TUTS opens with the cast of Tri-City and the crew of two musical shows

Tri-City residents are in Theater Under The Star’s Something Rotten! and We Will Rock You, which now plays Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park in Vancouver.

The first time Brent Hughes performed as a musician with Theater Under The Stars (TUTS) was three decades ago when he was a college student.

Now the music teacher at Dr. Charles Best Secondary in Coquitlam is back in the pit for his 10th time – and his second as music director.

Hughes conducts the 11-person orchestra in Something rotten!one of two musicals that opened last weekend at Stanley Park’s Malkin Bowl.

“Whenever I get the chance to be with TUTS, I take it,” the Port Coquitlam resident told the News from the three cities Monday (July 4).

For this summer’s race, Hughes said he was particularly pleased to have TUTS present Something rotten! a new satire that incorporates a variety of musical genres – from Broadway tunes to rock hits.

It follows two playwright siblings, Nick and Nigel Bottom, as they attempt to write a hit musical in 1595 to rival The Bard: William Shakespeare.

“Shakespeare is the rock star,” Hughes said, “and the brothers are in his shadow.”

Still, Hughes isn’t the only Tri-City resident involved in the production.

Nicol Spinola is the choreographer while Holly Bradbury, Joaquin Little and Jordyn Bennett are part of the ensemble.

Meanwhile, Port Coquitlam resident Tim Howe will make his TUTS debut as villainous sidekick Kashoggi in we will Rock Youwhich works every other night.

Featuring hits from rock band Queen, the show sees Galileo and Scaramouche – and their gang of misfits – 300 years from now as they fight for freedom from music-banned Killer Queen.

Second-in-command gang member Kashoggi is especially fun to portray, Howe said, noting that the series is suitable for ages 10 and up.

“Once COVID was over, I auditioned for everything,” he said, adding, “It’s a great gig to spend the summer doing theater under the stars. It’s definitely an element of the to-do list.

The tenor said he was working with musical director Christopher King, as well as his vocal coach partner, to polish his parts in the score.

“Everyone has been very welcoming and professional,” Howe said of her first TUTS experience. “It’s been such a relaxing show…And the whole thing really makes me look good.”

Tickets for Something Rotten! and We Will Rock You range from $30 to $65. Theater Under The Stars runs until August 27 (shows alternate nights) at Stanley Park’s Malkin Bowl (610 Pipeline Rd., Vancouver). All shows start at 8 p.m. except on fireworks nights (July 23, 27, and 30) when they start at 7 p.m. Visit tuts.ca or call 1-800-514-3849.

William N. Fernandez