(Posted 6 p.m.,
redux of rock 'n roll musical better than the original
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Young Players musical theatre performance of 'The Goddess' featured Chris
Shackleton as Cupid and Carley Hutchison as Psyche. Fred Sherwin/Photo
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.
Goddess" is a collaborative production written and directed by Orleans Young
Players Theatre School instructor Andrea Cochrane and her partner/musician Alan
play was originally performed in 2007 by OYP's Musical Theatre Class in the old
Orleans Theatre with backing tracks rather than live musicians.
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.
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.
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".
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
"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
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
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
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