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Daily Dose — All Together Now Celebrates Local Theatre

Rachel DeShon and Mackenzie Hope, six performers in All Together Now, work through one of the songs during rehearsal for the November 13th & 14th shows at the Capitol Theatre. — Photo courtesy Black Productions

All Together Now! performances are scheduled for in person shows on November 13th & 14th, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre. There will be a live stream presentation of the show on November 14th.

The review features the talents of Robyn Lamb, Mackenzie Hope, Darren Fuss, Rachel DeShon, Sydney Black and Quinn Barron.

Black explains the show’s concept:

"Music Theatre International (MTI) holds the rights to a lot of the big huge shows. They saw the complete decimation and devastation of the theatrical community over the last two years, so they wanted to give back because rights are expensive. We spend a very significant amount of money on them every year to bring big shows up. They contacted their clients, and said they would provide a musical review for free in November. Over 3,600 presentations are happening all over the world."

Every group is doing the show the same weekend. Black has never seen anything like it.

"They did a piecemeal review. There are 15 songs slots, and they had multiple options per slot. So, every review is going to be different. It's cool."

The other unique thing is that all funds raised stay in the community, says Black.

 "All the funding goes to pay the actors, the stage crew and also towards future productions. Because of the times, we're working on a very shoestring budget."

The event will be Black Production's first live performance since the onset of the pandemic.

"We're doing 100 seats in the 400-seat theatre. We want to make sure that everyone feels safe and secure in the space. It's people's first foray back into those kinds of areas, so we wanted to keep it small. We'll be live streaming as well on the Sunday evening, so there's an opportunity for people who can't get tickets to check it out."

For Black, annual live theatre productions have been a constant in her life since 2013 and the launch of Black Productions. Being unable to offer live theatre during the pandemic has been challenging.

"I don't know how we'll get through the opening number because I'll probably be sobbing like a baby. We had a spring production every year. It was such a constant, and then when everything fell apart, it was interesting just how much people rely on these kinds of outlets," says Black, "We're pretty stoked."

Coming up with a protocol for the event was simple enough: they followed Capitol Theatre protocols.

"Full vaccine passports are required. For rehearsals, it was a small cast of only six people. We rapid test every weekend on Friday and then rehearse. That's been interesting. And then fully masked for all rehearsals until we get into the theatre, and then the masks will come off."

The team has been following Broadway rehearsal protocols to keep everyone safe.

Black is driven to run Black Productions by "A deep, super nerdy love of musical theatre. I was a theatre major in university, and it's something that I loved, and I realized at a young age that I didn't have to be in Toronto to create this art.

What's drives me is to make sure people in Nelson not only have the chance to see high quality theatre, but also have the chance to be involved in it. We try to keep the bar high, and our standards high and have so much fun, and it's like a release."

Black's day job is right in line with her interests: she's the Executive Director of the Nelson District Arts Council. She also has two children who she and her partner are homeschooling. "It is wild over here," she laughs.

"I have a fantastic partner who is also a performer, a musician, so it's super awesome because he totally understands all of the components that go along with performing and being in a relationship with a performer."

Black keeps trying to get her kids into theatre, but no interest so far from her ten-year-old.

"I have a little one; still, he's four, so there's still hope," she laughs.

Black is thankful for the opportunity to run this show for the community.

"How incredibly grateful we are the actors and every single human being who works backstage to support us and all of the crew at the Capitol Theatre and their volunteers who have continued through this whole situation to come out and support these ventures," says Black.

"That we're just going to get to share in this super special little moment in time."

Rachel DeShon rehearses a song All Together Now! — Photo courtesy of Black Productions