The Yellowpoint Christmas Spectacular singing and dancing extravaganza returns to the stage, starting next week.
The show’s creator, artistic director and producer, Katy Bowen-Roberts, said after nearly three years, she and the cast are more than excited to get back in front of a live audience once again.
“Live theatre is really nothing without its audience,” Bowen-Roberts said. “Just to have the reaction of the audience, and that ‘in the moment’ feeling again that we really haven’t been able to enjoy through COVID.”
In a live show, she said that there is so much happening in the moment that can’t be predicted, and performers have craved that irreplaceable pulse of energy.
This year marks the 14th season of the production, and each year the artistic director said she works to create a sense of familiarity, but with the anticipation of something new.
“It’s a really fast-paced show,” she said. “There’s no down moments. If there’s a costume change, we have a story or a reading being told and there’s always music underneath that. It’s very constant – something new always happening.”
The entire team aspires to raise spirits and “put people in the mood for the holidays,” and hope people leave singing familiar numbers from the show.
Musical medleys this year include tributes to Queen, Stevie Wonder and Simon and Garfunkel, tributes to the 1983 film Flashdance and the 1987 film Dirty Dancing, and more.
Show-goers can look forward to the familiar Bing Crosby take of White Christmas in the finale, as Bowen-Roberts said “it has that cozy family feeling that we’re always trying to create.”
The artistic director will also take to the stage to thank the crowd in a song made famous by jazz vocalist Ella Fitzgerald called The Secret of Christmas.
The production will also feature a variety of dances, including Broadway jazz, tap and ballet. As for costumes, Bowen-Roberts said there will be nine changes, beautiful colours and “a lot of sequins.”
“I treat the costumes as part of the set by really creating a splash every time a new set of music begins,” she said.
More than half the cast this year will be returning from previous years’ performances, totalling five dancers and four singers on stage.
Jacq Smith, dance captain, will be accompanied by dancers Kyla Couper-Cruickshank, Nicola Jackson, Hannah Bateman and Jaime Butler. Singing will be soprano Rachel Park, alto Martha Ansfield Scrase, tenor Gabriel Macdonald, and baritone Alexander Nicoll. Musicians featured on stage will be pianist Patrick Courtin, bassist David Baird, guitarist Steve Jones, drummer Adam Robertson, and violinist James Mark. Mark is also the production’s music arranger and director, and has worked with Bowen-Roberts on the show since its inception in 2007. Lindsay Sterk co-directs the show with Mark and is the choreographer.
The Yellowpoint Christmas Spectacular will first show at the Sid Williams Theatre in Courtenay from Dec. 5-7, and then at Nanaimo’s Port Theatre from Dec. 13-18. Tickets for the Nanaimo shows can be purchased online at www.porttheatre.com.