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Black Productions Chicago another 'can't miss' show

Bruce Fuhr
By Bruce Fuhr
May 23rd, 2014

You’d think Sydney Black would be happy with the task of raising a family.

But instead the second generation Nelsonite is rolling out a second major production in just over one year as Black gets ready to raise the curtain on Chicago, June 12-15 at the Capitol Theatre.

“I have an incredibly talented group of friends and we love to create together,” Black told The Nelson Daily as the cast works feverously toward perfecting the performance for opening night.

“Lisel Forst (Director), Mackenzie Hope (Choreographer) and I have been creating theatre in Nelson as a team (in various forms) for the last decade, and it’s gradually grown into this way of life.

“Every time we close a show I’m bugging them about what project we are planning on taking on next.”

Chicago, set in the prohibition-era and featuring some amazing Broadway music, is a story of ambition, celebrity and the seductive power of the spotlight.

Black said Chicago, following on the heels of the successful Cabaret in 2013, is a lighter, cheekier, and more extravagant and glitzy stage production.

Cabaret was dark and gritty, with heavy historical and political themes . . . Chicago is sugar-coated in vaudeville sparkle,” Black said when asked about how the newest show compares to last year’s success, Cabaret.

Cabaret was quite dialogue-driven, but, like the vaudeville tradition that inspired it, this show is centered around the musical and dance numbers.”

Chicago features a cast of 40 of the most talented actors, singers, dancers, musicians, crew and designers in the Kootenays.

Black said these people are committed to putting on a polished, professional show that people will remember for a long time.

“The audience will see the Jazz Age of the 1920s recreated on stage, in everything from the costumes to the set design to the dance moves,” she said.

Black said the audience will be amazed with the character Roxie, played by Hannah Jarvis-Lingard.

“The second (Hannah) opened her mouth at her audition I was mesmerized,” Black confessed.

“I still get Goosebumps thinking about it.”

Chicago also features Louis Butterfield, who wowed audiences with his performance as the Emcee in Cabaret.

Jeff Forst’s character Billy is also a commanding and powerful, and a role that is different that anything he’s done before.

Black said she is overwhelmed with the talent level of actors in the area — talent that puts pressure on the production team to find the right mix.

“The pool definitely increased, which made everything harder,” Black said.

“The people that came out and auditioned this year were fierce. I am constantly amazed at the talent in this small town and the task of casting was incredibly difficult, but eventually the puzzle came together.”

Chicago also sees the reunion of Black and mentor Pat Henman.

Henman, a key contributor to the success of Cabaret, was seriously injured in a car accident last year.

However, Black hopes to have Henman attend some of the rehearsals to offer her expertise.

“I defer to (Pat) on the regular for advice on all subjects theatre (casting, producing, group dynamics etc.),” explains Black, who has also been blessed with a marvelous music director in Allison Girvan.

“We are going to get her to come down and be our new set of eyes over the next few weeks for a few rehearsals, and although she can’t direct anything for the time being I am already at her with ideas for when she feels well enough.”

Having started auditions in January, opening night can’t come too quick for Black and the production staff.

However, when you really enjoy something, time means nothing.

“Community theatre has played such an important role in my life,” Black said.

“By producing the show I’m able to provide opportunities for people to have the experience of being part of a production, and a chance to get on stage and show the community their incredible talents.”

Don’t delay.

Tickets are available at the Capitol Theatre Box office nightly beginning Thursday, June 12 and running through to Sunday.

There are two matinees Saturday and Sunday.

Categories: Arts and Culture

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