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Oil Rush: The Big Discovery Musical

The Black and Gold Love Letter to Lambton County Reviewed by Adam Hobbs The rousing revival of Robert More’s love letter to Oil Springs and Petrolia is all boom and very little bust! This fast-paced exploration of Lambton’s oil boom from 1858 to the 1880s delivers a careful balance of joy, sorrow, and hard work by those who would become the first Hard Oilers. Oil Rush: The Big Discovery Musical has opened on stage at Victoria Playhouse, Petrolia and runs until May 26. We are guided through history by a young girl named Emily, played with bright joy and enthusiasm by Emily Masurkevitch, as she explores letters between her ancestors and brings to life the history of the Oil Rush. She echoes a reporter named Hamish 150+ years earlier and the two orbit each other’s narration beautifully to tell us the stories of the first Oilmen. We meet Norman C. Dodds, brought to us by Mark Payne (doing double duty as Music Director), and his wife Beth, played by the brilliant Kate Suhr, and follow their lives through the early days of Oil Springs right through to their son’s departure to Borneo to take the skills of the Hard Oilers internationally. Hamish, brought to us by VPP newcomer Seth Zosky, and Emily take us through act one’s Oil Springs story and then sneak into the Fairbanks mansion in act two’s Petrolia history, visiting with interesting and important figures from Lambton’s past including John Shaw and, of course, John Henry Fairbanks. The story is delivered in a series of vignettes in the comfortable and popular style of more recent shows such as Come From Away and The Band’s Visit. The harmonies are tight and gorgeous, the choreography simple and effective in David Hogan’s drive-by choreo style, and what’s more, just like ...
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Mary's Musings

Tweed and Company announces 2024 Season

At Three Venues: the Bancroft Village Playhouse, the Marble Arts Centre, and the Tweed Outdoor Stage. The main stage season’s theatrical performances will kick off in June, starting with the Ontario premier of DEAR RITA. A musical celebration of Cape Breton’s iconic songstress and storyteller Rita MacNeil, audiences will be transported through her music and encouraged to embrace their own authenticity. Once the best-selling country artist in Canada, MacNeil will be channelled through a cast of actor-musicians that’ll sing and play their way into the hearts of audience members. Created by Lindsay Kyte and Mike Ross, the show will run at the Marble Arts Centre from June 5th to 8th and at the Bancroft Village Playhouse, from June 12th to 16th, 2024. This is the first time this celebrated show will play outsideof the Maritime provinces, after premiering at the Charlottetown festival. Then, Canada’s longest running and most popular production, ANNE OF GREEN GABLES – THE MUSICAL will go up at the Bancroft Village playhouse from July 17th to 28th, 2024. It’ll be the biggest production the company has done yet, featuring local and professional talent. Based on the beloved novel by L.M. Montgomery, the show follows the spirited Anne Shirley as she navigates her new home, friends, and neighbours. With a script by Donald Harron and music by Norman Campbell, this integral piece of Canadian theatre history will be filled with laughter, love, joy, and a touch of melodrama and romance. Rounding out the summer series will be a production of epic rock-and-roll proportions. The Tony Award-nominated, Broadway sensation MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET will be hitting the stage in both Tweed and Bancroft. A co-production with DreamCo theatre, this show will be directed by Tweed & Co favourite Phil Nero (director of last year’s Joseph). Featuring some of the world’s most ...
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