CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Not only were the vocal harmonies of the ‘Up in Smoke’ Charlottetown cast pure and tangible, but the woven storyline held the audience in rapt attention right to the closing stripped down song where a pin drop could be heard, before a thunderous applause erupted bringing many to their feet.
Tommy and Lana Dickinson, from Benton, N.B., found themselves engaged from beginning to end.
“Out of all the three times I have been to the Feast Dinner Theatre show, this is the first time I opened up to the cast and intervened with some of them,” admitted Tommy, who found himself giving a full-belly laugh at many of the Island jokes, as well as tapping along to recognizable songs.
The ambitious music selection, braided into the storyline, echoed the incredible history of the Feast Dinner Theatre as it turns the chapter on 40 successful seasons.
Tommy reflected, “I liked all the songs performed, but the talent of every cast member surprised me the most. I don’t know how they can juggle smoothly multiple roles – from playing different instruments, singing and serving – while staying in character.”
Kristina McCormack, who plays the character Dani Simpson in the Charlottetown location, says a good character is “three-dimensional.” The more believable they appear, the more the audience will identify with them and care about what happens to their storyline.
“Whenever we step into character, we’re not just stepping onto the stage and reciting lines. We’ve done a huge amount of homework to fully develop a back story for the character, so when people ask me questions about my parents I automatically go to my character’s parents,” she said.
Lana admitted they were drawn to the personality of the character Hank, played by Ben Aitken, a native of P.E.I.
“We loved his accent and thought he was from Newfoundland originally!” she laughed. “We also loved how the cast interacted with the audience, the food was wonderful, and we brought Tommy’s brother and his wife along because they have never seen a show, so we are really pleased that they enjoyed it.”
The couple recommend the musical comedy that gets to the root of farming, politics and bike culture on province, and literally has something for every theatrical taste.
“Our friends came in June and had nothing but positive things to say about this show, so we followed their advice and now we want to share it with everyone,” ringed Lana.