Wednesday, July 24, 2024
July 24, 2024

Venus Conundrum musical show ready to entertain

Feuding Greek and Roman gods and mortals of a midwestern U.S. diner in the early 1960s meet head on in the Good Company Entertainment Group’s latest original musical stage production.

The Venus Conundrum, written and directed by Suzanne Rouger, promises both hilarious comedy and fantastic music, with hits from the late 1950s and early ‘60s performed by the show’s live band.

“The premise is that there’s a conflict between two of the goddesses and one of the goddesses — Venus — sends the other goddess to the early ‘60s to be miserable because it’s ‘uninspired, artistically,’” explained Rouger. “It all takes place with this kind of mythological warfare in this diner in the early ‘60s, and Cupid is involved and arrows go awry.”

She said the action is just plain “silly” and anyone who has watched parts of the rehearsals ends up in stitches.

“It’s almost like [the TV show] Happy Days as a musical,” she mused . . . with the warring and mischievous gods thrown in for good measure.

The cast is a mix of Good Company stalwarts, such as Megan Colgan (playing Venus), Dion Hackett (Vulcan and Val parts) and Sarah Dawn Morris as mortal Frankie Bennett, plus performers from some past shows and some newcomers. Since singing ability is a crucial part of a successful musical, Rouger has recruited some new voices by attending karaoke nights at the Legion and Moby’s Pub.

“We have some female voices that are amazing,” said Karen Arney, the show’s music director, executive producer and co-producer with Rouger.

One of those individuals, Eve Middleton-Meyer (who plays the goddess Kalliope), is even commuting from Vancouver to participate.

For The Venus Conundrum, Salt Spring stage manager extraordinaire MacKenzie Williamson has passed her usual responsibilities to Johane Sinclaire and is one of the cast members (Dr. Naomi Hall) instead.

Joining Arney in the band this time are Jim Shultz on guitar (and also playing Jupiter), Daveo Daviday on drums (also in Cupid/Cooper roles) and Ben Arney (Linus) on bass.

With a smaller band the music is more chorally focused, she said.

Cool dance routines are also part of the show. Rouger’s choreography even includes a couple of tap-dance numbers.

“I’m pretty impressed with them, just because it’s not an easy thing to do — and they’re doing it,” she said about the tap-dancers.

“I don’t think that I’ve seen a choreo session with more smiles than in this thing,” she added. “And they’re really enjoying the swing dancing too.”

Shows run at ArtSpring on Thursdays through Saturdays, May 9 to 11, and May 16 to 18, at 7:30 p.m. Opening night has a special ticket-price offer. Tickets are available through ArtSpring online and at the box office.

The Venus Conundrum will be the last show presented by Good Company Entertainment Group, as principals Rouger and Arney are ready to move on to other creative projects.

Their most recent show was last year’s thematic rock concert Dogs in the Moonlight, with Time Piece and Peter on the Brink two of their other favourites of the past 10 years.

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