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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Okanagan Mascot Games returning to Penticton this July

HarVee and the Vancouver Canucks’ Fin are among the 24 mascots coming to the South Okanagan

Long-time winemaker retires after 14 years in Oliver

Robert Summers joined the Hester Creek Estate Winery team in 2006.

Mock evacuation notice exercise planned for RDOS

Penticton Search and Rescue is planning an evacuation excerise Feb. 24 within the RDOS

Penticton seeking additional downtown input on potential cycling routes

The City has narrowed down the choices to two options and wants public input before deciding

Hidden treasures of the Curiosity Shop; antique plastic topped boxes

A set of celluloid topped glove and collar boxes are some of the many interesting finds in Keremeos

Okanagan rescue team comes back home from Australian mission

Brad Pattison’s team spent 33 days rescuing wildlife

Kelowna mayor to request RCMP’s ‘unfounded’ sexual assault report

RCMP said the report was completed over a month ago but have yet to release it or make a statement

Criminality not suspected in Ellison trailer fire death

The body was discovered after crews responded to reports of a house fire

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

Kelowna youth accused of killing 16-year-old released

The young woman was arrested on Feb. 21 and is facing one charge of manslaughter

Interior Health appoints administrator at Summerland Seniors Village

Numerous concerns raised about private seniors care facility

Man arrested following suspicious trailer fire in Kelowna

Reports came in about the fire at approximately 11:45 a.m. on Monday morning

Body discovered following vehicle fire on Kelowna property

Firefighters discovered a body in a home on Anderson Road

‘Please be quiet,’ Kelowna Mayor tells sexual assault survivor protesting in council chambers

Forty per cent of sexual assaults reported to Kelowna RCMP in 2019 were deemed ‘unfounded’

Most Read