tells the story of the tragedy through Gericault’s eyes.

Since its debut in 2015, it was taken to the O-Zone Theatre Festival in Salmon Arm where it won trophies for best musical ensemble, best musical direction (Robinson) and best costume design (Anne Ramey).

Related: Okanagan Zones wrap with gala award ceremony

“The adjudicator in Salmon Arm said this was the ‘next Canadian rock opera’, that it is going to just rock the world, so to speak,” said Daley.

“If I were to see this on Broadway I would equate it with something like RENT, it has a great story and the music just tells the story. It is a rock opera, it’s an opera. If you loved RENT or The Phantom of the Opera or Les Misérables, this can run parallel, it is just unknown. The music is worthy of recognition.”

Eventually the show’s creators hope the rock opera gains traction outside of the Okanagan and lands on even bigger stages.

Neville Bowman has reprised his role as the tortured artist, Theodore Gericault. and two other cast members from the original production have taken on new lead Roles—Penticton’s Dustin McGifford as Henry Savigny and Penticton’s Annie Scott as Alexandrine De Saint Martin.

“I’ve been involved with musical theatre for 40 years and it rocked my world,” added Daley.

Tickets are $30 (adults) and $25 (students, seniors) and are available online now at rotarycentreforthearts.com or by phone at 250-717-5304.

For additional more information visit: www.raftofthemedusamusical.com.


 

@carmenweld
carmen.weld@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Cal Mieklejohn from Penticton, who portrays Uncle Jean Baptiste De Saint- Martin, in front of the original RAFT at the Louvre. Image contributed

Just Posted

Rockslide closes Coquihalla northbound

Highway 5 could be closed overnight in the northbound lanes

Community Leader Awards: Sheila Gardiner-Watt

The Kelowna Capital News celebrates those in the community who go above and beyond

Mamas for Mamas founder survives with new lease on life

Kelowna’s Shannon Christensen escaped a dangerous situation and lived to tell about it

Announced this week in Kelowna

A listing of some of the events that were announced in the Kelowna area this week

Big White ski instructor named Top 10 in Canada

Big White’s Josh Foster has been selected for the Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance (CSIA) Interski team

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington on Vancouver Island

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, vehicles buried under more than three feet of snow

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Letter: Site C figures not correct

Kelowna letter-writer raises questions about the Site C dam project

Letter: Site C opponents are whining

If native treaty rights are being disrespected, just who is disrespecting them?

Albas: Canada Jobs program being politicized

Conservative MP Dan Albas’ weekly column takes on the student summer job plan

Fuhr: Pension for Life is a commitment to veterans

Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr talks about his government’s commitment to veterans

Most Read