Arbutus Ridge: they came, they sang, they conquered in show at Cowichan Theatre

They came, they sang, they conquered.

It’s been years in the planning, but the Arbutus Ridge Performing Arts Society brought their show, Music on Fire to the Cowichan Theatre last weekend, nearly filling the house both days, and providing two afternoons of fine entertainment.

We all know that there’s plenty of young talent in the Cowichan Valley, but this up’ and ’at ’em group are out to prove that the over-55 set that live at the Ridge can also boast more than its share of great performers.

It was all about 50 Years of Top 40 hits, and the production delivered the goods to an excited crowd.

The show was presented in revue style — without an underlying script — which gave everyone in the group a chance to do what they do best.

A good example of that is The Ridge Kids backup band. Made up of Bill Clark, Art McIntyre, Cloete Uys, Ross May, Kirk Metson, and Dave Zimmer, they provided some great tunes, including The Moody Blues’ ‘The Voice’, which opened the show, ‘Eight Days a Week’, ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’, and more.

There was also some dandy singing, led by Deena Dietrich, Mercy Best, Leslie Ellis, Bob Bullen, Corine De Groot, Ross May and more.

And those dance numbers! This gang, under the direction of Bonnie Ory, had lots of fun with ‘The Surfing Medley’, ‘Ob La Di’, ‘These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ and lots more.

Now, one question remains: what will they do next?

The Ridge Kids present ‘The Voice’ to open Music on Fire at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Mercy Best sings ‘Pretty Woman’. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
That’s the Boot Scootin’ Boogie, sing Bob Bullen and the gals. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Deanna Dietrich and Ross May sing ‘I’ve Just Seen a Face’. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Mercy Best performs ‘The Impossible Dream’. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Ross May joins The Ridge Kids to sing ‘Blackbird’. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Corine De Groot, Bob Bullen, and Mercy Best are joined by some talented dancers for ‘In the Mood’. For more photos and video from the show, be sure to check out www.cowichanvalleycitizen.com (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
‘In the Mood’ included some hot stepping. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Deena Dietrich sings ‘Imagine’ accompanied by Corine De Groot with The Ridge Kids. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
A medley of Surf City, Surfin’ Safari, and Surfin’ USA took everyone back to the early 1960s. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

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