Category Archives: Fighting Chance

Forbidden Broadway; Fighting Chance (Upcoming show)

Forbidden Broadway, the popular musical-theatre parody, returns to Metro Vancouver this week.  For one week only, Fighting Chance Productions presents a best of version of Forbidden Broadway to Langley audiences, poking good-natured fun at shows like Wicked, Les Misérables, Mamma Mia, Hairspray, and The Phantom of the Opera.


Forbidden Broadway is directed by Ryan Mooney, with musical direction by Sarah Jaysmith, and starring Natalee Fera, Aaron Lau, David Nicks, Georgia Valeria Swinton and Cathy Wilmot.

Fighting Chance Productions presents Forbidden Broadway from November 30 – December 5, 2010 at the Langley Playhouse, 4307 200 St, Langley.  Ticket are available by e-mailing fightingchanceproductions@gmail.com or by calling 604-807-9268.

Advertisements

Sweeney Todd; Fighting Chance (Upcoming show)

Just in time for Hallowe’en comes Sweeney Todd, presented by Fighting Chance Productions. Director Ryan Mooney promises a fresh and sexy take on the Sondheim masterpiece and has set it in the round to bring the audience closer to the action.

 

Alex McMorran and Cathy Wilmot in Fighting Chance's Sweeney Todd.

 

Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim (Into the Woods) and book by Hugh Wheeler (A Little Night Music). Directed by Ryan Mooney (Hair, Fighting Chance), with musical direction by Vashti Fairbairn (Hair, Fighting Chance).

Starring Alex McMorran (The Wedding Singer, Fighting Chance), Cathy Wilmot (Forbidden Broadway, Fighting Chance), Arne Larsen (Rent, Fighting Chance), Sabrina Prada, Chris Harvey (Les Misérables, Arts Club), Krista Gibbard, David Nicks, Jeremy Hanlon-Fournier, Eric Alexander Steel (Hair, Fighting Chance), Laura Luongo, Lauren Gula, (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Gateway), Kate Leinweber, Reginald Pillay, Matt Hume (A New Brain, Pipedream), Nick Fontaine (Rent, Fighting Chance), Patrick Maloughney and Danielle Lemon.

Fighting Chance Productions presents Sweeney Todd from October 13 – 30, 2010 at the Jericho Arts Centre, 1675 Discovery, Vancouver. Tickets are available online or by calling 604-224-8007 ext. 3.

Hair; Fighting Chance (Upcoming show)

The prolific people at Fighting Chance Productions present Hair, their 15th show in three years.  Following last year’s successful run of Rent, they’ve chosen a classic rock musical to end their season.

Fighting Chance's production of Hair.

Book and lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni, music by Galt MacDermot. Directed by Ryan Mooney, musical direction by Vashti Fairbairn. Starring Michael Brock, Sean Parsons (Footloose, Exit 22), Jenny Moase, Cesar Erba (Rent, Fighting Chance), Hal Rogers (Rent, Fighting Chance), Arielle Tuliao, Amy Jean McElwain, and Ranae Miller. Also featuring Daniel Chai, Michelle Bardach, Sarah Wolfman-Robichaud, Anna Hassard,  Matt Russell, Augustine Justin Go, Eric Alexander Steel, Nyla Carpentier, Nilsen Tiefenbach, Max Friesen, Robyn Leigh Johnson, and Veronika Sztopa.

Fighting Chance Productions presents Hair from July 21 – August 1, 2010 at the Waterfront Theatre, 1412 Cartwright St, Granville Island.  Tickets are available online or by calling 604-684-2787.

The Wedding Singer; Fighting Chance (Review)

Fighting Chance Productions had been on somewhat of a lucky streak with its shows of late (Rent, Matt & Ben), but alas, all good things must come to an end.

Director Ryan Mooney hasn’t managed to replicate the success of some of his previous productions, but most of the blame here lies with the source material.  The songs (music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Chad Beguelin), while not terrible, are largely forgettable and uninspired.

Fighting Chance Productions' The Wedding Singer.

The Wedding Singer book is stitched together haphazardly, and never quite comes together as a whole.   Where the movie was carried on the collective star power and charisma of Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, the stage version has chosen to rely on an endless barrage of 80s references, in the hopes that the audience won’t notice the paper-thin story.

Sandler’s trademark juvenile humour hasn’t translated well to the stage.  Many supporting characters have had their stage time expanded, but remain cringingly one-dimensional.  A grandmother who likes to talk about sex? Check. A wise-cracking gay band member? Check.  Jokes that are stretched on for far too long? Check.

Linda Noble’s portrayal of Robbie’s grandmother Rosie comes off as a badly-drawn caricature.  Noble isn’t old enough to make the naughty senior bit work for her and her delivery didn’t garner much of a reaction from the audience.

