Broadway comes to the lakecity this December

The cast of Give My Regards to Broadway includes Ariana Dyck (from left), Skyla Zaworski, Page Zaworski, Erin Getson, Danielle Edinger, Kielle Shaver, Alexis Mccomber, Hannah Ragan, El Crews and Naomi Greig seen here performing a musical number for their in-play director Dick played by Tian Walker (centre). Patrick Davies photo.
Evelyn Greig performs on stage while preparing for the Marantha Player’s production of Give My Regards to Broadway. Patrick Davies photo.
Evelyn Greig (from left) sings about the joys of broadway to showgirls Page Zaworski, Hannah Ragan, Ariana Dyck, Danielle Edinger and Skyla Zaworski. Patrick Davies photo.
Tian Walker as Dick, a Broadway director, attempts to convince Evelyn Greig’s Mary that he genuinely wants her for his upcoming show. Patrick Davies photo.
The cast of Give My Regards to Broadway practices a musical dance number at rehearsals in late November. Patrick Davies photo.
Enessa Zeus (from left), Cadence Ragan and Carson Duffy play mobsters looking for a runaway gangster in Give My Regards to Broadway. Patrick Davies photo.
Evelyn Greig hangs her head in defeat as Skyla Zaworski comforts her at the end of the first act of Give My Regards to Broadway. Patrick Davies photo.

The spirit of Broadway past is coming to Williams Lake this year courtesy of the Maranatha Players’ rendition of Give My Regards to Broadway, a classic look at the heyday of Broadway musicals.

Based on the book of the same name by Shubert Fendrich and the music of George M. Cohan, Give My Regards to Broadway is a comedic musical about the struggles involved in bringing a musical on a shoestring budget to Broadway in the late 1930s. The Maranatha Players’ director, Becky Strickland, said that this play marks their 19th season since the program began close to two decades ago.

The story follows a producer, director and pianist who all want to put a show on without the money to do it and go looking for a star to fill seats and their coffers. When that goes awry, however, the mob is soon sniffing around the theatre for unknown reasons as the theatre group desperately tries to figure out how to make this show happen.

A big part of why she selected this musical, Strickland said, is because of the music of the production, which was all written and produced back in the 1940s. This combined with the fact they’re doing a play within a play was something she thought would provide a nice challenge for her students.

This year Strickland has cast, for her, a smaller group than usual with 18 students filling out the various roles. One consideration she had was ensuring the play she selected had two strong male leads for two of her Grade 12 students who are graduating this year. She conducted her casting in the first week of September and they have since been practising for three to four days a week for two to three hours every day. Students range in age from Grade 8 to Grade 12, or ages 13 to 18.

Read More: Maranatha’s Murder at Crimson House brings a tale of farcical murder to life

“One of the things I like the best about working with kids is that they do become like a family backstage and they really support one another. You see my older kids mentor a lot of my younger kids and it’s just how theatre works,” Strickland said.

Over the last few months but especially recently she’s noticed some of the actors are really starting to click together on stage. Watching how far they’ve come to make intimate relationships believable on stage is one of the things Strickland likes the most about putting these plays on.

One of the greatest challenges of the production thus far has been the choreography, as Strickland had pushed her actors to do more than they usually would.

Another challenge was helping her actors develop both their main characters and their in-play characters. It adds a fun dimension to the overall production, Strickland said, especially as the play within a play is set in the First World War.

One of the play’s leads, Dick the director, is brought to life by Grade 12 student Tian Walker who has been doing drama with Strickland since Grade 4. She said he’s fantastic at doing voices and bringing physicality to his characters with a strong steady performance.

Daniel Daugherty meanwhile plays Eddie and is Strickland’s other Grade 12 student who has also been with her since he was in Grade 4. Strickland said it’s been cool to watch to actors who have come up and grown up together perform on stage as there is a nice natural camaraderie between Daugherty ’s realist and Walker’s dreamer.

Meanwhile, Evelyn Greig stars as Mary, a young aspiring actress who happens to arrive at the theatre at just the right time.

Greig has an incredible singing voice combined with a talent for embodying a character’s presence on stage and making it her own.

Skyla Zaworski meanwhile plays Trixie, the girlfriend of a mobster on the run known as Legs, a ditzy showgirl who doesn’t always get what’s going on. Zaworski, Strickland said, is more new to acting but has really shown a willingness to embrace whatever role Strickland gives her.

She hopes that audiences leave Give My Regards to Broadway with a strong feeling of nostalgia for the music and upbeat positivity of the 30s.

“That would be the biggest message that there was hope then and that we should still have hope during trouble today,” Strickland said.

Give My Regards to Broadway is on stage at Maranatha Christian School from Dec. 5 to Dec. 7 and Dec. 12 to Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 14 at 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for students and seniors and $12 for adults, available at The Open Book and the door with all proceeds going back to supporting the self-sufficient drama program.

Strickland encourages the entire community to come out, have some fun and support the kids.



patrick.davies@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

LETTERS: Gas prices alone enough to keep you warm during cold snap

If you look at your Fortis gas bill Gord McAuley says your anger should warm you right up

IH requests funding support from CCRHD for Williams Lake and 100 Mile House

$1.355,420 request would support projects at CMH, OMH and Fischer Place

$10,000 for Gold Rush Trails marketing video and Billie Bouchie Day celebrations

‘We were very impressed by the calibre of both projects’

Walmart pharmacy offering free blood pressure and glucose screening tests Saturday

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Walmart pharmacists will be answering lakecity’s health realated questions

Williams Lake Spinners, Weavers and Fibre Artists to host knitting event Saturday

Knitting group meeting Saturday, Jan. 18 at the arts centres in Williams Lake

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

B.C. pair ordered to pay $55,000 for oil tank discovered four years after selling home

Judge says defendants breached contract, despite being unaware of tank until basement flooded

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Oil and gas industry applauds top court’s dismissal of B.C.’s Trans Mountain case

The high court’s ruling Thursday removes one of the remaining obstacles for the project

Most Read