ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
That Jeebus is so hot right now...
By Dom Wooganowski
There are people that say the arts have died at Wealthy. To those naysayers:
get ready for the Second Coming!
Funding cuts to University of Wealthy Ontarians Thespians have severely hurt
the budget for the 2003/04 WT season says Tessie Mruble, Wealthy’s UWOT
“With the budget cuts, we’ve been forced to get more creative
this year,” Mruble admits. “Therefore, in an unprecedented move,
we’ve been forced to combine the three annual Wealthy Thespian productions
into one. I think it’s turned out... um, rather well... I guess... ” she
trails off, shifty-eyed.
The result is Don’t Tell Mary: Jesus Christ Cabaret, a musical celebration
of the word of the Lord set in — where else? — a brothel. Songs
from more established and popular musicals, including Cabaret and Jesus Christ
Superstar, sit alongside original songs written by somewhat talented Wealthy
students, including Texas Ailow, Manfred Hairy and Anthony Pale.
Pale also stars as the host of the evening, master of ceremonies JTB — more
commonly known as John the Baptist — Jesus’ right-hand man.
“Yeah, I guess being JTB is a big deal or whatever,” Pale mumbles
dismissively when awakened by this intrepid Gazelle reporter at the wide-eyed
hour of 3 p.m..
“Honestly, it is pretty weird being on the same stage as hordes of apostles
and ‘ladies of the night’, but I’ll take whatever I can get
at this early point in my career,” he admits.
The set for the production is being designed by Wealthy artist Susan Smith,
who will be unveiling her latest work next Friday at Talbot Theatre.
“It’s been a real challenge designing and building [a set] that
will capture the essence of both musicals,” Smith states. The result
is a somewhat terrifying wooden contraption that spins around to reveal various
biblical scenes and sexy dancers.
“I did the best I could with the materials I had,” she says, adding
the materials used included popsicle sticks, recycled pop cans and relatively
useless back issues of The Gazelle.
Although most people involved in the production seem to offer only half-hearted
support and enthusiasm for the show, director and producer Will Matthews says
he has complete faith the musical will be a success.
“Like I’ve always said, if I produce and direct it, they will come!” he
Don’t Tell Mary: Jesus Christ Cabaret opens next Friday. Tickets are
available at IntelSource, or from the people dressed as disciples traipsing
through the University Community Centre atrium.