By Anita Hallewas, Special to the Revelstoke Times Review
Heard the expression ‘no friends on a powder day’? Well the people who blew off the Super Bowl tonight to go see Ski Bum: The Musical had the right idea, after all, ‘snow is life and life is snow’. Deep, eh? I learned that and so much more watching this brilliant comic piece at Revelstoke’s Recreation Centre on Sunday night. As far as spoof musicals go (and there are more than probably most people would expect) this one’s gnarly. Rossland’s Iron Mountain Theatre, with a mandate to produce and tour original musical theatre, have landed an epic 30-footer of powder-heaven with style.
Right away the audience is drawn in with ‘Rocky Mountain Air’ an ode to the beautiful mountains and in particular the best place on earth – Big Snow Peak – a location somewhat reminiscent of our little resort town. Perhaps that was why the audience were laughing out loud to the anecdotes and analogies (too many analogies? Nah, dude!) The set is simple and effective; some snow and a couple of lift-chairs are enough to create the illusion of a ski hill. It is the stellar performances by the four players that create all you need to be drawn into their world. Quirky music from rock to rap to gospel means you don’t need to be a musical theatre lover to enjoy this show.
‘Strap it in, Buckle it down’ puts a whole new slant on pole dancing; Liz the ski instructor (played by Nadine Tremblay, also co-writer of music and lyrics) and Sunny (played by Jane Gaudet) the hard-core ski patroller teach the geek and cultural anthropologist Richard Poseur (played by Mark Pollard, also co-writer) how to ski. Lucky, because local ski legend Jeff Snowden (played by R. J. Peters) tempts this newbie into ducking the ropes to go out-of-bounds and we know what happens then, don’t we Revelstoke?
There’s romance, some random advice from a lonely plow driver and a hideous one-piece lycra ski suit. What’s more we get more ski vernacular than you can poke an avalanche-probe at.
The show ends with ’30-cm day,’ perfect really, with the snow falling outside as we leave the venue. What better way to get psyched for shredding in paradise than to sing about it? Treat tomorrow night’s show like a powder day: get there early, it will be a sell-out. Tickets are by donation, and if you can’t decide how much to pay, wait until the end and consider a buck a laugh – although that might set you back more than you expected. But please donate, these guys wanna shred some serious pow on their tour and I guarantee it is one of the best shows you’ll see in Revelstoke for some time. Epic!
The show starts at 7 p.m. at the Revelstoke Community Centre.
Anita Hallewas has taught drama and theatre to adults and children in Australia, New Zealand, England and Canada and is strong advocate of Drama in Education. She has studied various styles of theatre in many countries, is an actor and director and has been involved in all aspects of theatre production.