Summer Musical To Open At Magnus Theatre
#LSN_Arts Justine Lewis, Will Lamond, Andrew Hodwitz, Samantha Piper
THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO = July 2, 2018 (LSN) There is great music coming from the rehearsal hall of Magnus Theatre. Four young dynamos sing in tight harmony. It is a hit song from the 1950s, featured in Magnus’ upcoming summer production, Back In 59. The performers sing with conviction and without irony.
“Ba-Ba-Ba-Ba-Barbara-Ann. Ba-Ba-Ba-Ba-Barbara-Ann. Ba-Ba-Ba-Ba-Barbara-Ann“
Looking on are Director Thom Currie and award-winning Choreographer Stephanie Graham. These two have known each other and collaborated for a decade. Together, they have made Back In 59 a hit in theatres across Canada. The show, which starts previews at Magnus Theatre on July 13, takes place in 1973, with four friends celebrating their 10th high school reunion. The friends reminisce about the old days and the music of their youth. The audience is swept along on a two hour journey through over sixty top-ten hits of the era, including Splish Splash, Where The Boys Are, Good Golly Miss Molly, Teenager in Love, Leader Of The Pack, Breakin’ Up Is Hard To Do, Sukiyaki, Let’s Twist Again, My Boyfriend’s Back and many, many more.
“The play is about a high school reunion, or rather a group of people who have just left their reunion party.” says Currie. “That’s the jumping-off point for Back In 59 – four old friends reliving the music of their teenage years.”
Like the play, the rehearsal room has the feel of a reunion of old friends.
“It is a reunion,” insists Currie, Magnus Theatre’s Artistic Director, who also wrote Back In 59. ““It was important to me to bring Stephanie in for this. She was a huge part of the process of creating the show, and she has worked on more productions of it than I have. I’m thrilled that she was able to fit Magnus into her schedule.” Stephanie Graham directs and choreographs at major theatres across Canada. She has choreographed every Canadian production of Back In 59 and has directed it twice. Currie himself has directed four productions of Back In 59 and consulted for productions in the U.S.
The Magnus production features Andrew Hodwitz, Will Lamond, Justine Lewis and Samantha Piper, under the musical direction of Noah MacDougall, who has collaborated with Graham on many productions across the country, including a 2015 production of Back In 59.
Currie, who also wrote last season’s Mama’s Country Record Collection, muses on the appeal of Back In 59. “This really was an unbeatable time in North American pop music; a rich and fertile period when radio culture went crazy with mainstream rock ‘n’ roll music.” Incredibly, none of the songs are from popular icons of the time, such as Elvis or Buddy Holly, but this does not affect the show’s charm. “Everyone in the theatre will know the lyrics to all the songs in this show,” says Currie.
The Montreal Gazette called Back In 59 “the perfect musical crowd-pleaser for your summer date night.” Magnus Theatre is hoping that Thunder Bay audiences will agree.
Back In 59 runs at Magnus Theatre on July 12-28, 2018. For tickets visit magnustheatre.com, call 807-345-5552 or visit the box office at the theatre. Tickets are $35. Evening Performances are Tuesday to Saturday at 7:30pm, with Matinee Performances Wednesday at 12pm and Saturday & Sunday at 2:00pm. PAY WHAT YOU CAN on Sunday, July 22.