The actors made the most of what they were given to work with.  Andrew Halliwell, as wedding singer Robbie Hart, has a serviceable stage presence and rock voice which helped smooth over some of the show’s rougher edges.

On a technical note, the sound quality was spotty throughout the show and microphones cut in and out repeatedly.

Though The Wedding Singer is far from a hit, Fighting Chance deserves credit for taking chances on shows that have not yet been seen in Metro Vancouver.  Local theatre companies seem far too eager to mount the same old shows, year after year.  I’d much rather experience a flawed play, like this one, for the first time than sit through yet another showing of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, no matter how well-produced.

Fighting Chance Productions presents The Wedding Singer until May 22, 2010 at the Jericho Arts Centre, 1675 Discovery, Vancouver.  Tickets are available online or by calling 604-224-8007 ext. 3

The Wedding Singer; Fighting Chance (Upcoming show)

The company that wowed local audiences last year with Rent, has set its sights on 80s nostalgia.  Fighting Chances Productions presents the BC premiere of The Wedding Singer. Based on the Adam Sandler film, The Wedding Singer /features music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Chad Beguelin and book by Chad Beguelin and Tim Herlihy.

Directed by Ryan Mooney (Rent, Fighting Chance), with music direction by Christopher King (Thoroughly Modern Millie, TUTS), and choreography by Anna Hassard. Starring Andrew Halliwell, Lexy Campbell, Cassandra Nantel, Tyson Coady (Joseph, RCMT), Alex McMorran, Sean Parsons (Footloose, Exit 22), Jessica Kelly, Sable Strub, and Linda Noble.

Fighting Chance Productions presents The Wedding Singer from April 27 – May 22, 2010 at the Jericho Arts Centre, 1675 Discovery, Vancouver.  Tickets are available online or by calling 604-224-8007 ext. 3

Forbidden Broadway; Fighting Chance (Review)

Forbidden Broadway has spent more than 25 years in New York satirising the best and the worst of the Great White Way.  Fighting Chance Productions’ decision to bring a version of the popular revue to Vancouver is a curious one.

The Off-Broadway musical revue made its debut way back in 1982 and has been rewritten over the years to make room for the inclusion of newer shows.  Some of the parodies have held up better than others and I was eager to see which would be included in this incarnation and whether they would find a receptive audience here.

Aaron Lau, Cathy Wilmot and David Nicks in Forbidden Broadway.

Satire like this, demands some familiarity with the source material, and the more familiarity, the better. I needn’t have worried; the night I attended, the intimate PAL Theatre was heavily laden with local musical-theatre buffs in high spirits.  As a whole, they caught pretty much every musical reference thrown their way.

And there were a lot for them to catch.  Everything from Rent, to Les Misérables, to Hairspray.  The strongest audience reactions came for the send-ups of shows that have been seen locally recently.

The cast of five (plus a guest appearance, by the company’s artistic director) do a respectable job with some of the more difficult material.  Kudos to Andrea Bailey, Natalee Fera, Aaron Lau, David Nicks and Cathy Wilmot.  Serviceable impressions of Broadway icons can be a tall order, but they mostly deliver.

“Defying Subtlety” poked cleverly at both Wicked and Idina Menzel.  Cathy Wilmot’s lipstick-smeared Carol Channing was a humourous tribute to the legend’s longtime role as Dolly Levi.  Wilmot also does a larger-than-life Ethel Merman mocking the current trend of over-micing performers.

Also on the mark were good-natured jabs at Liza Minnelli, Bob Fosse and Stephen Sondheim, respectively.  “Into the Words” skillfully incorporated elements of Sunday in the Park with George, Sweeney Todd, and Into the Woods.

Considerably less-successful were parodies of Fiddler on the Roof, Cats and Barbra Streisand.  The weaker material dragged down the show’s pacing.   As well, at least one of the singers had difficulty projecting to the back of the venue.

Forbidden Broadway won’t be to everyone’s liking, but musical-theatre followers will welcome the chance to make light of some of their idols, if only for a night.

Fighting Chance Productions presents Forbidden Broadway from January 6 – 16, 2010 at the PAL Theatre, 581 Cardero St.  Tickets are available online or by calling 604-684-2787.

Forbidden Broadway; Fighting Chance (Upcoming show)

Forbidden Broadway, the popular musical-theatre parody, makes its BC premiere in January.  Fighting Chance Productions presents a best of version of Forbidden Broadway poking good-natured fun at shows like Wicked, Les Misérables, Mamma Mia, Hairspray, and The Phantom of the Opera.

Forbidden Broadway is directed by Ryan Mooney, with musical direction by Sarah Jaysmith, and starring Andrea Bailey, Natalee Fera, Aaron Lau, David Nicks and Cathy Wilmot.

Fighting Chance Productions presents Forbidden Broadway from January 6 – 16, 2010 at the PAL Theatre, 581 Cardero St.  Tickets are available online or by calling 604-684-2787.