An Ode to Theatre for the Whole Family
By Taylor Onski
While year-end school musicals excite many students, what happens when a grumpy Grunch who doesn’t like theatre is around? All the Daze’s latest production, The Grunch, will tell you that story through song, dance, and improv performed by 45 of Thunder Bay’s shining stars ages seven to 11.
Set at Hoover Academy, The Grunch follows mean and moody Rudy Grunch (Astrid Fredrickson), who is trying to steal and destroy her school musical’s production. While Grunch does not like theatre, 11-year-old Fredrickson is anything but a theatre Grunch. “I like to be moody and then have a change of heart because I’m not usually that mean, but I like to act out being changed,” says Fredrickson.
Even though the show is all about Grunch’s fraught relationship with theatre, the show is full of nods to theatre both young and old will enjoy. “It’s a show for theatre kids because it makes fun of theatre and has a lot of inside jokes. We’re referencing A Chorus Line and all of sudden, we jump into Fosse-style choreography, and it’s called ‘Jazz Hands,’” says production director Marcia Arpin.
For Fredrickson, while there are fun numbers she cannot wait to perform, that’s not her biggest takeaway on why she enjoys the show. “[The show] is creative. It’s fun and it’s a lot more relatable than the other plays we’ve done because it’s set at an elementary school and lots of kids who will see the show are probably going to elementary school.”
All that said, even though you may not be a “theatre person” or get the jokes, The Grunch is a feel-good show and fun night out for all ages where those involved in the show know that theatre is much more than just song and dance.
“Along the way, we learned lots about each other and lots of theatre skills,” says Arpin. “The more we all work together, then the more we can do. But for me, if the biggest takeaway [for the actors] is just the bravery and the self-esteem to say I did that, that’s enough.”
The Grunch runs May 20 and 21 at Magnus Theatre at 7:30 pm. To purchase tickets, visit magnustheatre.com. For more information about All the Daze Productions, visit allthedaze.ca.