The 'Urchins' of the Little Shop of Horrors !

Community Theater Shines in Montreal !

    Do you know someone who has a knack for making people laugh?  Do they break out in song / dance during movies or love to steal the spotlight at social gatherings?

Perhaps they have a hidden talent for acting and would be an excellent fit for one of the amazing local community theatre troupes that puts on quality productions every year!

This week, I was lucky to attend a couple of excellent community plays:  Shrek the musical by WISTA, It Shoulda Been You running at the Segal Theatre and Little Shop of Horrors currently playing in Cote Saint Luc.

Read below to learn about their recent productions and also on how YOU ( or someone you know) can get involved in future shows:

 Shrek, the musical presented by WISTA (West Island Theatre Association)

Once upon a time there lived a young Ogre who just dreamed of living quietly in his swamp…Throw in a donkey, a feisty princess, a pint sized suitor, the big bad wolf and bunch of other fairy tale misfits and you got yourself a musical of epic proportions!

The West Island Theatre Association (WISTA) is a non-profit community theatre company founded in 2006, which allows young individuals to interact and perform in the wonderful world of musical theatre.

From June 9th to the 17th , WISTA performed a heartwarming rendition of Shrek the Musical,  based on the beloved 2001 Dream Works animated film of the same name, that offered genuine theatrical entertainment with memorable characters, light songs, dances and an overall feel good motto that “it’s better to be kind and good, rather than beautiful”.

The cast of Shrek the Musical

Some of the definite highlights of the show were the comical antics and come-backs phrases of Anton May as Donkey, Shrek’s faithful friend, and Daniel Wilkenfeld’s performance as the undersized Lord Farquaad, who aspires to ascend the throne by marrying Princess Fiona. It was fascinating to see Wilkenfeld dance and prance around the stage on his knees for the duration of the play with his real legs hidden by a billowing black cape.

Shrek, played by Joel Bernstein was quite endearing as he laments that it’s “a big bright, beautiful world” for everyone except him. Katja Teixeira as Fiona, was spunky and performed a pretty wicked tap dance number with the rest of the ensemble.

This enjoyable show was developed by the collaborative creative energy of the over 60 members of WISTA that included a combination of singers, dancers, technicians and musicians.

The company has produced 8 full-length musical productions since 2006 as well as providing a myriad of services including cabaret-style performances, dinner theatre, flash mobs, Princess Parties, community events and workshops.

To get involved in up-coming shows please visit their site HERE.

It Shoulda Been You – Currently running until June 25th at the Segal Theatre

The Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre Production of It Shoulda Been You, in Yiddish with French and English super-titles will be presented from June 4th to the 25th at the Segal Theatre.

The Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre is a branch of the Montreal’s Segal Centre for Performing Arts that was founded in 1958 by Ukrainian actress, playwright and theatre director, Dora Wasserman. The company helps to sustain Yiddish-language and culture by producing quality productions in Montreal.

It Shoulda Been You is a hilarious wedding themed musical, filled with plot twists and surprises. Adapted for the stage from a book by BRIAN HARGROVE, with catchy music by BARBARA ANSELMI, director and choreographer JIM WHITE has put together a large cast of 24 new and veteran DWYT volunteer to take to the stage. This is the first time the Broadway musical will be produced in Canada and the first time it will have been translated into the Yiddish language.

The plot centers on the upcoming nuptials of a young couple from two very comically different families that have to learn to settle their differences in order to make the wedding happen. The comedy born from the generational and ethnic differences between the families and the unexpected arrival of the bride’s ex at the scene, throws the entire wedding party into a frenzy.

It’s easy to laugh at all the awkward situations faced by both sides of the wedding party. From Judy, the overbearing, talkative Jewish mother, played brilliantly by Karen Karpman who shouts constant commands at her daughter to get things organized, to the groom’s dramatic mother, Georgette, played by Joanne Cutler, who has separation issues and doesn’t want to lose her son to another woman, the musical explores the values that we hold dear and is a good reminder that family dynamics will stand the test of time.

Will everyone finally get their “Happily Ever After?”  Find out at the wackiest wedding of the season at the Segal Centre this June!

Do you love Yiddish theatre and want to participate in its continued cultural legacy? The Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre regularly holds auditions for up-coming productions, or you can become a DWYT volunteer today! You can follow their page on Facebook or visit HERE to get more information.

Little Shop of Horrors presented by the Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society

The City of Côte Saint-Luc and the Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society cordially invite you to sing along, laugh and cry with joyful fright at their production of the “Little Shop of Horrors”, currently running at the Harold Greenspon Auditorium, 5801 Cavendish Blvd from June 8th to the 25th , 2017.

The Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society is a community theatre initiative that began in the summer of 2011 in partnership with the City of Côte Saint-Luc. The goal is to bring together actors, writers, musicians and other artistically minded community members to produce theatrical works in an inclusive environment where emphasis is placed on team work and camaraderie, not celebrity.

From the genius minds of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, “Little Shop of Horrors” is the comedic American Rock musical masterpiece that has gained worldwide acclaim.

We follow the story of Seymour (Benjamin Warner), a shy and nerdy young florist who finds his chance for success in business and romance with the help of a Venus fly trap -like plant, that he affectionately names Audrey II after the girl he likes .

Sounds too good to be true? Wait until Seymour finds out that his new ticket to success can get pretty vocal about its hunger pangs for fresh human blood and flesh ….  Luckily Audrey’s abusive and half crazed dentist boyfriend (Franco DeCrescentis) makes for a tasty if not tangy, appetizer!

Get ready to laugh as the award winning team led by director Anisa Cameron delivers a deliciously well put performance this June!

If you wish to get involved and learn more about the Côte Saint Luc Dramatic Society and their up-coming production, please visit HERE