There’s a moment in the Revelstoke Project, when Lucas Myers is playing a railroader named Trevor rapping about scheduling and fatigue, where his original play hits the truth. The songs starts out innocently enough with jokes about getting up at two a.m. and hoping to get a train to Kamloops but getting stuck driving to Field. Anyone who knows a railroader – that is pretty much everyone in town – will get the jokes (and will laugh at the absurdity of a railroader rapping about scheduling.)
Then Myers mentions Hunter Harrison and the vitriol that comes out could be from any conductor or engineer in town.
He definitely did his homework.
The Revelstoke Project is an original play that was commissioned by the Revelstoke Arts Council. They asked Myers, a seasoned theatre professional based out of Nelson, to come up with a show that encapsulates Revelstoke. Myers spent three weeks here taking part in all sorts of activities and interviewing people around town.
The result of his work premiered at the Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre on Thursday to a crowd of about 150. As is his style, it was a one-man play in which Myers plays various characters who each share a little bit about Revelstoke with the audience. He mixes in monologues with sketches, songs, puppetry and some video.
It’s really funny.
The characters include Ryan, who gives a quick lesson on Revelstoke, including stuff about shopping at Cooper’s, how long you have to live here before you can start complaining about all the newcomers, and what’s appropriate on the Stoke List.
There’s a song about Revelstoke’s history which includes some dark elements like the face the Sinixt have been largely whitewashed from our history, but it also looks at achievements like the gold rush, the construction of the railway, the dams and the ski resort.
There’s a sock puppet performance about a couple struggling with the move to town from Vancouver. There’s a ballad by a Big Eddy resident who got stuck in town after being pulled over by the cops, got a job at the mill, got married and had a kid. Watch the video of that part below.
He performs the “Stokeathlon,” which includes riding the Pipe, metal yoga, drop-in curling and racing our local youth Nordic skiers at midnight.
We get advice from the bank teller on the types of men you might encounter while dating here, including the sledder, backcountry skier, snowshoer and cross-country skier.
He plays a Parks Canada warden who’s fascinated with picas, while the bit somehow incorporates jokes about the roundabout, snowblowers and Subarus.
I’m not a theatre critic and it’s really hard to encapsulate everything into a review. Everyone I talked to thought the play was great. If you missed it Thursday, don’t worry because it’s being performed again on Friday, Nov. 25, at 7 p.m. Entry is by donation.