When Katy Bowen-Roberts started formulating this year’s Yellowpoint Christmas Spectacular 10 months ago, she said her goal was to put together a show that would bring viewers to emotional extremes.
“I really feel that what I’m trying to do is create lots of ups and downs for the audience,” said the creator, producer and director of the festive stage production. “Those quiet moments where people can be reflective and think about their beliefs or philosophize a little bit, time to reflect, and then creating the big highs where it’s busy onstage and lots of energy.”
The production, which just opened at the Sid Williams Theatre in Courtenay and continues at Victoria’s McPherson Playhouse, concludes with a run of shows at the Port Theatre from Dec. 17 to 22.
Bowen-Roberts said this year’s production, the 13th, features all new music, including tributes to Billy Joel, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and Gloria Estefan. Bowen-Roberts said it’s music director and violinist James Mark’s job to arrange the numbers to suit the show’s five musicians and four vocalists.
“He works really closely with original recordings,” she said. “He really feels strongly about being as true to the music as possible and true to the original composer and so he really pays a lot of attention to detail.”
The production also features a variety of dance genres, including Broadway, tap and contemporary ballet.
“We’re in different styles dance-wise and different styles period-wise as well,” said dancer Nicola Jackson, returning for her second year. We’ve got tap numbers in there so we’re doing percussive elements with our feet as well. It’s nice to have different things to work on and to embody different styles.”
The show doesn’t even stop during costume changes, Bowen-Roberts notes, as those moments are filled with readings of emotionally evocative Christmas stories and philosophical poetry to tie the show together.
“We’re really trying to tap into the emotions of our audience by helping them be present in a live theatrical environment, which we don’t have as much these days with the screens,” she said. “So everyone’s sharing these moments together with their friends and families again.”
WHAT’S ON … The Yellowpoint Christmas Spectacular comes to the Port Theatre, 125 Front St., from December 17 to 21 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 20 to 22 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $45 for adults, $38 for students and $41 for groups of 10 or more. Available from the box office.