Entertainment

Musical revue is bait for boomers

Richmond’s Voni Grindler, a longtime theatre professional, spent 11 summers working on a commercial fishing boat out of Steveston.  -
Richmond’s Voni Grindler, a longtime theatre professional, spent 11 summers working on a commercial fishing boat out of Steveston.
— image credit:

Creating a new show is always a challenge. Just ask Voni Grindler, a Steveston resident and co-writer, producer and director of Cruisin’ with the Boomers.

The musical revue takes audiences back to the ‘60s and ’70s, when popular music flourished and grew roots that show no sign of decay. The show began earlier this month at the Revue Stage on Granville Island, bringing audiences to their feet.

“This one has really struck a chord with audiences of all ages,” said Grindler.

Steveston’s been home for the last two decades for Grindler, who grew up in Prince Rupert in a commercial fishing family. She used to go fishing with her dad, and in later years she fished out of Steveston, crewing for her husband on a 65-foot seiner for 11 summers.

Grindler got hooked on professional theatre in 1987. She’s an honours directing graduate of the Drama Studio London, and has an extensive list of credits for directing, producing and creating new works of theatre.

Her latest show is described as a colourful tapestry of popular music from many genres. It features the talents of Joani Bye, Linda Kidder, Oliver Conway, Dave Pickell, Peter Padden and Tim Porter—all Vancouver-based veterans of B.C.’s music scene.

What’s the genesis of this show?

“I wanted to do a boomer show so called Andy Thoma, a friend who had written three previous shows with me. He was cruising along the highway when my call came in and said, ‘Sure. We could call it Cruisin’ with the Boomers and use a licence plate for a logo.’ That was in May 2012.”

What will audiences experience?

“It takes audiences back to the ‘60s and ‘70s, a period of change, passion and great music. The show is full of warmth and features classic rock/pop songs. Expect a stack of your faves—the Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, the Doors, the (Rolling) Stones, Motown and disco. The list goes on.”

What is it about ‘60s and ‘70s music that people fondly remember?

“It takes boomers back to where they were when they first heard the songs. Their hopes and dreams were expressed in the lyrics and the show links them to a special time in their life. The younger people are impressed by the range of music and the poignancy of the messages.”

What’s a favourite memory you have of music from either decade?

“Realizing the power of music—how it can change your life.”

Cruisin’ with the Boomers

•A musical revue of the ‘60s and ‘70s on until July 27 (showtime is 7:30 p.m.) at the Revue Stage at the Arts Club Theatre on Granville Island

•Presented by Jupiter Productions

•Tickets, $39, at vancouvertix.com or 604-629-8849

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