Rehearsals are well underway for The Music Shoppe, a new play-with-music I’ve written and am directing for Regina Lyric Musical Theatre. Ben Redant is the music director.
The show runs April 25-28 at the Shumiatcher Theatre, MacKenzie Art Gallery. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets will be on sale later in March at Dancer’s Den Dancewear and online at reginalyric.com.
This is my second play-with-music for Lyric: my last one, As Time Goes By: A Love Story with Music and Ghosts, ran in the fall of 2013.
Here’s the synopsis. It will not surprise you to learn that it has a fantastical element:
Mme. Blacke has presided over The Music Shoppe in downtown Regina for as long as anyone can remember. Everyone looking for sheet music goes to The Music Shoppe, which is home to a mysterious automaton, a mechanical pianist that can play any piece of music placed on its stand. Rumour has it that, if you’re having a little relationship difficulty, singing a song Mme. Blacke suggests, with the Pianist as accompanist, just may point you to a way out of it.
But Mme. Blacke’s time as proprietor is coming to an end. As she helps a final few couples find their way back to each other through music, she must also find someone to take her place…or The Music Shoppe will close, and the Pianist will never play again. As midnight of her final day approaches, the outcome is far from certain…
A terrific cast has been assembled. Carolyn Speirs will play Madame Blacke, while Miranda Sheepwash takes on the role of Leanne, the assistant she must convince to take her place in The Music Shoppe. Ben Redant of course plays The Pianist.
The youngest of the three couples, Chris and Emma, are played by Nathan Sgrazzutti and Hannah Dove. The second-youngest couple, Sarah and Jim, are played by Lise Moore and David Hopkinson, and their teenaged daughter is double-cast, being played by Geneva Bodnar and Ilana van der Merwe. The, um, third-youngest couple, Mildred and Frank, is played by Elizabeth Popowich and Lyndon Bray.
The music consists of an eclectic collection of well-known songs, running the gamut from Broadway to pop to rock to even a little gospel. Ben Redant is writing a brand-new song (which will also serve as the theme music) for the show.
If you’re in Regina or environs that last week in April, I hope you’ll come check it out!