(Posted 11:40 a.m., May 30)
class tackles rock opera genre with reverb
By Fred Sherwin
Therrien, right, and Ruby Dumas, left, play sisters Lorraine and Louise
Lockwood in the OYP Showbiz class production of 'The Contest'. Fred Sherwin/Photo
more traditional genres of musical theatre like the "Wizard of Oz"
and even last year's original production of "The Kiss", Orleans
Young Players Showbiz class decided to tackle something completely different
The group of
16- and 17-year-olds decided to capitalize on their own musical abilities
and produced a mini rock opera of called "The Contest".
In a nutshell
"The Contest" is about two francophone sisters named Lorraine
and Louise who are growing up in Montreal during the mid-70s. They have
a band, or did have a band before Lorraine saw her boyfriend, who also happens
to be the band's guitarist, kissing another girl.
The play opens
with an English radio deejay announcing a major band contest. The girls
hear the announcement with their mother who urges them to enter the contest.
Louise is all for it, but Lorraine doesn't feel comfortable about singing
in English, and besides, they don't have a guitarist.
goes off to busk in the streets where she meets a guy named David who loves
her voice. She's also accosted by three young English girls who heckle her
and tell her to sing in English.
comes back and asks Lorraine if she would like to play in his band, which
also happens to be looking for a guitarist. The twist is that the band's
singers are the three girls who heckled her in the street.
As things turn
out both bands end up entering the contest, but there's a catch, the contest
sponsor and one and only judge is Lili's aunt Patti Patate and she plans
to award first prize to her daughter's band no matter what.
band goes on stage, the girls hide Lorraine's guitar in the trunk of their
car so she can't play with them. When David finds out about the plot he
spills the beans, leaving Lorraine to play with her sister and their old
band and wouldn't you know it, they win.
is filled with a number of catchy tunes written by the play's co-director
Alan Dean McDowell. It is rock and roll, however, and the band is loud which
made it difficult to catch some of the lyrics. The acoustics in the Orléans
Theatre didn't help much either.
On the plus side
the voices were all great, especially Myreil Therrien who plays Lorraine.
I even enjoyed the story line which was fashioned together by the play's
director and co-writer Andrea Cochrane.
All in all, it
was a fun show to watch, but not nearly as much fun as it must have been
to produce, rehearse and play in. You could tell from the back row that
the actors were all relishing their roles.
The cast included
Ruby Dumas as Louise, Lewis Caunter as David, Amanda Paliotti as the deejay,
Taylor Bertrand as Lili, Carolyn Mills as Patti Patate, Julia Murphy as
the girls mother, Amanda Ricketts as their Aunt Huguette and Jessica Lareau
and Darci Bloom Bertrans as Lili's backup singes.
The band included
Chirs Shackleton on guitar, Alex Shackleton on drums, Caunter on bass, Therrien
on acoustic guitar and McDowell on lead guitar.
On a scale of
zero to five stars, I'd definitely give this play a four, but then again
I grew up in the 70s and I was a huge Jethro Tull fan.
continues today at the Orleans Theatre with a show at 2 p.m. It is part
of a double bill with the OLP's Very Little Players production of "Mousedeer".
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
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