Mike - Oklahoma!
Audiences may remember you as Levi in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. What was your favourite part of doing that show?
A few highlights stand out for me. The first, just walking on stage for my first song during opening night. It had been 30 years since I last acted, and this was the first time for me singing and dancing on stage. It was scary and exhilarating at the same time.
Secondly, doing Canaan Days with the brothers. There’s nothing like belting out a song in French accents with a bunch of other guys. Totally corny and pure fun for all of us.
Lastly, and it’s something that I would look forward to as it grew on me with each performance - the final two numbers of the show. When the entire cast sang Any Dream Will Do, I’d look into the audience and see tears in the audience's eyes which gave me chills; it was then followed by the Finale during which those tears quickly turned into huge smiles, laughs and cheers. Unforgettable!
Why did you want to be part of this production? What have you found challenging about preparing to play Mike this summer?
When I was a child, every Sunday morning, my parents would put on a record from different musicals. They’d turn it up loud, and get us kids out of bed with music and singing. I guess the music from Oklahoma just became ingrained in my head, and I found it quickly became one of my all-time favourite musicals. How can you not want to get out of bed when someone sings Oh What a Beautiful Morning?
What was challenging? Well it sure isn’t remembering my character’s name! The most challenging thing for me has been dealing with the hot weather during rehearsals. Learning new dance steps and trying to repeat them over and over is difficult when your brain and body is turning to mush from the heat.
What do you do when you’re not working on a show?
When I’m not working on the show, I perform with SimPhoney Improv - a local improvisational comedy group that we started in 2014. I also like to coach my son’s hockey team and sit on a couple of boards - most recently with the Rotary Club of Chilliwack, the Chilliwack Academy of Music, and of course, Secondary Characters!