Victoria Playhouse Petrolia is going to be bursting with laughter and song in 2014.
That’s the theme for the upcoming season according artistic directors David Rogers and David Hogan who introduced the season Oct. 30. “Five of six of the shows have music in them,” says Hogan.
While there is a wide range of offerings this year, Hogan says there is one thing that stands out – great talent. “David and I concentrated on the talent,” says Hogan. “If the storytellers are rich and wonderful that’s what makes it.”
The season begins May 20 with the Church Basement Ladies, a musical comedy based on the book Growing up Lutheran. The show has played to sold out crowds for two-years in the US and it makes its first Canadian appearance in Petrolia.
The VPP brings back country with Fiddler on the Loose 2 with Jesse Grandmont and friends starting June 10. The show features some of the music which was taken from the first show. “When David wrote the first show, he wrote seven hours and we took five hours away,” jokes Hogan. “So now we can do more!”
Starting July 8, Canada’s musical legends will be showcased with Canada Sings; The Greatest Music from Eh! To Zed. Rogers says the show will feature Canada’s greats such as Anne Murray, Gordon Lightfoot and Stomp’n Tom Connors, but the audience will also be surprised.
“There was a similar show a few years ago and there were songs people said, ‘Wow! I didn’t know that was Canadian!’”
Petrolia goes nerdy in August as one of Hogan’s favourite plays The Nerd – a farce – takes the stage. Hogan says they’ve decided the timing was perfect as actor Michael Hogeveen from The Fox on the Fairway was available to play the nerd.
The VPP will celebrate the music and memories of Elvis with Everything Elvis. Rogers is researching The King’s music to bring the show together. “I’m gaining more of an appreciation of the great music he sang,” says Rogers adding there will be no Elvis impersonators in the show, just great singers telling the story.
Rogers himself will take the stage in Petrolia to close the season with Broadway Heroes – a Salute to the Great Leading Men. It is a show he has performed to sold-out crowds across the country.
Rogers says as they head into their third season in Petrolia, he feels comfortable taking the stage to entertain “I’m thrilled to be doing it here. And he jokes, “that Broadway Heros guy – we got him for cheap.”
Hogan says it will cap off an uplifting season. “We still have to be artistic directors and do what moves us but people we’ve found people want a happy season. And we say ‘Okay, we’re happy guys, we’ll do a happy season.”