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Community choir to announce first major musical since 2019 next month

The Flin Flon Community Choir is starting to prepare for its next major musical next year - though it won’t be revealing exactly what it will be for a few more weeks.
P20 Mamma Mia 3
A scene from the Flin Flon Community Choir's 2019 production of Mamma Mia.

The Flin Flon Community Choir is starting to prepare for its next major musical next year - though it won’t be revealing exactly what it will be for a few more weeks.

The choir’s announcement will be done via a live event at the R.H. Channing Auditorium May 14, a cabaret-style performance which will conclude with the announcement in full.

“We thought, ‘let’s have fun with this in a big way,’” said choir conductor Crystal Kolt.

“We’re going to be having excerpts of famous musicals - musical theatre excerpts, then at the end of the evening, we’ll let people know what the actual musical is and a good time will be had by all.”

While there are options for what show the choir will do, the choir and its conductor are staying tight-lipped about what the show is. Kolt and the choir have presented 12 possible shows as ones that could be performed next year. The candidates range from more unlikely but still spectacular shows such as Hamilton and the Lion King to tried-and-true favourites from the Great White Way like the Phantom of the Opera or West Side Story. Other shows with more Canadian content are also listed, like Newfoundland 9/11 tale Come From Away or a reprise of Bombertown, the fully local musical written by Mark Kolt first performed over 20 years ago.

Other options include the Sweeney Todd, Guys and Dolls, Kinky Boots, Mary Poppins, Into the Woods and Cinderella.

“We are taking the plunge. I haven’t signed the contract yet, but I have been given the agreement with New York to do this particular production,” Kolt said.

The choir has not been shy to make attempts to bring Broadway to the shadow of the smoke stack before - the last shows done by the choir, Mamma Mia, Grease and Les Miserables, have all had runs on the theatre world’s most prestigious spots. To get licensing and scripts in place to perform the plays takes time and patience. Kolt said it took years of wrangling to earn the right to perform Mamma Mia in 2019 and whatever next year’s show is, she says it’s taken another long battle to do it.

“When we got to do Les Miserables [back in 2017], we had been trying for 15 years and it was not available, not available, not available, and then often, some things become available,” she said.

“What we’re finding post-COVID is it’s interesting to see what has become available.”

The choir initially planned to host a musical - which are usually hosted every two years by the group - last summer, which was going to be the choir’s 25th anniversary. COVID-19 and its effects kiboshed that plan, but the stage will be back to full use next summer.

Kolt said that returning to the stage for a belated anniversary and a post-pandemic triumph will make the next show even sweeter.

“This will be a little bit of a celebration for the choir. Because of COVID-19, choir singing was sort of decimated last couple years. It's going to be a nice opportunity to just sort of celebrate that history as well,” Kolt said.

“I think it’s time… I feel like, god willing, we can go full tilt with a full Broadway musical theatre production. I think the community is ready to have that kind of celebration, something grand.”