Correlieu Secondary School students will be sharing some of their favourite Broadway songs next week when the Correlieu Players present their 62nd annual musical revue.
The Correlieu Players will perform New Broadway April 10-13, and the show features hit songs from the latest Broadway musicals, including Rent, Hamilton and The Greatest Showman.
“It is different from any year,” said Grade 12 student Savannah Audet. “It is very new, and we are deciding to show what Broadway is in the modern era. We chose songs from the previous decade, and it will show what future theatre will look like at Correlieu.”
Last year, Grade 12 student Mattias Aaslie got a group together, and they did “A Friend Like Me” from Aladdin at a talent show, and he remembers music teacher Shawn Smith told him he wanted to get that show again because he really liked it.
“We have a few songs from shows from previous years and songs from shows we want to do,” he said. “There are popular shows that people will know and hopefully that younger students who are now at Quesnel Junior School will see and think ‘Hey, I want to do that.’”
Aaslie and Audet agree the rehearsals are going very well, and they are having a lot of fun.
“We actually are ahead of schedule,” said Audet.
“Way ahead!” added Aaslie. “We have a finale.”
“We are very organized this year, and we hope that show in our shows next week,” said Audet.
Audet and Aaslie say there is a great mix of talent in the New Broadway cast.
“We have some people who are absolutely amazing at singing, and this show really shows off their talent,” said Aaslie. “We have some people who are better at acting, and they can show that off.”
“Stage presence is very important in this show because your character is changing, and it can be very drastic,” agreed Audet.
When asked if they have a favourite number or favourite character in this year’s show, neither performer hesitated to choose one.
“Absolutely,” said Aaslie. “Mine is the Genie from Aladdin, the one I’ve been developing since last year, but now I have Hammer pants, which makes it so much more fun.”
Audet’s favourite is Eliza from Hamilton.
“Hamilton is very popular for this era, and it is an American musical, but I feel we learned a lot from it,” she said. “I learned a lot about American history from it.”
Aaslie started performing in musicals at Correlieu in Grade 10, while Audet started musical theatre in Grade 11 after watching in Grade 10.
“Musical theatre is one of those things where you have to full send it,” said Aaslie. “You have to just do it. If you think about it too much, you are going to miss out on something awesome. The year I joined, I was the only guy who joined in Grade 10, so I was definitely intimidated, and I was given the lead as well. I was thinking ‘am I the right guy for this?’ In the end, I ended up in tears because I loved it so much, and I signed up for the next year.”
Audet remembers she sat in the drama room and watched everyone when she was in Grade 10, and she ended up leaving because she was too intimidated, something she regrets.
“For anyone thinking of joining musical theatre, do it — please,” said Aaslie. “Especially guys.”
“We need guys because some of the musicals we want to do in the future, they have a strong male cast,” added Audet.
As she looks ahead to next week’s performances in the school’s Chuck Mobley Theatre, Audet says she still gets nervous before performing, but she is able to forget all about it once she’s on stage.
“The feeling honestly never goes away,” she said. “It’s always the same butterflies in your stomach. But once it starts, you are just engulfed in your character, and the feeling once you get off the stage after a great show is just amazing.”
Aaslie feels nervous as well but agrees that the feeling you get off the stage is much more powerful than any nerves you get before you get on the stage.
“I know for me, during show week, all I can stomach is one of those smoothies you buy at the grocery store and a banana,” he said. “But like Savannah says, once the show starts, all you feel is the music, the sweat and the character. It’s something magical.”
The Correlieu Players present their 62nd annual revue, New Broadway, April 10-13 at the Chuck Mobley Theatre at Correlieu. Each night, doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the curtain is at 7 p.m. A Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. has been added as well. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students/OAP and are available at Bliss, the Ultimate Grill, Bo Peep Boutique, Quesnel Music, and the Correlieu box office.