Cast members from Vic High’s musical theatre production of Cry Baby gather on the school’s auditorium stage. The show runs Feb. 5-9. Photo by Kim Sholinder

Vic High theatre staging musical class struggle tale

Cry Baby a love story and social commentary piece presented with campy style

Theatre with an edge is coming to Vic High next month.

For potentially the final show to be produced in the iconic high school’s auditorium as it stands today – seismic upgrading for the school is in the works – the theatre department is preparing to stage Cry Baby, the story of a 1950s-era class struggle where a “good girl” falls for a “bad boy” from the other side of the tracks.

Director Kim Sholinder says the musical, running Feb. 6 to 9 with a pay-what-you-can preview night Feb. 5, continues Vic High’s tradition of tackling slightly edgier scripts, those that explore social issues along with providing fun entertainment.

“For me and the education of the students, it’s good to expose them to shows they may not be familiar with,” she says. It also helps, from a competitive standpoint, to do shows other high schools have not done, she adds.

The musical is based on the 1990 movie of the same name that starred Johnny Depp as Cry Baby and Amy Locane as Allison.

Sholinder involves the students in the selection of the year’s productions and after last year’s staging of Hair, which ends with the heartbreaking death of a key character, the students wanted to take on something upbeat and light.

While the character Wade “Cry Baby” Walker has a tragic back story – his parents were killed under suspicion of being Communists – and the serious issues of classism, racism and sexism are touched on, the overall tone of the show is hopeful and uplifting, Sholinder says.

Describing her own style as “kind of campy … with light humour and quirky stuff mixed in,” she says the music and story line in Cry Baby give it that kind of feel, in a way similar to Grease, a better-known musical popular with high school theatre troupes.

Musically, it’s rockabilly (the cool, leather-bound “drapes”) meets barbershop quartet (the buttoned-down “squares”).

“The students are really enjoying it; it’s a challenging musical score,” Sholinder says.

The production is benefiting from having community musician Stephen Horak organizing the live accompaniment, while vocal coach Anabel Wind is working with the students on their singing. “Four-part harmony in a quartet is tricky if you haven’t experienced that before,” the director notes.

While Cry Baby and Allison are the lead roles, this production was chosen, in part, for the way it weaves other cast members into the story and gives them opportunities to shine, Sholinder says.

Tickets are $12 each or $10 for students, available at the door or in advance by calling 250-388-5456.

editor@mondaymag.com

Just Posted

Powerfully Piaf: Musical tells chanteuse’s life story

Multimedia French cabaret show March 20 at the Royal Theatre part of a worldwide tour

CRAFT BEER COUNTDOWN: Victoria Beer Week 2019 nearly upon us

Monday beer columnist Mathieu Poirier revels in this learning and tasting extravaganza

REVIEW: Trojan Women a brilliant downer at the Phoenix

UVic theatre program does a good job interpreting Greek tragedy, wrtes Sheila Martindale

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

What is Democracy? takes another crack at Sooke

Awareness Film Night feature set for Feb. 28

Chanel: Iconic couturier Karl Lagerfeld has died

He spent virtually his entire career at luxury labels catering to the very wealthy

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

Most Read