2014 Cast of OFF THE RAILS!

The newly formed Rossland Miners’ Union has just made history—it’s negotiated an eight hour work day, much thanks to the work of the president of the Union, Wally Johnson. The owners of the mines, who are against the eight hours, hire a man by the name of Swain—his mission: sabotage the Union at any cost. Will Swain succeed, or will the town come together in time to thwart his evil plans?

2013 Cast of A JOB WELL DONE!

Every summer for the past 27 years, the Gold Fever Follies have put on a different show, each loosely based on the historic events and people of Rossland’s early gold rush days. This year’s A Job Well Done, written by past Follies member, Kate Eldridge, takes place in the Columbia, a new dancehall that was the first of its kind. Many new cast members have joined in for this summer.  The times and dates are listed to the right and the historic Miners’ Hall is waiting for you to come visit.

 

NAUGHTY KNICKERS NIGHT
Sunday, August 18
Doors open at 6:00 pm
Show at 7:00 pm
Cash bar and snack items!

Tickets must be purchased in advanced at the Miners Hall or Cafe Books
or contact John at: 19johnhan88@gmail.com

2012 Cast of JOHN VS JOHN

Welcome back to another season of the Gold Fever Follies.  This year we have another great script written by Brian Turner of Rossland.  Boris Vdovine and Drew Chale return to write the catchy music that the GFF has been known for.  Many new cast members have joined in for this summer.  The times and dates are listed to the right and the historic Miners’ Hall is waiting for you to come visit.

See you there!

Naughty Knickers Night

 

Auditions for 2012 Season

Local auditions:

Wednesday, March 7

2:45 – 5:00 pm

Rossland Secondary auditorium 

West Coast auditions:

• Victoria

Tuesday, March 13

6:30 – 9:00 pm

Canadian College of Performing Arts

• Vancouver

TBA (sometime between March 9 & 16)

For more information email audition@goldfeverfollies.com

 

Farewell to the 25th


When September hits, the Follies has sadly come to an end. The 25th season entitled The Race, The Voice, and the Gentlewomen had a great run.

The man who started it all, Ray Furlotte, watched over this season and now has a few final words:

I personally want to thank everyone who worked on this show to make it such a memorable season:

Brian Turner who wrote the script, Drew Chale and Boris Vdovine who wrote the music,  RJ Peters for bringing life to the words and music, Lisa Henderson for finding the actors, the actors with a wide variety of  creative contribution and skills, Shirley and Larry McLim who got the stage and actors visibly ready with a great sets and costumes, our sponsors, the city of Rossland who supplied a venue for our work, and all the folks at Seed Marketing who helped to increase our attendance by 30%.

We are already talking about plans for next year. People have expressed interest in writing and music for the 2012 show. We hope to attract actors and musicians from the eastern sector of Canada for the new season as well.

Jason Whitley will keep our website up to date so check the site regularly for news regarding auditions. We will have that information up soon.”

And to our loyal fans, we’ll see you next year!

We Are The Music Men

Music is key (piano pun intended) when putting together a production like ours. Last year, the Gold Fever Follies asked two young men, Drew Chale and Boris Vdovine to write the music for Trapped In The Murphy Inn along with performing in the show. They did such a good job, they were asked back this year to write some more.

Boris: “(We were) very excited to hear that they wanted our music again. That means we did something right, right?”

Right.

Drew: “This year I knew exactly what I was getting into. I was also aware of the new challenges that would arise from doing everything from across Canada.”

Yes, the boys had to communicate their ideas from Ontario to the director and executives via email.

Boris:”…  (and everything) had to be finalized to the max, because unfortunately, we couldn’t be there to teach the music to the cast.

Drew: “This year we had access to iSTARS recording studio, so it made it really easy to record and score all of the music before we sent it off to Rossland.”

What’s their whole process like working together?

Drew: “Well, I find cowriting is all about arguing and fighting; thinking your idea is better than your partners — ”

Boris: “ — Passionate arguing.”

Drew: “I think this process naturally edits the songs as you work to reach a compromise. Boris and I work really well together. He is a pianist while I’m a guitarist. Boris is completely in charge of the piano accompaniment. For example, if I write a song on the guitar, he will transcribe it to the piano. Because of this, Boris turned out to write the majority of the music while I wrote the majority the lyrics.”

