Video: Classic tunes showcased in brand new Kelowna musical

Swingtime Serenade opens Sept. 5 at the Rotary Centre for the Arts in downtown Kelowna.

A brand new musical all about celebrating classic tunes, love, laughter and little competition too, is hitting a downtown Kelowna stage Sept. 5.

Swingtime Serenade is the brainchild of Kelowna musician Michael Minions who wrote the show as a way to showcase some of his favourite music from the 1930s and ’40s.

“I’ve had a love for this kind of music probably since I was little, my dad had some records. I discovered them and I liked the sound of it,” said Minions, Swingtime Serenade’s author, director, musical director and pianist.

“I pulled a bunch back in the spring, maybe 50-60 songs, that I thought would be really, really fun to play.”

Minions ran the idea and music by bassist Tom Kinahan who suggested a storyline was needed to create a good show.

His creative mind lead him to his new lead character of Harry the Hammer.

“It sounded like a great gangster name,” explained Minions. “The Dutch Schultz gang used to launder money through Broadway shows in the ’20s so I invented this character Harry the Hammer, who used to be an enforcer for the gang, but really liked doing the theatre stuff. So, when the gang broke up, he decided to go do touring shows.”

Minions based the show around a group of characters auditioning in Winnipeg to join Hammer’s show, the Swingtime Serenade.

“I looked at all the songs and developed what kind of character would sing each song,” said Minions.

“Songs of encouragement, I made up the Happy Girls, smooth songs, I made up the Mellow Meisters, there are some duos, the Sass Sisters, various characters grew out of the various songs.”

After auditions for the play finished, Minions made final changes to the show to fit his cast of actors.

“It just kind of grew organically out of that kind of love of the music,” added Minions.

“It is just a bunch of songs from about 1935-1945 that are fun to sing and fun to play and I wrapped it in this idea that it is a bunch of crazy characters auditioning to be part of touring show of Western Canada.”

While no member of the cast was born at the time these songs hit the radio waves, Minions said these songs are classic for a reason and the show is a blast for those young and old.

“It is fun, you don’t get to hear this music very often,” said Minions.

“There is a certain charm to this music. The Happy Girls sing songs of encouragement, they give you advice. There is a lot of mellow, relaxing music that is an anecdote to what your hear on the radio these days. The stories are there behind the songs.”

Swingtime Serenade is runs from Sept. 5 to Sept. 16 at the Mary Irwin Theatre, inside the Rotary Centre for the Arts.

Tickets are available at the box office, by calling 250-717-5304 or online at rotarycentreforthearts.com.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@carmenweld
carmen.weld@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

Reality show filming in South Okanagan is looking for participants

A real estate reality show is looking for homeowners and realtors to participate

Slackcountry Cup competitors shred the unshredded on Okanagan ski hill

The fifth year of the competition on the slopes of Baldy Mountain is this weekend.

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Sunny days ahead

It’s beginning to feel like spring in Kelowna

Okanagan Cat Coalition asks for help from community

The coalition has lost over half its inventory of traps

Temperatures on the rise for the Okanagan Valley

Okanagan-Shuswap weekday weather update

Horvat scores 16 seconds into OT as Canucks beat Blackhawks 3-2

Pettersson sets rookie scoring record for Vancouver

No injuries, pollution in Vancouver Harbour ship collision: Transport Canada

Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators look into the incident

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Kelowna DJs organize own shows to fill gap in music scene

The DJs wanted to create somewhere people could enjoy their music safely

In Photos: Classic snowmobiles pushed to their limits in fun races

The Burner in Malakwa served as the venue for races show cases older sleds

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

Most Read