From now until August 4 at the Kelowna Actors Studio, the production of My Fair Lady graces the stage. Our Tourism Kelowna team decided to make a night of it last week and we attended the opening night performance, which was flat-out spectacular! From the dinner, to the costumes and set, to the talent on stage, the evening was a knock out. Here are some highlights.
We arrived just after 6:30 pm and took our seats. There was Gazpacho soup to start, and then a main course that could easily have been the event of the evening in its own right. Our meal preferences had been placed in advance – there was a choice of vegetarian, salmon, or pork—and really, with Chef Neil Schroeter in charge of the sit-down dinner, you just can’t go wrong. Since the Kelowna Actors Studio is licensed, we also enjoyed wine with our dinner. Dessert was sensational – a cherry mousse that came at Intermission.
The fair lady who played Eliza Doolittle (the lead character in the musical) was Gillian Reed. She is a local actor who commands the stage with such energy and presence that you can’t help but be mesmerized by her. One of my colleagues told me that her talent has already been noticed back east at Sheridan College’s Theatre program – where more than 500 applications come in annually and only 40 get accepted. Congratulations to Gillian for being accepted here – it is well-deserved from what we saw on opening night.
I polled our team today to find out which characters really stood out to each of them. It seems that everyone was so well cast that it was hard to pull out individuals (a sign of a fantastically directed musical), but one person said she loved Eliza’s father (played by Brian Harms) who suited his role to a tee.
The production was having an effect on everyone around us. At intermission, people were in high spirits as many well-known tunes from the show were heard hummed by patrons all around us, and people even danced on their way to washrooms. Even as we left, we heard people singing “I Could Have Danced All Night” on their way out of the theatre. We all had smiles from ear to ear – a perfect way to spend an evening either with friends or someone special.
The Kelowna Actors Studio is located on Ellis Street across from the Kelowna Regional Library, right downtown. This is the 10th year that the theatre company is producing top-notch plays and musicals. Parking is available in the Library Parkade right across the street, and tickets can be purchased online through their website. I should note that one or 2 people in our group didn’t think of themselves as musical-loving people, and didn’t really know what to expect. They absolutely loved it, which is proof that when there is top quality and you get a cast of people giving it their all, you really don’t have to be a theatre-lover to have an amazing time. We would recommend this energizing experience to anyone – so check out their schedule and give your spirits the ultimate lift. It’ showtime!