|From left, Brad Hull plays the Wolf with Bumbershoot Children's Theatre; Dennis Colpitts, horn player with Okanagan Symphony Orchestra; Quinn Bates plays Peter with Bumbershoot Children's Theatre; and Sylvie Lange, violin player with Okanagan Symphony Orchestra, pose for a picture. The four and others will be performing Saturday, Feb. 16 at 2 p.m. at the Kelowna Community Theatre as part of the presentation Peter and the Wolf.|
Taking a new run at Peter and The Wolf by Serge Prokofiev, the OSO and Bumbershoot bring it to the stage with a fresh, family and kid friendly approach.
"We thought it would be a great collaboration with Tracy (Ross) and Bumbershoot, while celebrating the 5th anniversary of the children's theatre," Rosemary Thomson, OSO music director said.
"My family has very much enjoyed the theatre productions that Bumbershoot has done in the past, and this seemed to be a perfect match for Peter and the Wolf."
Traditionally, the score is presented by an orchestra with a narrator relating the story of Peter, his grandfather and the wolf, as well as an array of other characters.
The story and music follow Peter who lives with his grandfather in a house by a lush and inviting meadow overlooking a sparkling pond, overlooked by a sturdy tree and high stone wall all round.
Grandfather warns Peter to stay out of the meadow because a wolf is on the prowl.
But Peter, like most little boys seeking adventure, is lured outside to play in the sunshine.
After letting the duck loose on the pond, he is rushed back behind the protective wall by Grandfather, while he still keeps an eye on his feathered friend, as well as a bird being stalked by a cat, and of course, there is mayhem with the arrival of the dreaded wolf.
"It's a wonderful story to portray through the use of instruments in the orchestra, while the actors are on stage, with very colorful costumes and a great set," Thomson added.
"It's a bit of an adaptation from the original, with original songs interspersed with the classic presentation. There's some slapstick comedy in there for the kids, and its very family and kid friendly," she said.
Each year since its inception five years ago, Bumbershoot has produced four mainstage performances, featuring experienced adult actors performing for young children.
"Teaming up with the symphony to do this show is great opportunity for us at Bumbershoot, and a really great way to introduce kids to both acting and music," said Ross, founder and artistic director of Bumbershoot.
"We took the flavour of the original piece, and then wrote the script, the music, added original songs and created a fantastic kid-friendly show," she added.
Blending classical with contemporary, the OSO musicians will use their instruments to portray and give life to the actors/animals.
"Each character will have an instrument attached to it," Thomson explained. "Three horns announce the arrival of the wolf, the duck and bird are attached to the flute and oboe, our percussionist is creating her own ideas to fit into the production."
Leaning towards sensitivity, this version of Peter and the Wolf, which will be staged as two family matinees on Feb. 16, will have a slight twist to the story.
"Without being a spoiler, I can say that the duck and the wolf enjoy an Italian bistro-style serenade," she said.
Among the actors on stage are Brad Hull, who has been in numerous stage productions, taking the role of the wolf, and newcomer Quinn Bates who takes on Peter. Bates was recently given Kelowna's Teen in the Arts award.
The collaboration between Bumbershoot Children's Theatre and The Okanagan Symphony is an ongoing project spearheaded by Thomson to create more access to the OSO through community involvement.
The vision of Bumbershoot is to move children and youth towards a world of creativity while fostering improved communication, social skills and improved self-esteem.
What: Peter and The Wolf, presented by the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra with Bumbershoot Children's Theatre.
When: Saturday, Feb. 16 with matinees at 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Where: Kelowna Community Theatre
Tickets: Available at Kelowna Actors Studio box office, 1379 Ellis St., 250-862-2867,