Ignition Theatre closes season with Edges, a musical without a plot

Facebook friendships, relationship breakups and identity crises are all tackled in song in Ignition Theatre’s season-closing musical, Edges.

Chantel Hutchison

Facebook friendships, relationship breakups and identity crises are all tackled in song in Ignition Theatre’s season-closing musical, Edges.

Edges has no standard characters or plot line, but manages to take on some powerful themes about becoming an adult through “fabulous, incredible” songs, said Ignition Theatre’s artistic director Matt Grue.

Grue said he was so smitten by the clever lyrics and infectious melodies in the unconventional musical, written two years ago by then-college students Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, that he decided to stage it as Ignition Theatre’s last production of the season. It opens on Thursday, May 21, at Red Deer’s The Matchbox.

Music director is local musician Morgan McKee, who has composed scores for other theatrical productions and who helms Central Alberta Theatre.

The six cast members, including Ignition stalwarts Richard Meen and Curtis Labelle, will not take on any ongoing roles in Edges.

Instead, the singer/actors will depict certain characters during a particular song, then change costumes and become completely different people for the next song, said Grue, who got the writers’ permission to pare the song list down to 15 tunes and expand the usually four-person cast.

What holds Edges together is its thematically-linked music about the challenges of leaving one’s student years/salad days behind.

Grue admitted he covered much the same territory in last year’s Tick … Tick … Boom!, about a man turning 30 who feels compelled to make some tough life choices.

But while that musical, based on the life of Rent creator Jonathan Larson, was about the struggle to make it in the creative realm of musical theatre, Grue said Edges has a much wider scope.

Most adults, regardless of their backgrounds, have made so many compromises, adaptations and sacrifices in life, they are in danger of leaving their true selves behind, said Grue. “The theme song of the show is the first song, Become. It’s about trying to answer the question we all have of who are we, and what do we want to become?”

Grue said the strength of Edges is its ability to deal with life themes in a light-hearted and entertaining way.

“We do a lot of shows that are designed to make you think. This is a fun show. We’re hoping people will come to the theatre and have an amazing time.”

A satirical song, Be My Friend, is about the public fascination with Facebook relationships. “It’s about making electronic friendships online instead of talking to friends face-to-face, or going out with them . . . the reason it’s funny is because so many people are guilty of it,” said Grue.

Another comic song, In Short, with its chorus of ‘I hope you die,” is about an immature reaction to a relationship breakup.

The Pasek and Paul production takes musical theatre to another plane, said Grue — where between-song dialogue and characters are unnecessary, and there are no filler songs.

There will still be plenty of wardrobe changes, however, thanks to costumers Stephanie Ridge and Caitlyn Shoreson, and an abstract set designed by Patrick Beagan.

Grue believes good music has the power to elicit honest emotions and laughter from an audience. “We want to knock people’s socks off. We want people tapping their toes and telling their friends.”


Just Posted

RCMP officer fires his gun in confrontation with suspects near Maskwacis

RCMP were called to Samson First Nation with report of shots fired early on Monday morning

Scares and chills await at haunted house in Red Deer

Zed Haunted House helps raise money for Boys and Girls Club of Red Deer District

PHOTO: Renewable Energy Fair at Red Deer College

The Renewable Energy Fair and Workshops event was held at Red Deer… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Red Deer College Queens host third annual Pink in the Rink game

Queens raised $12,035 for the Central Alberta Cancer Centre.

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Except for 1 kick, Saints, Ravens are evenly matched

BALTIMORE — In a matchup between the league’s highest-scoring offence and top-ranked… Continue reading

Julia Louis-Dreyfus gets a top award for comedy

WASHINGTON — After a 35-year acting career and with two iconic television… Continue reading

Ricky Skaggs, Dottie West enter Country Music Hall of Fame

NASHVILLE — Bluegrass and country star Ricky Skaggs, singer Dottie West and… Continue reading

AP Exclusive: Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair, thesis for sale

LONDON — Stephen Hawking was a cosmic visionary, a figure of inspiration… Continue reading

Canada deemed U.S. a safe country for asylum seekers after internal review

OTTAWA — Canadian immigration officials have determined that the United States remains… Continue reading

Bombardier sues Mitsubishi over alleged theft of aircraft trade secrets

MONTREAL — Bombardier is suing Mitsubishi Aircraft in the United States over… Continue reading

Three strong earthquakes reported in Pacific Ocean off Vancouver Island

Three relatively strong earthquakes were recorded Sunday night in the Pacific Ocean… Continue reading

Turkey to reveal details of probe into Khashoggi’s killing

ISTANBUL — In a sign of growing pressure on Saudi Arabia, Turkey… Continue reading

Most Read