It’s a tragic love story that you’re probably familiar with: a mysterious, rich man who throws quite the party moves to a lakeside town and gets to know the neighbours. Love, infidelity, and heartbreak play out in this musical set in the high-flying 1920s.
This is the musical adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, playing at Walterdale Theatre December 5 – 15.
Walterdale’s outgoing Artistic Director and Director of this show, Bethany Hughes, has loved this story for a long time.
“When I first got ahold of this play, I was a young woman in high school. I was in love with the idea of this amazing man sacrificing his whole life for the love of his life. I bought that romantic story and fell in love with it – hook, line and sinker. Reading it and loving it now as an adult who has a little more experience, I think this entire show is made of relationships and characters that are founded under false pretenses across the board.”
Bethany says working on the show has made her think about authenticity and being true to oneself in today’s social media-fueled world, saying, “What am I curating? What am I liking or sharing? Is that living authentically? Is sharing the very best version of myself – is that being true to myself? The characters in the show have a facade in some areas of their lives in order to maintain a status quo, power or relationships.”
Despite the relevance to today’s audiences, The Great Gatsby will be presented true to its origins – set in the 1920s, where jazz, prohibition and bootlegging reigned supreme. Bethany says making that era come alive within Walterdale’s space has been a lot of fun, “I love the era, I think there’s something so magical and amazing about the 1920s. There’s something effervescent about it – there are endless possibilities and hope in it.”
Bethany also hinted audiences should arrive early to the show if they can (Walterdale’s front doors open an hour before showtime, and theatre doors usually open at 15 minutes before the start of the show). “Come early because our cast will welcome you to the Gatsby party. You will be entertained, you will be swept away by the cast, you will be given a beverage by someone. You’ll dance with the cast, party with them, and become part of the story. This is a really different experience for Walterdale… Dress up! I would encourage you, if you want to get your Gatsby on, to dress up and come to the theatre! “
Simon Levy’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitsgerald runs at Walterdale Theatre (10322 – 83 Avenue) December 5 – 15. Tickets are $18 – $20 at Tix on the Square. On Thursday, December 6, tickets at are two-for-one at the door and Tuesday, December 11 tickets are pay-what-you-can at the door.