Entertainment

Singing and dancing down memory lane

Music from the golden age of Broadway, passed on to a new generation.

That’s how Langley Secondary musical theatre instructor Patti Thorpe sees this year’s spring production, For Old Times Sake.

The musical revue, written by LSS drama teacher Chad Hendricks and H.D. Stafford Middle School instructor Brad Leonard, tells the story of a pair of estranged sisters who have taken very different paths in life. Rounding out the creative team is LSS instructor Kathleen Kay.

“We all came up with the concept and then we let the boys write it,” laughs Thorpe.

Set in modern times, For Old Times Sake hearkens back to a gentler era and boasts a certain small-town feel, she adds.

With the proposed demolition of the city hall comes one last ball, being held “for old times sake.”

The show, which tells the story of two sisters who grew up in a small town, opens with invitations to the big party. Everyone in the small town is excited about the big night, except Julie.

When their parents divorced, older sister Maria moved to New York City with her father, to find fame and fortune while the younger sister, Julie, stayed home to care for her sick mother.  As their lives continued in opposite directions, a rift grew between them which seems insurmountable.

The party brings together this small town, providing the stage for a fragile family reunion and a chance for the town to reflect on the way things were and could be again.

Playing the estranged sisters will be Desiree Wallace and Elyse Maloway, but the musical is very much an ensemble piece, Thorpe says, both on stage and off.

Rather than intersperse music and spoken dialogue, the instructors have opted to allow the revue’s nearly 50 songs to weave the story together.

“We let the songs tell the story, there is so much in the songs that it allows them to carry it,” she says.

Once again, LSS and HDS are teaming up to present the annual spring musical production on behalf of both schools.

Thorpe said it’s fun to know the kids have the old-time music s taken from the songbook of Rodgers and Hammerstein — stuck in their heads as they wander the halls of their respective buildings.

Because the score is quite challenging, the band is made up entirely of professional musicians this year.

That will leave the students with plenty of time to focus their energy on singing and dancing she said — and there’s plenty of that to be done.

Eighty-five students in Grades 7 to 12 will be singing 49 songs, rather than the usual 15 or so.

Some of the music will be instantly recognizable to the audience while other pieces will be a little more obscure. The program contains everything from poignant love songs to light and airy, danceable tunes, she said.

The show runs March 3 to 5 and 10 to 12, at 7 p.m., with matinee performances on March 5 and 12 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $12/adult; $10/seniors and students. Matinees are offered at a $2 discount.

Call 604-534-4171 (ext 743) to reserve tickets

All performances will be at Langley Secondary School 21405 56 Ave.

 

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