Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Broadway Chorus' "Dunce Upon a Time"

A brief shout-out to Broadway Chorus's just-concluded Dunce Upon a Time, the local musical rep company's 26th hilarious show built around existing show tunes, and featuring the inestimable talents of Artistic Director Ashley Lambert-Maberly, musical director Sarah Jaysmith, and an ensemble of incredibly talented amateur performers who just love to sing.

As with the past BC show I saw, last year's There's Something About Fairy, I am amazed at how Lambert-Maberly is able to craft a story around songs from musicals as diverse as Once, Into the Woods, Sister Act, and The Book of Morman (the duet to "I Believe" by Gil Jaysmith and Theo Wiersma is a show-stopper). In this case, our plot at first glance seems to unfold like a Vancouver riff on The Stepford Wives, as formerly homeless couple Brandon and Jane find themselves as fish out of water in the leafy upscale neighbourhood of West Shaughnessy Dale. But eventually we discover there may be more than just Cold War political and gender ideologies in the water as the musical climaxes in a Wagneresque "Twilight of the Gods" moment atop the penthouse at the Shangri La Hotel.

In between we get BC's trademark potpourri of musical theatre hits, with virtually everyone in the 30+-member ensemble getting a chance to shine in the spotlight. A special mention, however, to PuSh Festival Development Manager Jocelyn MacDougall, who plays Jane. In addition to singing, dancing, and acting her pants off, Jocelyn also plays the viola (!), and sports a bad-ass black wig that makes her look like Frida Lyngstad (the brunette from ABBA).

Last night was a riotous good time that also had Richard and I looking forward to our annual trip to Theatre Under the Stars.


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