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Dinner theatre promises to be immersive experience

COLOSSEUM, an immersive and innovative dinner theatre, brings more than one hour of live music. South actors and musicians key to production.
COLOSSEUM members Amy and Paige McGuire strike a pose.
Amy and Paige McGuire strike a pose.

Actors, producers, musicians, directors, lions and tigers, are now waist deep in rehearsals for a new experience for Fort St. John theatre-going audiences. 

COLOSSEUM producers are promising a meal-based, interactive and “surround sound” show in terms of performance. 

“We’d like to see the audience engaged with the actors acting in a new way, more rhythmically, keeping their head, nay entire performance, on a swivel,” says director/producer Matt Preprost.

“The fourth wall is now not in front of you, nor behind you, it is only in your head.” 

It is about a different performance and tempos - certain kind of pace on stage. This is a different kind of thing - that feels very natural,” says actor Rob Brown. Preprost says the tone was set with the casting of the show last summer.

“The trick is to recruit artists who have more than one arrow in their quiver - that’s what the art part of this acting business is.” 

Brown agrees.

“It is different set of clothes - not just changing it up - it is in the arrangement, the style of the script, the gestures, energy and the intent, and intention.” 

On the COLOSSEUM guest list: a Wall Street broker, a newspaper critic, and two hoodlums looking for their cut of owner Lou Largo’s family business. As demands pile up, Largo must also juggle his books and business: his waitress looking for a way out, his sous chef looking for one last bet, and his celebrity head chef son looking to assume reign of Lou’s empire. The production is billed as a crime drama.

Preprost says rehearsals have been easy-going but hard working affairs thus far.

“The idea onstage is for everyone to do it in their own way. Under direction, but we’re not cracking whips here,” he says.

Brown agrees. 

“It’s theatre for heaven's sake, we’re not building the pyramids, but it is limiting, in a strange way, because the obstruction is that there is no stage, audiences are sitting in it."

Join Stage North and the Pomeroy Hotel this Valentine’s Day and an extended run on February 24 and 25 for an explosive and immersive dinner theatre experience featuring six stages of sizzling drama.

Where will you be seated when the last meal gets served?