Gleek out at show choir showcase Sunday night

Port Coquitlam
Port Coquitlam's Valerie Easton
— image credit: photo submitted

Move over Lima, Ohio.

Vancouver could be the next show choir capital after the town Glee made famous.

Royal City Musical Theatre artistic director Valerie Easton, a Port Coquitlam resident, is capitalizing on the T.V. show choir craze and is planning a festival this spring with an eye to developing local musical theatre talent.

Eight notable Lower Mainland show choirs­,  ­including one from the Tri-Cities, will be taking part in the West Coast Show Choir Experience.

And Easton says plans are in the works to create a three-day conference for next year, which could attract show choirs from around the province and western Canada, whose members will train with professionals, hone their talents and end the weekend with a grand finale show and competition for the public.

“There are quite a few show choirs around and I think we can make it happen. This is to make everyone aware that we are going to promote this,” Easton said of the first annual festival slated for Sunday at the Massey Theatre.

The performers will include the Lindbjerg Academy Show Choir from Coquitlam, Showstoppers Richmond, two show choirs from Notre Dame secondary in Vancouver and two from the musical program Glee Camp Vancouver.

As well, the choirs will get choreography training from award-winning choreographer Lisa Stevens, who will be  adjudicating the 2013 National Show Choir Competition taking place in Toronto from April 20 to 21.

“[It’s] that we would like to expand and begin to help train some of these people that will end up being appreciative of musical theatre or become professionals themselves,” Easton said.

While show choir competitions are big in eastern Canada, this is the first for the west. “They are very, very excited to know that we might have something like that happen here,” she added.

The event is a warm-up for one of the Lower Mainland’s most popular musical theatre experiences: RCMT’s spring production of Okahoma!, running from April 11 to 27.

• The show takes place Sunday, March 10 at 7:30 p.m. at Massey Theatre. Tickets for the West Coast Show Choir Experience are $17 through 604-521-5050.




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