Wednesday, June 19, 2013
What is your role in this production? I am the Man with Many Hats on this show. I am the Master Builder, Technical Advisor and Live Sound Operator.
What brought you out for this production? Musicals are my favourite genre of live theatre. When given the opportunity, I will do anything from water boy to master builder and most stuff in between (Except paint... I hate paint!). When I was given the opportunity to build the set, I jumped at it. The Technical Advisor role is one that we created to assist in all the productions at Walterdale, and it was my turn. I became live sound of due to my big mouth... but that is all good.
What is your background in theatre? After high school, I had gone completely away from theatre, but in the early '90s, Brad Melrose introduced me to the tech department of Walterdale. I have been bitten ever since, performing most duties back stage and even acting once and doing a number of cameos.
Biggest Challenge? For me, the biggest challenge was to continue my practice that I started with The Wyrd Sisters set build. I strive to have the cast and crew able to use the stage for all rehearsals once they are in the building. This becomes a challenge as far as build speed and scheduling to ensure we have the stage in a safe state for every rehearsal. But, seeing the gratitude on the cast and crew for my team being able to pull it off makes it all worth while!
This play takes place on a ship, you have any good boating stories? Hmm... only that as a mariner, I am as green as they come... I had a small speed boat for a year, and on the first day, I sucked a rock up into the impeller. That ended my day right there. Took boat out of water and spent 3 hours getting the rock out.
Upper - The unpainted set for Anything Goes
Lower - Richard and the The Wyrd Sisters set
Monday, June 17, 2013
What is your role in this Production? I play Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. He is a wealthy Englishman engaged to the lovely Hope Harcourt, and he’s doing his best to make sense of all the American expressions he hears — often mixing them up (and otherwise getting them wrong). He also has a secret (or two), and ends up as part of a love quadrangle.
What brought you out for this production? I have worked with the Director, Barb Mah, a few times in the past (once with her as choreographer, and twice with her as director), and I respect and admire how she tackles mounting shows and dealing with people of all abilities. I also love the character I get to play as it brings out a side of me that not a lot of people get to see in my work life — I can actually be funny. Oh, and the music is Cole Porter – do you need any other reason than that?
What is your background in theatre? I did some theatre (mostly musical theatre-related) in school and then took a break to focus on other things (instrumental and choral music, teaching, and of course, work). I decided to audition for a show a few years back (The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas at Walterdale), and the rest, as they say, is history. This is now my 4th show since “returning to stage” — having done A Little Night Music (Festival Players) and Titanic: the Musical (Two ONE-WAY Tickets to Broadway) between Whorehouse and Anything Goes. I am also currently (since September 2006) the part-time Administrator at Walterdale, and am enjoying this “escape” from my office.
Biggest Challenge? I really thought that learning how to tap dance was going to be the biggest challenge (and it has been a bit of a challenge), but the show is so funny and the reactions to some of my lines by the rest of the cast has made it very hard, at times, for me to continue without bursting out in laughter myself.
In the Spirit of "Anything Goes" how true is that about you? I am often up to try most anything (except when I get in the way of myself).
Friday, June 14, 2013
What is your role in this Production? I play Reno Sweeney, a spunky, charismatic evangelist-turned-nightclub singer. She is a bit of a celebrity on the ship, albeit a somewhat notorious one...she is known for her high-energy performances, in which she combines the excitement and fervor and on old-school evangelical revival with the scandalous devil-may-care sensibility and freedom of the prohibition era. The role is a great challenge; lots of singing, dancing and comedy to keep me on my toes!
What brought you out for this production? Cole Porter is such a brilliant composer/lyricist, and this show is by far one of his best! As soon as the current Walterdale season was announced, I knew I had to audition!
What is your background in theatre? I grew up performing in musicals at Victoria School, but then took a 6 year hiatus from theatre to focus on my university career. Since then I have been having a blast working as a Speech-Language Pathologist by day while rehearsing for shows by night. This is my second show at the Walterdale; I had a blast in Nine last summer!
Biggest Challenge? For me, the biggest challenge of this show this far has been mastering the essence of Reno's singing voice; I am, at heart, a classically trained soprano, while Reno is 100% Broadway brass. It's been quite an adventure exploring a side of my voice that I haven't really ever used before!
In the Spirit of "Anything Goes" how true is that about you? I suppose in my own little way, my profession necessitates that I live in the spirit of "Anything Goes"...I work in a classroom of pre-school aged children, and I have learned that no matter how much I try to plan for my days, the kids usually have other ideas! If they are suddenly enthralled by lions and elephants, I scrap my ladybug themed lesson plan and run with the jungle theme...a bit different from Reno's reality, but still "Anything Goes"!
Photo from Nine: Bill Hill - Christina is on the far right
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
What is your role in this Production? I play Virtue, one of Reno’s Angels. Virtue is a showgirl – she’s really not too bright, but she loves to perform and she loves attention. She’s a bit of a social climber, unfortunately she tends to climb the wrong social ladder due to that whole not being so bright thing.
What brought you out for this production? I love the show and the music! I’ve been wanting to do this show forever.
