Thursday, January 24, 2013

PuSh 2013: Ride The Cyclone

When I saw Ride the Cyclone at the Revue Stage on Granville Island a little over a year ago I was impressed by its originality, the music and the talent on stage. Jacob Richmond (writer), Brooke Maxwell (music & lyrics) & Britt Small (direction) together created a breathe of fresh air in a sometimes dull and mundane theatrical landscape. There was no denying that this creation was something special and that young people were flocking to this show.

Having said all that, I have to admit – and I may be the only one – I felt a little detached from it. I could see its brilliance but I’m not sure it drew me in the way I would have liked to be drawn in.

You see, and I’ll fully admit my bias here, for the most part (and there are exceptions of course) I am a story person. Give me a plot and someone to root for. So, when I heard through the grapevine that in the newest version of Ride the Cyclone they were working on integrating a more substantial plot line my interest in seeing it again was piqued.

Just to be clear, I would have seen it again regardless, because it is a brilliant show without or without the latest changes; however, I was pleasantly and happily surprised to find at Tuesday night’s Opening that this brilliant little musical now also included a journey for me to go on and a character, or characters, to root for.

In short: the Ancient Karnak plays a much bigger role in that he turns this spooky land of the dead, where the 6 kids from Uranium have been trapped after being killed on a roller coaster ride, into a kind of game where they all compete for a chance to get their life back. Who to root for? Who will win? Will anyone win? This is the journey.

(Photo courtesy: PuSh Festival. Photographer:  Fairen Berchard)

Then within that framework you get all the brilliance of this talented cast in each of their feature pieces: Rielle Braid is fantastic as the overachieving alpha female Ocean Rosenberg; Elliot Loran’s David Bowie-esque “Space Age Bachelor Man” as Ricky Potts is a real trip; Sarah Jane Pelzer is perfectly creepy as Jane Doe; Jameson Parker as Misha Bachinsky raps the sh*t out his number while alternatively making you want to give him a great big hug; Kelly Hudson’s pop number ‘”Sugar Cloud” as Constance Blackwood makes me want to hear her on the radio; and last but certainly not least, is Kholby Wardell as Noel Gruber who strips down to his boudoir best, slaps on a pair of heels and makes us all want to be a French prostitutes.

All of this factored in - with the addition of a live band and a few more numbers for us to all enjoy - next stop Broadway. Catch it now, if you can still get tickets, so that you can be one of the lucky ones to say “I saw it when…”

Atomic Vaudeville’s Ride the Cyclone plays on the Arts Club Theatre’s Granville Island stage as part of The PuSh International Perfoming Arts Festival until February 16. You can purchase your tickets here!

But do it quick, if they aren’t already sold out, you can bet they will be soon.

~Sabrina Evertt,
Artistic Producer

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