Once their work is done, it’s up to Matthew Johnson, the music director, to work with the cast on getting it complete.

Drew: “Matty J did a fantastic job by applying little tweaks to the music and lyrics. It made everything fit fantastically.”

Boris: “Matt is such an amazing person and a great friend. He’s completely open minded, ready to take action, a great sense of humor, so naturally, it was only a pleasure working with him — even though he never went jacuzzi hoppin’ with the rest of the boys.”

Jacuzzi  hoppin’?

Boris: “Inside joke.”

And, funny enough, both Boris and Drew’s favourite song from the last two seasons, is one that Matt sang.

Boris: At Peace holds a very special place in my heart because Matty Jay did such a good job on a song. He made people smile through tears!”

Drew: “The show would not be the same without him.”

So, did they manage to come back to the Kootenays to see their music performed on the stage? Yes and no.

Drew: “I got to see it! Woo hoo! It was funny being in the audience instead of on the stage. I could sense all the nerves from the performers singing my material for me. Each one of them made eye contact and smiled at me at one point or another during the show.”

Boris: “I didn’t see the show. It’s extremely hard knowing you won’t be able to see the show live. It’s like your wife went through 16 hours of labour to give birth to a beautiful baby boy, and you missed it ‘cause you were in Dubai or right in the middle the guerrilla warfare.”

Drew: “I also regret that I was unable to perform with the Gold Fever Follies this 2011 season.”

Boris: “And I didn’t get to spend a weekend in the Rocky Mountains!”

Don’t worry, there’s always next year, guys.

 

Both Boris and Drew agreed that Gutted Like A Fish was their favourite song this summer. The man who sings it is Harris Anderson; we wanted to see if it was his favourite. We found the pianist on his dinner break eating a bowl of rice when we popped the question.

“No. My favourite song is Who Won The Race?. I’m really proud of working with Matthew and turning what was originally a 30-second song into the big number that it is with all those dance breaks.”

Harris finished by having a spoonful of rice. We asked him how it was.

“This rice is pretty good.”

We believed him. That’s why when the interview was over, we got a bowl of our very own.

//

Homegrown Talent pt 2: The Three Fays

You always want an understudy in a production in case one of your performers becomes ill, hurts themselves, or wins a free trip to Disneyland and bolts. In an earlier article, we spoke with Casey Gray. He has to know all the male parts. For the women, it’s shared between three: Jill Amantea, Cydney Streadwick, and Amy Schroder.

All three attend Rossland Secondary School during the school year. All three were approached by Lisa Henderson to audition, and they did on the R.S.S. stage which they were all familiar with.

Jill felt very confident in the dancing part of the audition, “but the singing part was extremely nerve-racking for me. I remember standing alone on the stage and being so incredibly nervous. After the audition was over I was content knowing I’d done the best I could do.”

For Amy, her tryout wasn’t as good as she was expecting, “I had injured myself badly just days before. But I got in, so it must have gone pretty well!”

All of them had dance experience, some theatre, but none had any history of singing – except Cydney, “I practice that in my car and shower.”

This missing part in a performer’s arsenal made one particular moment scary for Jill, “The first vocal rehearsal, I felt like I had no idea what I was doing and I was so intimidated to be surrounded by amazing, trained singers.”

And how scary was their first show? Cydney explains: “Not very. There were only six people in the audience and I knew at least four of them. So, I wasn’t that nervous.”

With the summer almost over, Amy, along with the other two, have found the run “absolutely amazing!” And, even though all don’t plan on acting and singing down the road, they all do have dancing planned in their future. We all wish Fay 1, Fay 2, and Fay 3 the best with their young careers.

 

Being a narrator onstage, you have to find yourself in the action, but not. Tricky, eh? Well, Christopher Coutts, who’s Billy, finds himself shifting to the side of the stage, out of the way. Funny enough, he always seems to be orbiting the deer head.

“I think that deer head and I have a special connection. You never know, we might sneak away into the country together.”

That might not be the best idea, Chris. Hunting season is just around the corner.

//

Alumnus Report: Jeff Hill

The Gold Fever Follies is a great place for performers to master their craft before they go make it to the “big stage”. Jeff Hill can attest since he’s performed at the Miners’ Hall and went all the way to Carnegie Hall.

