As the Yellowpoint Christmas Spectacular producer and creator Katy Mayert heads into her ninth season, she took a moment with us to reflect on the production and its journey thus far.
“It feels like only yesterday that I was sitting cozied up by a wood-burning fire with a pint of bitter, a few creative artistic friends, a napkin and pen and an outpouring of ideas that would soon become a seed for the Yellowpoint Christmas Spectacular.”
In a village outside Norfolk, England, Katy found herself dreaming up this singing and dancing extravaganza. Little did she know then that nine years later, the show would be welcoming almost 6,000 people through its doors annually; that it would be known for its Christmas spirit, its talent, its energy, and its success.
Katy’s work on this show begins in February.
On the floor in her living room, she spreads out hundreds of musical scores, books and CDs in front of her and begins to piece together the show. Within a month, it has started to take shape and James Mark, musical arranger, comes onto the scene. After hours of discussion, the team is ready to get started. James sets to work arranging the music and over 60 pieces will be found in this year’s score. Katy sets to work booking theatres, hiring the creative team, advertising and managing auditions, creating contracts, designing the marketing campaign, contacting past and future audience members and ordering costumes.
“Not a day goes by throughout the year that I don’t think about this show,” said Mayert. “Some weeks I put in just a few hours. Others, the hours are endless and full of big decisions and exciting opportunities. There is always something to work on.”
The show has grown over the past nine years into a production that is unique and has become a special holiday tradition for thousands of people annually across central Vancouver Island. This year’s singing and dancing spectacular includes hits by the Beach Boys, a Rock of Ages medley, Bobby Darrin songs, songs from Grease and Moulin Rouge, a Canadiana set as well as many more classical hits and Christmas favourites.
Two weeks before the show opens, a cast of 14 professional singers, dancers and musicians will begin an intensive two-week rehearsal period in preparation for opening night.
“It takes a year of planning to bring this show to the stage but it’s worth every minute,” said Mayert. “Audiences leave buzzing night after night and when I hear them exclaim, ‘my Christmas has officially begun’ I know that we have succeeded.”
The show is fast moving and colourful with dazzling costumes, lights and sequins. It takes you on an emotional journey through a wide variety of music and dance from rock and roll to Broadway, jazz and classical, all interwoven with touching readings and stories, including an audience sing-along, a Christmas Quiz and youthful energy and talent to take you on a journey to another world.
The show runs Dec. 8 and 9 this year at the Sid Williams Theatre. See bit.ly/1MaVjcm for more information. Tickets are on sale now at the Sid Williams box office, 250-338-2430.