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Beyond the Meadow

8:00 PM, Wednesday May 15 to Saturday May 18, 2024 at Performance Works

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It was 1999, and the world was worried about Y2K, the third Harry Potter book was published, and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire topped the TV charts. It was the best year for films since 1939, with huge hits like Star Wars Episode 1, The Sixth Sense, and The Matrix, and future classics like Fight Club, The Iron Giant, and Magnolia. But here in Metro Vancouver, it was also the year when Beyond the Meadow, composer Ashley Lambert-Maberly's first musical, was produced.  

And now, after 25 years, it's back! But what is it? 

 

We'll defer to the Vancouver Sun, who reviewed it back in the day. "Silly and snappy, this new Canadian musical tells the story of Sleeping Beauty from the point of view of ten good fairies and a really mean one." Their reviewer Peter Birnie called it "an extravaganza with big dreams,"  and "a treat to discover."  He praised the show's "wonderful singing," pointing out "a glorious choral harmony booms forth from this solid mass, sending shivers down the spine."  To be fair, he also cautioned that "the choreography consists largely of everyone trying not to bump into each other."

So this May, get ready for the revival! The cast is double the size, the choral harmonies have been polished to a new perfection, and the wicked fairy (composer Ashley Lambert-Maberly reprising his original role) even meaner than before. And we've hired new choreographers, which should solve the bumping-into-each-other issue.

 

Keep in mind, Beyond the Meadow premiered 4 years before Wicked. That's right, we were first in the "put on a fairy-tale musical from the perspective of the bad guy" race. Long before Elphaba hoped to "try defying gravity," Beyond the Meadow's Carabosse was lamenting, "People say I'm wicked, but there are worse things I know." Just ahead of our time, we suppose!

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