“It really makes me appreciate my five summers at the Miners’ Hall. I was able to take risks and really spread my wings. The LA Times said that I am ‘a born performer’ and part of that comes from having so much space to really explore what worked and what didn’t. I think my comfort onstage really comes from those summers being surrounded and challenged by such great talent. Doing 80 shows a summer also helps. Going from the Miners’ Hall to Carnegie Hall is super exciting, and I can’t wait to go back to both!”

How busy has Jeff been? Where do we start?

“Last year was incredibly busy with three performances at Carnegie Hall, concerts on both coasts, LA and New York, as well as completing my second Masters degree at Bard Conservatory. Oh, and I just moved to Winston-Salem, NC.”

With 400 performances, it’s hard to choose a favourite memory. But, after some thought, Jeff came up with one:

“The Cabaret Leeanne MacLim and I put together in 2007. It added a new layer to Follies and we had so much fun doing it. I also miss feeling like I was in a spin-off of The Real World: Rossland Edition! I miss being a part of the ridiculously, crazy family that are the folks of the Gold Fever Follies.”

Next year will mark ten years since Jeff’s first show as Billy in Will You Remember Me?

“Ten years!!!! AAAAH!!!!”

Yes, it’s been that long. How does he feel now onstage compared to the summer of 2002?

“Well, as the VHS can attest, and Heaven help me that no one ever sees that video, I have come a long way. I feel more comfortable onstage now than I ever have. I never feel like I’m done growing though, and I excited to see what’s next.”

Two things are for sure: We miss you, Jeff, and we’ll never tire of hearing you sing.

 

We asked Felix LeBlanc the folllowing question: If two people had a baby, and that baby was Fritz Augustus Heinze, LeBlanc’s character, who would those two individuals be?

“That’s tough. … Donald Trump and … Colonel Klink, you know, from Hogan’s Heroes.”

So, Trump and Colonel Klink would make up Heinze.

“Yes, but only if Trump loses the hair… and learns to tap!”

He might have enough money to do both…

Homegrown Talent pt 1: The Drunk

One thing the Gold Fever Follies likes to do is bring Kootenay talent onto the stage. This summer, one of those locals is Casey Gray.

“Living in this area, you sort of grow up knowing what the Follies are, or at least I have. It has always been a yearly tradition to go see the show with my Grandparents and I enjoy it every season. Throughout those years, I’ve seen people I know perform in the show too. I love performing myself, so an audition had been brewing for quite some time.”

Working in Christmas musicals with his church, a summer production of The Tempest at a drama camp, years of playing the clarinet, and recent vocal lessons with Elaine Ryder, Casey decided to audition. And, it worked out in his favour. He was called and asked to be understudy.

“I actually found the role intimidating. It was kind of scary to think that I would have to know all of the male roles should I have to step in. But, I was ready to take on the challenge because I really wanted to be a part of the show in any way that I could.”

And that he has. Casey was given the important role of Marv.

“I really enjoy playing him. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to pull off Marv’s sort of effortless and unintentional comedy, but I’ve had a lot of fun developing him and finding ways to bring more and more out of him while still being the lovable drunk.”

The trick for Casey is he’s not the legal age to consume alcohol. How did he prepare for this role?

“Well, first, people find it very funny I’m playing the drunk. It’s certainly out of character to who I am, but that kind of excited me about Marv. I’ve certainly seen type of character in movies and other media before, so I just tried to draw inspiration from what I’ve seen in the past and what I thought would be funny.

“I’ve learned so much this summer. I was worried that this experience would turn into just a summer job, but ‘job’ is the last word I would ever give to an experience like the Follies, at least for an impressionable teenager. It is a pleasure to go to Rossland everyday and befriend and learn from experienced performers. I’ve been able to practice my theater skills, and I even picked up a bit of dancing skills along the way which has been a wonderful surprise!”

We wish Casey the best with his grad year beginning in the fall.

 

With less than two weeks to this year’s final show, four-time Follies veteran Aaron LaRocque retells his favourite moment on the Miner’s Hall stage.

Tribute!

At the end of the 2005′s finale, the male cast members rocked out by singing Tenacious D’s Tribute — but with some original, personal lyrics of course.

“Having a packed audience and having so much fun on stage with good friends, I think the audience could tell we were having a blast.”

Be sure to catch the show before it all ends on August 27th.