Bard To Broadway – Summer 2017
from D.C. (“Don”) Harper

President’s Message – 2017 Program
Welcome to our 18th season of live summer theatre in Oceanside. As an homage to our great country as it marks its sesquicentennial, two of our three shows are vintage Canadian. We are bringing back, due to popular demand, the Tony-award winning musical The Drowsy Chaperone; and one of our comedies, Looking, is by Canada’s best known comic playwright Norm Foster. To round out the season we have added Moon Over Buffalo, a hilarious comedic farce by well-known American playwright Ken Ludwig. There is a celebratory theme to it all as the characters seek love and connection, and encounter all sorts of mayhem and mishaps along the way. Our season ends with a performance of the classic Guys and Dolls (Jr.) by our Teen Musical Theatre troupe following their intense three-week program.
We welcome a new member to our creative team – after several memorable B2B performances, she makes her directorial “debut” with us (following numerous previous directing credits in Courtenay-Comox.) Susan Bradshaw not only helms The Drowsy Chaperone, but she is also its choreographer, and she reprises her effervescent role from our 2013 production. Many others from the cast of that production are returning, and there are several engaging fresh arrivals in the show as well. We are grateful for the superb musicianship of Hilary Whelton (vocals) and Rod Alsop (orchestra.) The show nostalgically celebrates the musical theatre genre and reveals some surprising romances that survive improbable circumstances ~ the jealousy that challenges young passion, unexpected (unholy?) alliances, infatuation and rebuff, and touching, late-blooming elder love.
Looking is directed by the B2B stalwart Eileen Butts and features two Bard veterans and two experienced newcomers. Aren’t we all looking for that special someone? Well these four middle-aged singles certainly are – they bring us, in the true Norm Foster way, a whole host of warm and funny delights and dilemmas among those “looking” to give relationships another chance.
Moon Over Buffalo is a fond valentine to the touring theatre companies of yesteryear. We meet some unforgettable thespians who are reluctant (unwilling and/or unable?) to let go of the past (admit that they are past their prime?) and who manage to get entangled in the most unlikely attachments. Guided with a sure hand by Gary Brown, one of the founders of B2B, and showcasing several of your favourite B2B actors as well as some exciting new ones, it promises to have you rolling in the aisles.
You won’t want to miss the Teen Musical Theatre production of Guys and Dolls Jr. – a real celebration of the incredible talent that is up-and-coming in the area. It is directed by Hilary Whelton with assistance from several B2B educational program alumni. Author Damon Runyon’s unique voice and deep affection for his shady characters unmistakably shine through.
Love of live theatre is what got us started on this venture almost 19 years ago, and we are thrilled that you have chosen to share it with us. Enjoy the shows