Entertainment Local

VPP closing season in swinging style

By Melissa Schilz, Postmedia Network

Rockabilly Swingtime will be presented daily at Victoria Playhouse in Petrolia at 2 p.m., with the exception of Sept. 15 and 22 when it will be presented at 8 p.m. Handout/Petrolia Topic

Rockabilly Swingtime will be presented daily at Victoria Playhouse in Petrolia at 2 p.m., with the exception of Sept. 15 and 22 when it will be presented at 8 p.m. Handout/Petrolia Topic

The Victoria Playhouse Petrolia is closing its Canadian-themed season with a celebratory sendoff. Rockabilly Swingtime is set to be an exciting culmination after previous shows delved into an array of themes including resilience, comedy and freedom.

Musician and sound technician Alex Baerg and resident choreographer Adele Mackenzie have been working with the Victoria Playhouse for years now. Both said with a number of multi-faceted and talented individuals on stage and behind the scenes, the music focused show is bound to get people dancing.

“It’s fun, because the whole idea of Rockabilly Swingtime is that we’re blending a couple of styles of music,” Baerg said. “It’s that hillbilly rock kind of thing… and then we’re also layering it with that early 1900s swing.”

Rockabilly Swingtime is being presented at Victoria Playhouse from Sept. 5 to 24. It will presented daily at 2 p.m., but with evening presentations at 8 p.m. on Sept. 15 and 22.

Mackenzie, who choreographed the show, said it will intertwine feelings of letting loose and being free, which she said connects to the season’s overarching Canadian theme, specifically of having that freedom to express yourself without fear of persecution.

“It’s all freeing… it’s just party time. It’s about letting go of your woes and having a great time,” she said. “We live in a free country so it’s very thematic that way.”

Baerg said over the course of the VPP’s season, audiences have seen some very honest and vulnerable stories, and now that it’s coming to an end, they’re having a big party. He said for those who have seen previous shows like Men of Country, this is a show not to be missed.

“It harkens back to Fiddler on the Moose a little bit in terms of how we’re celebrating our relationships and friendships,” Baerg said. “This one is really an ensemble… this is a story that we’re all telling together.”

With a cast that is made up of well-known VPP faces, Baerg said it’s going to be a blast not just for audiences, but for everyone on stage.

“We all know each other and we’re all friends,” he said.

“We love each other and we support each other,” Mackenzie added.

Mackenzie said the show will have lots of action, including plenty of dancing, with everyone switching up roles throughout.

“It’s very upbeat,” she said. “The majority of the songs, people are going to know…the audience is going to be bouncing… it’s awesome.”

Artistic Director David Hogan said the mash up of modern and classic tunes will make a great conclusion to their season that explored the history of Canada, but it’s also a shout out to their loyal audiences.

“It’s our gratitude show,” Hogan said. “It’s a celebration… people come to just raise a glass and have a good time.”

 

IF YOU GO:

When: Sept. 5-24

Where: Victoria Playhouse Petrolia

Cost: Price ranges from $27 for youth to $41 for adults


mschilz@postmedia.com