Stage performers Braeja Short, Shane Murphy, Omabuwa Dede, Padraig Hogan, Jocelyn Dickson and Miranda Atkinson (from left) rehearse for the upcoming Schmooze Productions 20th anniversary show at the Harbour City Theatre. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

Nanaimo’s Schmooze Productions presents 20th anniversary musical revue

‘Reflections’ features performances from the 17 musicals Schmooze has staged

Nanaimo’s Schmooze Productions is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a retrospective exhibit at the Nanaimo Museum and an accompanying live show at the Harbour City Theatre.

Schmooze artistic producer Dean Chadwick said organizing both projects brought back “some really great memories” and are a nice way of reflecting on the theatre company’s accomplishments. He said he thinks of the group as a family.

“When we bring somebody into the fold, they become part of our family. So for me it’s like we get to revisit all of these people and for that that’s kind of amazing itself,” he said. “And certainly even audiences are going to recognize the songs that we’ve chosen and recognize a lot of the people that will be onstage because they’re all our family members.”

Chadwick describes the musical revue, Reflections, as a “potpourri of memories.” The show, which opens at the Harbour City Theatre on Sept. 27, features numbers from each of the 17 musicals Schmooze has staged during its history, from Jesus Christ Superstar to last year’s Chicago.

“I chose the songs that I wanted, as opposed to maybe the hit songs from the musicals,” Chadwick explained. “But they’re the songs that I felt made a statement of some sort about that show.”

Multi-instrumentalist Rod Mont will be performing throughout the show. He’s been in the Schmooze band since 2002 and said it’s been fun to get the “family” back together.

“Everybody that’s in this show has been in several Schmooze shows before and it’s been kind of neat to touch base with all of them again,” he said.

Performer and choreographer Miranda Atkinson said each rehearsal has been like a Schmooze history lesson, as cast and crew have been reminiscing about past productions and the people they worked with. Atkinson made her Schmooze debut in Urinetown more than 10 years ago.

“I went into the audition with my dad and I was too nervous to audition alone so he and I actually auditioned together and we both did the show together, which was really great,” she said. “He’s also in this show … and it’s just like old times.”

Chadwick said he hopes that by giving audiences the opportunity to “binge watch” Schmooze’s body of work they are able to “follow our journey and be more connected to us.”

“I’d like them to find us as part of their family and maybe come check out what we do,” he said.

WHAT’S ON … Schmooze Productions presents Reflections: Our 20th Anniversary Musical Revue at the Harbour City Theatre, 25 Victoria Rd., from Sept. 27 to 29 and Oct. 4 to 6. Tickets $15 to $20, available online. Schmooze Productions Retrospective community gallery exhibit continues at Nanaimo Museum, 100 Museum Way, until Nov. 2.

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