What is your background in theatre? I was involved with St. Albert Children’s theatre from 2001 to 2008. Then I started doing shows in Edmonton – You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown! at Walterdale, Sweeney Todd with Two One-Way Tickets to Broadway, A Little Night Music with The Festival Players in Sherwood Park, and Kiss Me Kate with ELOPE. Most recently I returned as alumni to St. Albert Children’s Theatre for the role of Serena in Legally Blonde.
Biggest Challenge? Driving the perilously pot-holed residential road to and from rehearsal before we moved into the Walterdale. It was frightening. When the snow melted there were all these puddles and you didn’t know if it was just a little low spot or a massive car-eating pot hole! Also, tap dancing!
This play takes place on a ship, you have any good boating stories? A boating story – well, once when I was nine years old my dad took me fishing. We had this old tiny motor boat with this noisy little motor. All of a sudden the rod starts tugging and my nine year old self goes, “Oh no it must be caught in the motor!” Turns out I actually had a fish on the line, it seemed pretty huge too but then again I was only nine so it was probably tiny. Well I reeled that fish in and everything was fine…until my dad chucked it in the bottom of the boat. That fish was flopping around and hitting me in the leg. I was so grossed out – I mean, I had fish slime on my leg! Haven’t been fishing since. Nope, not even once. I think that slime traumatized me.
Monday, June 10, 2013
What brought you out for this production? The opportunity to learn how to tap. I have been in three tap shows in my career thus far (White Christmas and Crazy For You, twice) and with the exception of faking it for a couple of bars in one of them, have not managed to actually do any tap at all until now.
What is your background in theatre? I have been acting since I was four, started doing musicals when I was 11 with Stage Polaris, and did a couple of shows with their professional acting company. I’ve also done several musical theatre classes at the Foote Theatre School and have been doing community theatre around Edmonton and area since 2004. I have a degree in Theatrical Costume Cutting and Construction from Red Deer College and designed the costumes for Crimes of the Heart and You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown with Walterdale. This will be my first show on stage with them.
Biggest Challenge? Mastering a Chinese accent. Surprisingly, this is not my first time playing East Asian (Tuptim in The King and I, Peep-Bo in The Mikado), but since I actually speak Japanese, having the Chinese accent not slip that way has been a fun challenge.
This play takes place on a ship, you have any good boating stories? I have some early memories of boating around Florida and seeing live gators and manatees in the wild.
Sunday, June 2, 2013
What is your role in this production? I play Hope Harcourt, the debutante. She is forced into an engagement by her over bearing mother, when she is really in love with Billy Crocker whom she met one night at a party in Manhattan. She has a lot of trouble admitting this though-thus ensues the plot.
What brought you out for this show? I saw the posting online and have loved this production for a long time. The music is so much fun and there is tap dancing!!
What is your background in theatre? I have been performing in musical productions since I was 12, and after high school I moved to Edmonton from BC to further my training at Grant MacEwan University (Theatre Arts Program). This is my first production with Walterdale and I am very excited!
What has been the biggest challenge? Biggest challenge for me is/was to bring a generic ingénue character to life and make her more interesting and alive. Also, working with an entire cast and creative team who I have never met before, was tricky at first.
This musical takes place on a ship - any good boating stories? Ha ha! I don’t have any good boating stories, I have never been on a cruise before... but I would like to! Although, I do like to kayak!
Saturday, June 1, 2013
What is your role in this production? In the musical I play an FBI agent and a Sailor, but mainly I'm a part of the chorus. My character is flat, and as shallow as they come, drooling over whichever lady comes close enough for me to see. (Especially Erma)
What brought you out for this production? This is my first musical theatre production. It was recommended to me by a friend of my wife's as a good way to get my feet wet in the musical theatre world.
What is your background in theatre? A computer geek by trade, and a chess nerd in my spare time, the majority of my theatre experience has been acting in church Christmas productions over the years. Musical theatre, as stated above, is entirely new to me. I have sung in choirs and quartets before, and even sung in a choir in plays that also had music, but I wouldn't really call them musicals. And I have never tried to dance, sing, and act simultaneously! This is also my first experience with the Walterdale. If the words 'charming' and 'quaint' did not have a patronizing feel to them, I'd use them to describe the Walterdale. But they do, so I won't, and so I cannot quite put to words the feelings I get in such a beautiful old theatre.
My biggest challenge? I love to surprise people, but I cannot in this instance. Not and be honest. I have a hard time walking and chewing gum at the same time, so tapping while singing is a very big stretch for me. It is a stretch, however, that I have very much enjoyed! I so appreciate the level of patience others have shown with me as I stumble through, sometimes getting the steps right, and sometimes getting the notes right, and sometimes being fully immersed in my character. Just not all three at the same time yet. I'm getting there, though!
How true is Anything Goes about me? What a deep philosophical question. It deserves a deep, philosophical answer. But you'll just have to take what I can come up with. I believe that everyone draws 'moral' lines somewhere. (I suppose sociopaths are an exception). I think the reason that the "Anything Goes" philosophy manages to stand out without being rejected by society is that it pushes the envelope really far in the lyrics, but only just far enough to be a little shocking in practice. So it ends up being humorous rather than rebellious. Don't believe me? I think you would if I showed up in a state of undress to our next practice… (Don't worry I won't) I think it an excellent practice for everyone to think deeply about what moral lines they have drawn, and where they come from!