Engaging and subtle actor

Parksville’s Nicholas Atkinson in top spot at B.C. Festival of Performing Arts

With rehearsals in full swing for Hello Dolly

Chalk another award up for one of Parksville’s young stars of the musical stage, Nicholas Atkinson.

The local actor came in first place in the Intermediate Musical Theatre category at the 2012 Provincial Festival of Performing Arts BC held in Nanaimo last month.

Atkinson competed against a group of talented performers who represented 16 different festivals throughout British Columbia.

He performed two contrasting pieces in his category of Intermediate Musical Theatre — ages 15 to 18.

The 17-year-old was representing the North Island Festival in Courtenay where he took top honours in four categories back in February.

At Provincials Atkinson was the overall winner after performing two songs back-to-back.

His first number was Stars from the musical Les Miserables.

In it, he portrayed the part of Javert, a prison guard, and later a policeman who has been hunting down a man named Jean Valjean.  Javert sings of his rekindled intent to capture Valjean, and muses on how he believes his actions are just and righteous, as natural and sequential as the order of the stars.

Javert prays to God to aid his pursuit, and swears to the stars that he will never relent.  The nature of the song shows how Javert is immensely ill-advised, rather than immoral.

The Adjudicator noted on Atkinson’s performance: “I always know that I like what I’m seeing when I don’t want to look down to write anything! This was an engaging, subtle, well though out performance. You have taken care to think through every choice of the character.  It is so nice to see great acting without acting.  You are a very talented musical theatre performer.”

In Atkinson’s second song, he performed Haben Sie Gehört Das Deutsche Band from the musical The Producers, a comedy musical by Mel Brooks about two characters who come up with a get-rich-quick scheme to put on the world’s worst show.

They come across a script for a musical called Springtime for Hitler, written by character Franz Liebkind, who Atkinson portrayed. During the auditions for the starring role of Hitler, one of the actors incorrectly sings the song, upsetting Franz who then sings it as it should be sung.

The adjudicator noted on Atkinson’s performance: “A wonderful contrast (to the first song). Your commitment is exceptional.  I love that you went so far with your character. This is professional caliber and I take my hat off to you. Superb.”

Atkinson said it was a fun experience at provincials and he learned a lot at the workshops.

“It was exciting. I enjoyed the adjudicator,” he admitted.

The young performer will be graduating in three weeks from Nanaimo Christian School and his plans are to attend Vancouver Island University in the fall where he will take his first year of engineering.

Although he loves the theatre he said for now he is going to act and sing in his spare time.

“I had a lot of interesting debates about my post secondary education.

“If engineering doesn’t work out, I can move on.  I am keeping my options open,” he stated.

Atkinson isn’t resting on his laurels. He is currently busy in rehearsals for Bard to Broadway’s musical Hello Dolly this summer.

With rehearsals in full swing for the B2B musical,  Atkinson  said so far it has been good.

He said they did a run through of the entire show and it went well.

Atkinson also plans to participate inB2B’s Teen Musical Theatre production of the musical A Kidsummer Night’s Dream which takes place in Qualicum Beach from July 30 to August 18. For more on B2B, please see our story on page B3 in today’s paper.


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