The drama department at Lloydminster Comprehensive High School (LCHS) is almost ready to let loose 1920s style in their upcoming production of Radio Gals.
The production revolves around four retired women who love to get together with each other and sing and gossip, but they broadcast their music through a radio transmitter from the comfort of one of their living rooms, which eventually gets them into some hot water with local law enforcement.
The production is sure to please an audience of all ages as it incorporates music from country western to classical broadway.
“There are so many things to practice and so many things to think about being a musical. It takes so much time and effort, and one person being off can throw us all off, but then again, one person doing really well pulls everyone together,” said Kierra Payne, who portrays Hazel Hunt, the ‘motherly figure of the group.’
“It’s going to be a great production. It’s such an exciting experience and it’s almost a ‘community building’ experience, because we all get to come together and get to know each other, and even those times when it seems really difficult to get things done, it almost makes our theatre family stronger.”
Payne also explained how the production has been a lot of fun to put together, as she and her school mates get to portray these “four kookie ladies who know what they want in life and will do anything to get it, but they’re also running a radio station in a way they shouldn’t be, but they don’t care.”
According to Payne, audiences can expect a very wide variety of music from all different genres, a lot of fun dances, and a lot of different stories within the songs, which takes viewers all over the world.
LCHS student Corie Groome, who plays Gladys Fritts, explained her character as having a personality not far from her own, in regards to them both being dramatic sopranos who love reciting poetry, but they’re also a bit flamboyant and enjoy getting the attention of boys.
“People should definitely come and see Radio Gals because it’s a really fun production,” Groome said.
“There’s a lot of harmonies and it’s very pleasant to the ears.”
Not only has the production been a great deal of fun for everyone involved, but proceeds from the show’s performances go directly back in to the drama department and future productions.
“It’s so important to us as a school because the dramatic arts provide such a safe havel for us kids, and it just provides us another spot for us to express ourselves and have fun.”
Both Payne and Groome will be the first to tell tales of how much work goes into putting on a play let alone a musical, but the pair agree all of the extra hours have been completely worth it as the production is coming together well.
“We do characterizations when we get out characters, we go through the entire script and build technique, we spend hours every week going over vocals, and we also do choreography over our lunches,” said Groome.
One of the most educational and challenging parts of this whole experience for drama teacher Simon Stang has been perfecting the coordination between himself and the live band which provides music throughout the show.
“We’re a student band, so once we have the songs learned, trying to mesh that sound with a live band can be difficult, not to mention you have choreography so everyone is dancing while they’re singing, so that’s a whole other element,” explained Stang.
“It’s bringing together the entire gamut of fine-arts entertainment and it’s challenging, but the entire group is taking to it really well, and for all of my leads this is not their first musical, but for some of the Grade 10 students I think they’re starting to figure out how daunting it is and how much work goes into the whole process.”
Stang also explained how he and the original writer of Radio Gals have been in close contact with each other over the past few months, discussing changes Stang wanted to make to help tailor it to be more of a high school production.
“The broadway version of the musical doesn’t have a pit band, the actors themselves were doing the playing, so I changed that since we’re using a pit band, and I also added an entire chorus to it since the broadway version didn’t have one.”
With opening night already sold out, Radio Gals is a hot ticket in town with shows from Dec. 13-16. For ticket information and availability, email email@example.com