A musical about a poetry- and tea-loving dragon will soon bring family fun to local stages.
For this year’s main-stage production, the Rossland Light Opera Players (RLOP) will be performing The Reluctant Dragon in Rossland, Trail and Castlegar.
“It’s about a small village [that] is primarily made up of individuals who don’t want to work and they discover that there’s a dragon living in the nearby hills. And the assistant mayor, who is quite ambitious, he decides to use this as political fodder to pump up his chances of becoming mayor,” explains Ben Walker, director of the production. “So he decides to bill a fight between the dragon and this famous dragon slayer named St. George.”
But as it turns out the dragon is not evil — he’s a vegetarian poet. But there are other evil characters in the play, including the evil stepmother, played by RLOP president Sarah Sordi.
“She’s really evil. She’s got some very sinister plans for her poor stepson,” says Sordi, who has been performing with the RLOP for five years. “She’s pure evil, and a little bit of a wingnut and a flake as well.”
The assistant mayor, Nigel, is also a shady character.
“He’s kind of inciting the villagers against the dragon to try and boost his political credibility,” explains Michael Davis, who plays Nigel. This is Davis’s first performance with the RLOP, but he has done a lot of high school and university theatre. “Since I moved to the area, this is the first show I’ve done, so I’m excited.”
The 20-25 performers appearing in The Reluctant Dragon range from nine to 70 years old, and all have been rehearsing since the new year.
“We’re doing choreography on Tuesdays right now, and the choreography is being done by Lindsay Fraser,” says Walker.
Performances will begin on April 21 in Rossland:
Rossland Summit School
Friday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.)
Saturday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.)
Stanley Humphries Secondary School
Saturday, April 29 at 2 p.m. (doors at 1:30 p.m.) and 7:30 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.)
JL Crowe Secondary School
Friday, May 5 at 7:30 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.)
Saturday, May 6 at 2 p.m. (doors at 1:30 p.m.) and 7:30 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.)
The cast and crew encourage everyone to come out and check out the show.
“It’s a lot of fun. It’s not just for kids, but kids will definitely enjoy it, but I think that adults are going to have a lot of fun as well, and I’d like to encourage everyone to come on out,” says Walker.
“We’ve got a lot of newer members this year, who are really keen to showcase their talents, so I think the show would be well worth it to come out and support some local performers and our community organization,” says Sordi.
Tickets are $17 for adults and $12 for children 13 and under. They can be purchased at Tails Pet Supplies in Rossland, Mountain High Lighting in Castlegar or the Charles Bailey Theatre in Trail.