By Alicia Ward
Forte Musical Theatre Guild’s [title of show] is the little musical that could. Literally. This one-act musical presents the heartwarming story of two writers, Hunter Bell and Jeff Bowen, chronicling their personal journey in fulfilling their ultimate dream– creating and producing a musical.
According to Forte, [title of show] is a show about “friendship and dreams. With cheeky humour and heartfelt honesty, [title of show] encourages taking a risk and pursuing your dreams, no matter how fanciful or far-reaching.”
“The show’s about two guys writing a musical, about two guys writing a musical, about two guys writing a musical,” explained Guilly Urra, who plays Bell in the local theatre company’s production.
[title of show] follows Bell and Bowen from the conception of the idea for a musical through its frantic creation to its premiere at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, where the New York-produced show premiered in reality in September 2004. Since then, the musical itself has enjoyed major success, including winning several prestigious Off-Broadway Theatre Awards, and eventually showing 115 performances on Broadway. Now, Forte Musical Theatre Guild is taking on the show and believes it to be exactly the type of musical they specialize in due to its character-driven plot and its ability to connect the actors to the audience in a personal way. Urra believes even non-theatregoers will enjoy the show.
“It’s very relatable– a genuine story,” said Urra.
The audience will relate not only to the characters played by the cast, but also to the characters’ relationships to each other, depicted throughout the show.
“My favourite part of being on the show is working with the cast,” said Urra.
Urra explained that the four-person cast of the show has become very close, much like the creators and their friends. Due to the remarkable rapport between the cast members, the show promises to be hilarious, as well as inspiring.
University students would certainly be receptive to an inspiring message in the midst of economic troubles, budget cuts and class registration stresses. Urra, being a University of Calgary alumnus, sympathizes with U of C students, but trusts the institution to prepare its students for the outside world. Urra said the most valuable piece of experience he received from the U of C was the development of the work ethic that completing an undergraduate degree entails.
“While I was there I got to do a lot. I think I got to do all of the mainstage shows. It just start[ed by] building up from the drama department to the theatre,” said Urra.
Upon graduation, Urra jumped into the Calgary theatre scene, working on various shows with a number of companies including Stage West and Ground Zero Theatre. [title of show] will be Urra’s first show with the Forte Musical Theatre Guild. The show opens at the end of this month, but Urra isn’t feeling the pre-show jitters just yet.
“I’m still trying to learn the steps, memorize the lines and make sure everything is right,” said Urra.
Ultimately, audiences are sure to find the underdog musical [title of show] both hilariously entertaining and sweetly idealistic. The “little musical that could” will surely make its way into your heart this spring.