When Guy (Daniel Kosub) gets a bit too close, Girl (Allison Lynch) reminds him she is a married woman. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

Chemainus Theatre’s ‘Once’ will steal your heart

The surprise is that the two people involved are brought together by a love of music

The Chemainus Theatre Festival’s opened its 26th season with Once, a surprising love story in the form of a musical play that will waft away those winter blues.

The surprise is that the two people involved are brought together by a love of music, then float along on it, and, in the end are somehow separated by it.

Along the way, they learn a lot about each other and about what really matters in their lives.

Allison Lynch is Girl and Daniel Kosub is Guy in the Chemainus production, that runs until Saturday, March 10, and they are superbly matched. Lynch comes across as adorable, zestful, loving, and a stander of no nonsense, while Kosub is devilishly attractive, talented, and in strong need of kick in the backside.

They meet because of a song, make friends over a vacuum cleaner, and then they’re off with stops along the way to absorb a boisterous Czech family, an amorous music shop owner, and a cello-playing bank executive.

There’s humour, pathos, and a lot of great music and dancing, too.

This is a play where the individual performances are everything, because one weak character would unbalance the whole team. Rest assured, however, with this cast in place, all is well.

From the very beginning, (which on Fridays and Saturdays includes a chance for theatregoers to take part in a rowdy pub night pre-show onstage) the audience is drawn into the story, and watchers find themselves savouring each new detail, laughing at delightful silliness and smiling at the way the tough home truths tossed about manage to land as softly as feathers.

Be sure to keep an ear open for the bank manager’s solo by Jon-Alex Macfarlane, and an eye out for some very hot dancing by the sexy Reza (Stepanie Cadman), not to forget the laugh-a-minute recap of the Czech family’s favourite soap opera.

Theatre fans will note particularly in this show the skillful use of lighting that makes characters appear almost by magic on the static set, and the superb musicianship of the entire cast as they stroll in and out of focus, adding texture and colour to a wistful yet fascinating tapestry of life.

Just Posted

RCMP looking for missing Duncan teen

Dallas Macleod, 18, was last seen on Aug. 10

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

Drivesmart column: In the crosshairs

“Your writing frequently annoys me by waffling on about ‘excess speeding’…”

Robert Barron column: Some motorcyclists a danger to themselves; and others

I would often bellyache over the mandatory helmet laws in Canada.

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

More than 800,000people have been displaced by floods and landslides

IndyCar driver Wickens flown to hospital after scary crash

IndyCar said Wickens was awake and alert as he was taken to a hospital

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

B.C. swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Victoria MS athlete Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights are misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Most Read