Spencer Bricknell, Darian Zeinstra, Danel Halliwell and Kenan Blanchard pose in costumes from Hamilton, one of many Broadway shows drawn upon for the PACE Musical Theatre production, It’s a Musical. The eight-show run opens Friday (April 21) at the Isabelle Reader Theatre. Photo by Daryl Stanley

PACE spring musical in Langford draws from newer Broadway shows

It’s a Musical opens eight-show run Friday at Isabelle Reader Theatre

PACE Musical Theatre has updated the repertoire for its spring 2017 show, appropriately named, It’s a Musical.

Compositions from movie musicals and hit Broadway shows from the past 10 to 12 years have been packed into one revue, to be performed by roughly 300 actors in grades K to 12 for eight shows at the Isabelle Reader Theatre starting tomorrow (April 21).

“The biggest challenge was Hamilton,” PACE artistic director Sandra Webster-Worthy said, referring to the record-setting historical musical that hit Broadway in 2015. “It’s hip-hop rap and very complex musically, but the kids have embraced it and done a wonderful job.”

The winner of 11 Tony Awards in 2016 is just one show that has provided some teachable moments for Webster-Worthy, who also acts as hands-on director for each show staged by this Sooke School District theatre program.

It’s a Musical borrows songs from the acclaimed new Canadian musical Come From Away, which tells of how the people of Gander, NL opened their homes and their hearts to more than 6,000 passengers and crew on 39 commercial jetliners diverted there during 9/11.

“The music is tremendous, and people have to keep in mind that (few) of the kids in the show were born when it occurred,” Webster-Worthy said. “This is a real teaching opportunity as to what actually happened that day.”

The PACE production, which has given the young performers a taste of Newfoundland culture, is backdropped during these numbers by live-action video from the scene.

Other shows which provide musical scenes for the Langford production include Something Rotten – Webster-Worthy describes it as a combination of Spamalot meets Shakespeare, great for the Monty Python fans in the crowd – as well as Jersey Boys and the more recent La La Land and Trolls.

“It’s been a very challenging show,” she said. “We did not pick easy music, but it is current and topical and we’ve covered a lot of ground.”

PACE is designed to play to the children’s talents, that is, the four and five year olds learn age appropriate songs and choreography. That said, Webster-Worthy and her crew try to give them a challenge to reach for each time out. The veterans among the cast – a handful of Grade 12 students have been with PACE since kindergarten – have been exposed a huge cross-section of music and styles in that time.

Many graduates of PACE go on to bigger and better things, like Webster-Worthy’s son, Calum Worthy. The former cast member of The Disney Channel’s Austin and Alley comedy series, now 26, has built an impressive screen resume that includes numerous movie and TV credits.

As per his annual tradition, Calum is flying from his home in Los Angeles on Friday to be part of the PACE spring musical this weekend. He’ll emcee the show and be on hand for a meet and greet to sign autographs and be in photos at the theatre for 30 minutes before each performance.

It’s a Musical performances go at 7 p.m. April 21, 22, 27, 28 and 29, while 2 p.m. matinees happen April 22, 23 and 29. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors, available at Westshore Centre for Learning, 2139 Sooke Rd., or by reservation at 250-391-9002. All performances are at the Isabelle Reader Theatre, 1026 Goldstream Ave.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Port Renfrew gets $89,000 grant to build staircase, trail

Rural Dividend grant awarded by province

Island champion volleyball team heads for provincials Wednesday

What Oak Bay High lacks in volleyball experience the make up for in athleticism and competitiveness

Duncan man faces numerous charges following Sooke Rd. crash

RCMP found alcohol and a loaded hand gun at the scene

UPDATED: Humboldt bike lanes next in Victoria’s Biketoria plan

Public input sought on new designs; protected two-way, shared lanes being considered

Smouldering U-Haul snarls Pat Bay traffic

Afternoon commuters were reduced to one northbound lane after a U-Haul cube… Continue reading

Victoria Royals giving a boost to fund inspired by Tragically Hip singer

Downie Wenjack Fund recipient of funds raised starting at tonight’s WHL game vs. Seattle

BC Ferries vehicle traffic last summer was best ever

CEO says positive results reduce future pressure on fares

Dead rats on doorstep greets Summerland mayor

Two rodents have been delivered to Peter Waterman’s doorstep

False killer whale ‘Chester’ dies at Vancouver Aquarium

He was found stranded near Tofino in July 2014 and only had a 10 per cent chance of making it at the time

Panda picks Argonauts for the win

Giant panda at the Toronto Zoo picks Argos to win Grey Cup on Sunday

Black Friday fervour wanes as some consumers, retailers shun practice

Some businesses are choosing to opt out, while some shoppers are turning to buying online

Stay safe on B.C. roads this holiday season

RCMP warn drivers to plan a safe ride home or suffer the consequences this holiday season

Trudeau apologizes to excluded residential school students

PM makes statement to former students in Nfld who were left out of previous compensation, apology

Most Read