Sydney Black of Black Productions recalls the moment in January 2020 when her team did auditions for Little Shop of Horrors and had an entire cast prepared to go.
But two rehearsals in, COVID-19 shut the show down entirely. As time passed, the show no longer seemed like the right fit.
“But we wanted to figure out a way that we could still honour all these wonderful people that had gone to auditions,” says Black.
Flash forward to the fall of 2021, Black Productions did their first foray back into the theatre since the start of COVID-19 with the show, All Together Now!, a small musical review with six cast members.
“That went well,” says Black. “So we decided to do another musical review. We’re excited to have the opportunity to allow these people to have a chance to shine on stage because they’ve been waiting for years to do this.”
Decade of Delight, set for Friday and Saturday, May 27-28 at the Capitol Theatre in Nelson, features the talents of Ty Wright, Lev Sonego, Johnny Poutina, Avi Phillips, Eva Myers-McKimm, Jaimie MacGibbon, Robyn Lamb, Mackenzie Hope, Pat Henman, Heather Gingras, Darren Fuss, Rachel DeShon, Lindsay Clague and Quinn Barron.
Black brought together the same team to do the behind-the-scenes work for the showcase.
The show will be running at a total capacity of 400 seats. Doing a review is a way to test if the public is ready to start coming back to in-person life theatre, says Black.
“We’re easing our way back into the water. It’s such a gift to be able to bring everyone back to the theatre because we were only working with such a small crew before the last show.”
Safety has been a primary focus for Black during the rehearsal process. Although they're not a professional company, Black Productions follows the safety standards laid out by the Actors Equity Union.
While Decade of Delight is “Easing back into things,” Black is looking to the future by planning a smaller show for the fall: a non-musical thriller.
“We hope that in spring 2023, we’ll be back to producing our large full-scale musicals with 70 people working on them like we’ve been able to do in the past,” says Black.
She knows how much Black Productions shows mean to the community:
“The shows are something that people depend on because they’ve been running for so long. It was something to look forward to every spring, no matter what; the last weekend in May, there will be a Black Productions production. Not only for the audience members but the people who participate in them.”
Black invites the community to come out to this feel-good show.
“We wanted to give people hope, and a good feeling, because there’s been lots of sadness and division over the last couple of years. This is what people are looking for: to have their spirit lifted. We want people to come and relax for an hour and hear amazing voices.”
The show is happening three times over two days. Tickets may be purchased from the Capitol Theatre online box office.
Practice, practice, practice — the cast of Decade of Delight is ready for opening night. — Submitted photo
The cast of Decade of Delight take a team photo during one of the practices.