July 17th, 2024

Firehall Theatre setting the stage for pair of Grumpy Old Men

By ANNA SMITH on April 12, 2024.

Danita Grace as Ariel and Miles Thorson as Max during one of the final rehearsals of Grumpy Old Men.--Submitted Photo

asmith@medicinehatnews.com

Medicine Hat’s Firehall Theatre remains grateful for the support of the vibrant theatre community of the city, especially with only one week until the opening of their performance of Grumpy Old Men the Musical.

The show was chosen to best take advantage of the wide array of talent the city has to offer, says director Kate Leeming.

“Our community is quite vast in all of the talent that we have. And a lot of the shows recently that have been produced in Medicine Hat have been for the younger people. And so I just love working with the older generations as well,” said Leeming.

Leeming also cited a deep love for the original 1993 film, which the play follows closely in terms of plot.

“The basic storyline, for those who haven’t seen the movie, is that there’s two senior men who are sort of frenemies,” said Leeming. “They fought over the same girl, however, many years ago, and one of them won the girl. Now they are both widowers and there is a new girl who’s come into town, a new lady who has come into town as a new neighbour. And so the rivalry begins anew.”

Working with the cast has been wonderful, says Leeming, who added that this is her sixth production directing in the community.

“It’s been going wonderfully, the cast is fantastic. I believe we’re ready to go. I think they’ll make everybody proud,” said Leeming.

Despite the content of many of the songs being “fluffy,” according to Leeming, covering topics such as fishing or the best ways to die, much of the music is actually extremely technically complicated and requires a lot of concentration and skill on the part of the performers.

“They do an a cappella piece that is actually a six-part harmony, and it’s just stunning,” said Leeming. “But the content is just so silly, which makes the show a lot of fun as well.”

The show has a parental advisory warning for some mature themes, with Leeming suggesting the ideal audience will likely be preteens and older, just to ensure the jokes are not going over heads.

“I have probably laughed more during this show than I have directing anything else,” said Leeming. “It’s not for little kids, but I think there’s a little something there for nearly everyone.”

Tickets are still available but are going fast, with opening night April 19 at the Medicine Hat High School Theatre. Leeming notes it is rush seating at all shows, so those with a strong preference for where they sit should aim to arrive early.

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