Blue Bridge ready to light up the stage

Rock-Gospel Musical ‘Fire’ tackles faith, family and redemption

Celine Stubel, as Molly King, and Jacob Richmond, as Herchel Blackwell, in Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre's production of Fire.

The McPherson Theatre will be transformed into a gospel church and filled with music and song this week for Fire. The rousing musical combines the world of evangelism and rock ‘n’ roll in a captivating spectacle that promises to have viewers tapping their feet.

As the last production in Blue Bridge Theatre’s successful People’s Choice Season, the Dora Award-winning musical by David Young and Paul Ledoux is based on the real-life story of Jerry Lee Lewis and his cousin, Jimmy Swaggart.

The play came out of Ontario in the late ’80s and became an instant favourite due to the powerful effect of infectious rock classics and evocative gospel hymns merging together to tell a tale of politics, sin, and relationships.

The musical follows Herchel Blackwell (Jacob Richmond), based on Swaggart, and his brother Cale (Zachary Stevenson), based on Lewis, as the two attempt to lead moral lives on completely divergent paths.

Both siblings fall in love with Molly King, their lovely and innocent childhood sweetheart, played by Celine Stubel.

As well as the cousin relationship, another family connection is present behind the scenes as Jacob Richmond, co-founder of local performance troupe Atomic Vaudeville and son of director Brian Richmond, takes on the role of Blackwell. Jacob has watched his father direct the play eight times since its 1985 debut in Thunder Bay.

Richmond’s other acting accomplishments include playing the role of Ted Kennedy in the CBS drama Jackie O: A Life and Biff Loman in the 2009 Blue Bridge production of Death of a Salesman.

The multi-layered Fire spans a period of 23 years, and the scenes jump around in time to different moments in the characters’ lives.

Love-interest Stubel compares the scene transitions to leaping between the brightly coloured pages of a story book, adding that, “it’s exciting to land in those scenes, and aim to bring in just the right colours and words to help fill that particular page of the story.”

Theatre-goers can expect a fun and lively evening of bopping rock songs such as the classic “Great Balls of Fire,” but will also leave the theatre contemplating the political message.

Stevenson describes Fire as a “deep drama about family, faith and redemption, underscored with gospel music and lit up with rock ‘n’ roll .” M

 

 

Fire

Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre

Opens Aug. 4 and runs through to Aug. 14.

Tickets: $33.25 to $42.75 online at www.rmts.bc.ca. or (250)-386-6121

 

 

By Kelly Dunning

Just Posted

Emerging Sooke filmmaker takes spotlight with special award

Mary Galloway creates her own opportunities

Government House gala a great time to announce new Langham Court season

Production chair Alan Penty unveils 90-year-old theatre company’s plans for the coming year

Wild about nature photos: Royal B.C. Museum set to kick off annual exhibition

Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition winners, finalists’ works on display starting Friday

REVIEW: Allan Reid finds a meal fit for a king

Monday’s intrepid restaurant reviewer gets the royal treatment at the Fireside Grill

FILM FEST WRAP: Your winners, reviewer’s favourites make for differing lists

Kyle Wells takes a look back on the Victoria Film Festival’s 25th anniversary event

Seedy Saturday blossoms at Victoria Conference Centre this weekend

Speakers cover wide range of topics, including how to utilize small spaces for gardening

Port Alberni production tells real stories of casual racism

Divided We Fall coming to ADSS and the Capitol Theatre

Women dominated in Grammys nominations, but will they win?

This year’s nominees mark a departure from the 2018 Grammys

Most Read