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

Manfred Bauer seeks re-election as mayor of Keremeos

Bauer has been on council since 2005 and in mayor’s chair since 2011

Arlene Arlow seeks Keremeos mayor role

Candidate has served two terms on Keremeos council

Getting up close and personal with birds in the South Okanagan

Vaseux Lake Bird Observatory opening doors to the public

Princeton council candidate tackles accusations of racism

Luigi Gino Del-Ciotto‎ is one of 16 people vying for a spot on the Princeton City Council.

Open burning permitted again in Kamloops Fire Centre

Low fire rating prompts decision throughout Kamloops Fire Centre

Watch out for Pavement Patty: Drivers warned outside B.C. elementary school

New survey reveals unsafe school zones during 2018 back-to-school week

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Why Whistler for ski jumping in 2026? Calgary proposal gets pushback

Calgary 2026 proposes re-using the 2010 ski jumping venue Whistler for that sport and nordic

VIDEO: Hundreds line highway as family brings home body of B.C. teen

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

Despite progress, threat of 232 tariffs dominates NAFTA negotiations

Any deal is seen to require congressional approval before Dec. 1 to survive new Mexican government

B.C. MP Todd Doherty receives award for saving man who collapsed on a plane

Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year

Alleged border jumper from Oregon facing 2 charges after police chase in B.C.

Colin Patrick Wilson charged with dangerous operation of motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in 22 per cent of B.C. cities

‘Hero’ kid fighting cancer helping with B.C. Children’s Hospital fundraiser

Penticton’s Wills Hodgkinson helping raise funds for B.C. Children’s Hospital

Most Read