Waiting for Oz: RLOP Warms up with original dinner theatre show

Allyson Kenning
By Allyson Kenning
November 3rd, 2010


At the height of ski season, after an influx of skiers from far away swells the population of Rossland, February 2011 will see an influx of another kind: the short, high-pitched voice kind, the witchy kind, and the kind missing key major organs most of us could not survive without. I am not talking about anything Halloween-related here; I am talking about the debut of the Rossland Light Opera Players’ Mainstage 2011 show, The Wizard of Oz.
Auditions for this production took place at the beginning of October, and according to Dawn Graham, president of the RLOP’s executive, they went very well. She reports, “we had almost 80 people audition, a great many of which were children wanting to be Munchkins.” Rehearsals for The Wizard of Oz will begin this month.
Leading up to the premiere of The Wizard of Oz, the RLOP has been working hard on a dinner theatre production called Plenty of Nothin’: Songs from Shows We’ll Never (?) Do. There will be two performances, one in Rossland November 6th at the Miners’ Hall, and one in Warfield November 13 at the Warfield Community Hall. The production is one of a number of fundraisers the RLOP does during the year, and in this case the part of the proceeds will go towards paying royalties on the copyrighted material for The Wizard of Oz show, which according to Graham can be quite significant, and part of the proceeds from the Warfield performance will also go to the Canadian Cancer Society.
When asked what the audience might expect from Plenty of Nothin’, Graham enthuses, “The audience can expect a great evening. Delicious food, great songs that they can most likely sing along with and some great laughs! [We] chose songs from some of our favourite musicals as well as songs that we knew would get the audience singing.” The show presents an original script collaboratively written by RLOP executive members.
Summing up the plot without giving too much away, Graham reveals “the show revolves around an RLOP Production Team that is at odds because they can’t seem to pick the best show to perform for Mainstage 2011. There are 16 songs in total, so they go through a lot of musicals before they choose the perfect show. And of course, there are some fun moments along the way with a great ending where they reveal the Mainstage show.”
Additionally, Graham says of the performance, “We have five main characters who have the speaking roles and then several people who have been given solos. We also have a duet and trio and group numbers. The show was a great idea because it gave a lot of people the opportunity to sing, instead of just a few lead characters getting all the focus.”
Speaking of the aforementioned delicious food, catering for both shows will be provided by local vendors. For the Rossland show, Brad and Kim will be making dinner and desserts are being provided by Sweet Dreams Cakery. For the Warfield show, the catering will be done by the Cornerstone Café. Both meals will have a vegetarian option in addition to a meat option, and there is also a cash bar so attendees can enjoy some wine with their meals.
On a sad note, three members of the RLOP passed away this year, and Plenty of Nothin’ pays tribute to these individuals. “We added them to the script as a way of honouring their contributions to our organization,” says Graham.
Summing up the process and the production, Graham remarks, “the show offered our Executive the chance to collaborate to create something that is really unique and special. We wrote and produced a show that we are really proud of and that comes across in the performance.”
Tickets for both the Rossland and the Warfield shows must be purchased in advance; they are available for $30 at Rossland Pro Hardware and RossVegas in Rossland, and at the Cornerstone Café and the Warfield recreation office in Warfield. Doors open at 6:00pm, dinner  is at 6:30pm, and the show starts at 7:30pm.
Looking forward, The Wizard of Oz opens in Rossland February 18th and 19th at RSS. There will be seven performances in total, with the other five playing in Trail a the Charles Bailey Theatre February 25th, 26th, and 27th, and in Castlegar’s Brilliant Cultural Centre on March 4th and 5th.

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