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Kayla Gordon, Producer

Nelson Bettencourt, Adam Hurtig, Lisa Durupt, Mallory Schellenberg, Darren Martens

Darren Martens, Nelson Bettencourt, Lisa Durupt, Mallory Schellenberg, Adam Hurtig



Gordon has a reputation for producing quality work and she does not disappoint

by Rhonda J. Prepes, P. Eng., July 19, 2012

The audience deemed the opening night of Fresher, the Musical, a huge success giving it a standing ovation with producer, Kayla Gordon, in the audience.

Fresher, the Musical shines a spotlight on the infamous Freshers’ Week for five students at a modern British University (“Uni”). Faced with a world free from rules, parents and responsibilities, the five eagerly look forward to starting a “fresh” new adventure at school. But they underestimate the pressures and obstacles they must navigate through that first week where “nothing is familiar” and “everything is new”.

The five characters all have very different backgrounds, but one thing in common: they are self-conscious and worried what others will think of them.

Princess Ally (Lisa Durupt) is sexy but shallow, preppy wanna-be rapper Rupert (Darren Martens) is desperate to find love, Tuc (Adam Hurtig) is the playboy party animal, Hayley (Mallory Schellenberg) is shy and Scottish; and Basil (Nelson Bettencourt) is the nerd who’s confused about his sexuality.

As the different personalities bounce off one another, the characters discover and expose each other’s shortcomings during a series of drinking games and nights out.

The story line revolves around drinking alcohol. There is swearing, joking, flirting, arguing, bullying and of course, singing, in this musical. The story is full of sexual innuendo, indirect and blatant. The main goal of these students seems to be getting drunk and getting lucky. I don’t remember my first week at University being anything like this; then again I didn’t attend a “Uni” in London.

 Fresher is a fast paced witty comedy with a relatable story that makes it enjoyable for young and old alike (and I was surprised to see a mostly mature audience on opening night). Gordon has a reputation for producing quality work and she does not disappoint.

The music directed by Phil Corrin is crisp, clear and catchy. So crisp and clear that I did wonder if there was a live band or if it was “Memorex”? I was impressed with the percussion section’s use of the triangle, shaker, block and other less common instruments.

 All five actors are talented and entertaining. There are solos, duets, and ensemble performances with clever lyrics. Lisa Durupt as Ally gives an outstanding performance in her solo “You’re All the Same.”
I like the valuable lessons gleaned from the show – Don’t be afraid to be yourself and first impressions can be misleading.

Fresher, the Musical, a pop/rock musical is presented by the Winnipeg Studio Theatre at the 25th Annual Winnipeg Fringe Festival July 18 through 29th.

Director: Colin Peterson
Choreographer: Stephanie Sy
Musical Director: Phil Corrin
Produced by: Kayla Gordon

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