Ride the Cyclone handout

Victoria success story comes home

Ride the Cyclone returns to where it all began

  • Aug. 3, 2022 7:30 a.m.

Ride the Cyclone is returning to the Victoria stage as the final production in Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre’s 2022 summer season.

Originally presented by Atomic Vaudeville in 2008 as a cabaret show, Ride the Cyclone has since toured widely, receiving critical praise throughout North America. The show combines dark humour and a lighthearted look at life and death, ultimately examining what constitutes a well-lived life.

“It’s an hour and a half party on the meditation of loss,” says Jacob Richmond, who co-wrote the show with composer Brooke Maxwell. Jacob is co-directing and will voice the fortuneteller, Karnak. “It’s a reflection on the nature of random catastrophe and trying to cobble together some joy and meaning in the face of fate’s uncertainty. Given what’s happened over the last two years, I think audiences will even more closely relate to the show’s central themes.”

Created by Victoria artists and all homegrown talent, Ride the Cyclone follows six teenagers, all members of a chamber choir, who are in a tragic roller coaster accident. They are trapped in a kind of limbo where one will have a second chance at life. Ride the Cyclone grew out of a uniquely Victoria sensibility and Atomic Vaudeville’s unique brand of humor. While the show has achieved international success, it’s still considered Victoria’s own.

“After a decade it is great to come home to Victoria, where it all began, and work with a new generation of performers. Treena Stubel, choreographer and co-director, was pregnant with our child the last time we staged it in Canada. Now our child is listening to the music and taking in and reflecting on the meaning of the show, which is both surreal and beautiful. To present it at the Roxy, where I’ve done so many shows, it feels like it’s coming full circle,” says Richmond.

Ride the Cyclone has played to audiences in Seattle, Atlanta, Chicago, New York and in many other communities across North America. More recently the show was translated into Portuguese. It will have its first major production in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this fall. And the show will go to the prestigious Arena Stage in Washington, DC next year. The soundtrack was recorded and released in 2021.

Show cast includes Madeleine Humeny as Ocean, Yasmin D’Oshun as Constance, Keith McMillian as Ricky, Carter Gulseth as Noel, Matt Coulson as Mischa, Anna Van Der Hooft as Jane Doe and Jacob Richmond as Karnak. Set was designed by Hans Saefkow, costumes by Emily Friesen and lighting design by Rebekah Johnson.

Ride the Cyclone runs from August 2 to 14. Both streamed and in-person tickets are available online at bluebridgetheatre.ca or by calling 250-382-3370.