Neville Bowman as Theodore Gericault from a scene of “Raft: a Rock Opera”. Image contributed

Okanagan rock opera hits the stage again

Okanagan-written and produced, “RAFT a rock opera”, hits the Kelowna stage this month

When it first hit the Kelowna stage in 2015 it wowed local crowds and now it’s back to do it again.

Okanagan-written RAFT a Rock Opera is taking over the Mary Irwin Theatre in Kelowna’s Rotary Centre for the Arts from Sept. 13 to 16, 2017.

“It is homegrown and wonderful. The cast is phenomenal. I got involved again because I fell in love with it,” said Christine Daley, production/stage manager for the show, who also worked on the original production.

“We feel so many people missed out on this wonderful opportunity two years ago. We had to do it again.”

The musical is the brainchild of Randall Robinson and Pat Brown.

It is being called an ‘epic rock musical’ that chronicles one of the worst naval disasters in French history.

Through the incompetence of her arrogant captain, the Medusa reportedly ran aground in 1816. At that time there were not enough life boats so 151 sailors were set adrift on a makeshift raft.

“Condemned, as it would turn out, to unthinkable depravity and suffering,” reads the musical’s description.

Two years later an eccentric French painter, Theodore Gericault, read a factual account of this tragedy and painted Le Radeau De La MeduseThe Raft of the Medusa, a painting that became an icon of French Romanticism.

The rock opera tells the story of the tragedy through Gericault’s eyes.

Since its debut in 2015, it was taken to the O-Zone Theatre Festival in Salmon Arm where it won trophies for best musical ensemble, best musical direction (Robinson) and best costume design (Anne Ramey).

Related: Okanagan Zones wrap with gala award ceremony

“The adjudicator in Salmon Arm said this was the ‘next Canadian rock opera’, that it is going to just rock the world, so to speak,” said Daley.

“If I were to see this on Broadway I would equate it with something like RENT, it has a great story and the music just tells the story. It is a rock opera, it’s an opera. If you loved RENT or The Phantom of the Opera or Les Misérables, this can run parallel, it is just unknown. The music is worthy of recognition.”

Eventually the show’s creators hope the rock opera gains traction outside of the Okanagan and lands on even bigger stages.

Neville Bowman has reprised his role as the tortured artist, Theodore Gericault. and two other cast members from the original production have taken on new lead Roles—Penticton’s Dustin McGifford as Henry Savigny and Penticton’s Annie Scott as Alexandrine De Saint Martin.

“I’ve been involved with musical theatre for 40 years and it rocked my world,” added Daley.

Tickets are $30 (adults) and $25 (students, seniors) and are available online now at rotarycentreforthearts.com or by phone at 250-717-5304.

For additional more information visit: www.raftofthemedusamusical.com.


 

@carmenweld
carmen.weld@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Cal Mieklejohn from Penticton, who portrays Uncle Jean Baptiste De Saint- Martin, in front of the original RAFT at the Louvre. Image contributed

Just Posted

Vernon one of Canada’s most dangerous places

Penticton, Kamloops, Kelowna, Lake Country and Salmon Arm also make Maclean’s list

Traci Genereaux: Gone, but not forgotten

COLUMN: Family, friends want justice for Vernon teen

Sagmoen’s court case adjourned again

Curtis Sagmoen will appear back in court on Dec. 14

Woman extricated after single-vehicle crash

Incident took place on Foothill Road in Salmon Arm.

Uber official says public needs to push for ridesharing in B.C.

Mike van Hemmen tells Kelowna Chamber of commerce ridesharing would be ‘win-win-win’

Okanagan ski hills open for the season

Both Big White and Silverstar Resort open for the 2017-18 season Thursday

Four years for discharging shotgun in home, school break-in

Yvon Martel also threatened his wife and broke into an elementary school

An adopted cat is the best 10 pounds you’ll gain this season

BC SPCA encouraging families to add a forever feline friend during adoption event Nov. 24 to Dec. 3

Up close and personal roots performance on Vernon stage

The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society presents William Prince Nov. 29-30

B.C. co-ops relieved with Ottawa’s housing strategy

Federal government to have a new co-operative housing funding model in place by 2020

Letter to the editor: Missing woman’s parents appreciate search effort

To take part in the banner drop, poster distribution and the drone… Continue reading

Investigating effects of wildfires on business

Thompson Okanagan Regional District researching what help is needed after 2017 wildfire season.

Mayor’s column: Be silent no more

Please join us on Dec. 6 at the Salmon Arm Campus of… Continue reading

Column: On stars and sleighs

In the immortal words of Elvis, my hands were shaking and my… Continue reading

Most Read