Volume 10 Week 10

Saturday, March 4


View last year's

Posted Feb. 22

Posted Feb. 16

Posted Feb. 17

Orléans Ward
Bob Monette





(Posted 6 p.m., May 29)

OYP redux of rock 'n roll musical better than the original
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

The Orléans Young Players musical theatre performance of 'The Goddess' featured Chris Shackleton as Cupid and Carley Hutchison as Psyche. Fred Sherwin/Photo

What do get when you mix '50s style rock 'n roll with Roman mythology and an underdog storyline? You get one heck of an entertaining musical, that's what you get.

"The Goddess" is a collaborative production written and directed by Orleans Young Players Theatre School instructor Andrea Cochrane and her partner/musician Alan Dean McDowell.

The play was originally performed in 2007 by OYP's Musical Theatre Class in the old Orleans Theatre with backing tracks rather than live musicians.

The 2010 version, which is being performed this weekend in the main theatre at the Shenkman Arts Centre, has a live band and one of the deepest, most talented casts to ever appear in an OYP musical.

In the opening scene of the play we learn that the god Bacchus has come down to earth and created rock 'n roll which leads to no end of unrest and anti-social behaviour, not to mention one heck of a racket.

To try and put things back to normal Jupiter sends his daughters Venus, Minerva and Diana to earth where they open a hair salon called "The Goddess In You".

Business is down until Psyche enters the shop and Venus hatches a plan to turn the average looking girl into a beautiful poised young woman and then have her beat Bacchus in a singing contest so that he'll go back to Mount Olympus with his tail between his legs.

The plan goes slightly awry when Psyche becomes a rock star in her own right. To try and end her musical career, Venus asks the god Cupid to pierce her with one of her arrows so she will fall in love and give up her career.

Things get slightly more complicated when two of Psyche's fans witness Cupid shooting her with an arrow and attack him, using his own arrows to incapacitate him.

According to legend, if Cupid is hit with his own arrows he can fall in love with a mortal, which is what happens when both he and Psyche come to. The two fall in love at first sight.

Fearing the repercussions of an immortal god falling in love with a mortal woman, Venus comes up with yet another plan to kill Psyche. The plan works, but Cupid is left devastated. When he pledges to never fire another arrow again, Jupiter brings Psyche back to life and agrees to adopt her, making her immortal as well.

The plot line is fun and whimsical, but it is the music and the vocal performances which brought it to life, starting with Chris Shackleton who was absolutely outstanding as Cupid, not to mention a terrific bass player. Carfey Hutchison as Psyche was also in fine voice, as was Alex Shackleton who played Bacchus.

But for my money the best vocal performance on Friday night was turned in by understudy Freddy Cyr Michaud. Although Michaud only joined the production in March, her experience in having done four other musicals before was apparent for all to hear. She has a strong, distinctive voice that made the audience sit up and take notice.

Amanda Ricketts did a wonderful job as well, as Jane -- she's definitely one to watch for -- and I thought Gatineau girl Myreil Therrien was terrific as Venus. I especially loved her accent.

Last, but not least, bravo to Lewis Caunter who was absolutely hilarious as Jupiter and delivered one of the best vocal performances in the first half of the play with the goddesses and zephyrs singing back-up.

Besides Terrien, who played Venus, the other goddesses were played by Victoria Robert and Carolyn Mills. Jenna Evans, Kelsae Harding and Erin Mosley played the zephyrs and Bachettes. The rest of the cast included Kaitlyn Poupore, whose wonderful solo as The Boss criminal was one of the highlights of the second half; Amanda Paliotti who played one of the groupies; and Jessica Lareau who played the crook during the Saturday night performance.

Besides having the live band, one of the more positive elements of the performance was having the actors miked up. The sound was impeccable and it really added to the experience which was an absolute delight. I can't say enough good things about the play

In fact, "The Goddess" is the type of amateur, homegrown production I'd love to see more of in the Harold Shenkman Hall, and not just relegated to the Black Box Theatre. After all, it is a community facility, built by local tax dollars to serve the local area.

Unfortunately, "The Goddess" was the only performance among the 25 or so plays that made up this year's Spring Showcase, that was afforded the privilege of being staged in the main hall. Let's hope there's a few more added to the bill next year..

One of the most memorable scenes from OYP's production of 'The Goddess' is when Cupid thinks his beloved Psyche has been killed by two thieves. Fred Sherwin/Photo

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)



Return to top

Return to Front Page




Posted Jan. 12

Click on image

Click on image




Orléans Online © 2001-2014 Sherwin Publishing