Musical theatre lovers, if you haven't seen Light in the Piazza yet, you must make time this week.
The New Westminsterbased Patrick Street Productions is staging the musical at Norman Rothstein Theatre until Oct. 9. I had the privilege of checking out the show on Friday, Sept. 23, and I can safely say I'd be rummaging through the thesaurus for hours looking for all the right superlatives if I didn't just settle on this one: WOW.
Director Peter Jorgensen (one-half of the artistic producing team of Patrick Street, along with wife Katey Wright) has once again pulled together an incredible show, featuring a cast chock full of talent that could more than hold its own on any stage, anywhere, anytime.
Samantha Hill is a delight as Clara Johnson, a role that demands a challenging combination of innocence, naïveté, passion and charm, not to mention the voice of a nightingale - all of which she possesses in spades.
As her young lover, Fabrizio, Adrian Marchuk brings the house down, with a powerhouse voice and the kind of boundless, head-over-heels enthusiasm that has the audience eating out of his hand.
Heather Pawsey as Signora Naccarelli and Dana Luccock as Franca Naccarelli bring their enormous operatic talent to the forefront in two smaller but still pivotal roles.
For my money, the two most memorable performances of the night belong to New West's own David Adams as Signor Naccarelli, and Wright herself as Margaret Johnson.
Adams combines just the right degree of authoritarian parent with oldworld charm. And Wright, undeniably, is the star from the first moment with her powerful, controlled vocals and her ability to combine humour and pathos.
Two of the night's "stars" aren't even on stage: Jessica Dmytryshyn's costumes are to-die-for gorgeous (for the record, I want Franca's red shoes and Margaret Johnson's magnificent copper-coloured dress), and the set design by Lance Cardinal (also, incidentally, a Royal City resident) is stunning.
But why am I still rambling on? Just buy your tickets already, and go this week. Like, now.
See www.patrickstreet productions.com.
Are you an actor looking for your moment in the spotlight?
Vagabond Players are holding auditions on Oct. 16 and 17 for their production of Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge.
Auditions will run from 7 to 10 p.m. both nights, first come, first served.
The group is seeking a whole host of actors for both lead and ensemble parts. For a full listing of who's required and what skills you need to bring (everything from a Swedish accent to a Jimmy Stewart impression), check out the audition notice at www. vagabondplayers.ca or visit the group's Facebook page - search for Vagabond Players.
The production, directed by Katherine Bethell, runs at the Bernie Legge Theatre from Dec. 15 to Jan. 7.
Send Lively City ideas to Julie, jmaclellan@royalcity record.com.