What do you get when you combine the mountain town tradition of ski bums with the Broadway tradition of musicals? Why, Ski Bum: The Musical, of course.
The bigger question: why write a musical about ski bums?
“Because that’s funny – Ski Bum: The Musical!” exclaimed Nadine Tremblay, one of four stars of the play in an interview the day before the show premiered in Rossland, B.C. “Even just saying it sounds ridiculous. It’s perfect!”
Ski Bum: The Musical, is the product of Iron Mountain Theatre, a theatre group from Rossland, B.C., who have written and performed three other musicals.
This latest celebrates the culture that permeates their hometown and features all different types of ski bums: the liftie, the instructor, the patroller, the employed and the unemployed. There’s also Richard Poseur, a cultural anthropologist there to study the life of ski bums and who also serves as a translator of sorts on ski bum lingo to the general population, said Tremblay.
“It’s an all-original musical. It’s very stereotypical but I think people in Revelstoke will identify with all the characters,” she said. “It’s a story of redemption and it follows a ski-bum man-child through his trials and tribulations.”
Tremblay’s co-stars are Jane Gaudet, Mark Pollard and R.J. Peters. Aside from Peters, who plays Jeff Snowden, the ski-bum man-child character, they all play several roles, meaning lots of quick costume changes.
While Tremblay is not a ski bum, the rest of her Ski Bum: The Musical cast mates all moved to Rossland for the lifestyle, she said They have a rule that if it snows more than 30 centimetres, they get a day off from rehearsal to go skiing.
“And everyone gets to have one day off, for whatever reason, and usually it’s to ski and to snowboard,” said Tremblay.
Ski Bum: The Musical was written by Pollard and Tyler Bradley and Tremblay wrote all the music. It was directed by the appropriately named Shane Snow and funded thanks to a generous grant from the Columbia Basin Trust.
It’s the fourth musical the group has put on and Tremblay said it’s completely different than their past ones such as Company Jump, which was aimed at seniors; and White Star Lady, which was more family oriented.
“I wouldn’t say ski bums usually would go to musicals but we’re going out on a limb and we’re going to hope that ski bums come out for it because it’s targeted directly at them,” she said.
What should the audience expect from Ski Bum: The Musical? Some high-energy music, skiing choreography, lots of jokes and lots of slapstick.
Tremblay said Ski Bum: The Musical is family-friendly, but she warns of some cursing (but no F-word) and “lots of pelvic thrusts.”
“They should be prepared for lots of sexual innuendo,” she said. “It’s a kid friendly show but I’ve been telling people it’s PG-13.”
Ski Bum: The Musical premiered last Thursday in Rossland, B.C. and the two Revelstoke shows are the first stops on a tour that will take them around the Kootenays, including stops in Grand Forks, Trail and Nelson.
Ski Bum: The Musical plays at the Revelstoke Community Centre on Feb. 6 and 7 at 7 p.m. each night. Entry is by donation.
For more information visit Iron Mountain Theatre’s website at ironmountaintheatre.ca.