Vancouver’s International Fringe Festival is known for its edgy productions that challenge artistic boundaries and push the audience to rethink what theatre is. Although it is great to contemplate what art is, sometimes it is nice to unwind with lighter fare that everyone can relate to. This year, Fringe’s line-up includes Riverview High: The Musical, a classic love triangle mixed with the uncertainty of adolescence.
Riverview High‘s main character, Alex, is torn between two girls: Cathy, a sweet blonde haired girl, and Erica, a sophisticated brunette. As soon as the musical kicks off, Alex’s woes begin: he unintentionally asks both Cathy and Erica to prom. The ladies find out and Alex has to choose one to be his date. He doesn’t know who to go to prom with and is only more confused; but he needs to choose quickly because both Erica and Cathy each have another potential beau.
Riverview High: The Musical is the brainchild of Stewart Yu, a composer, and Angela Wong, a writer, both local Vancouverites and UBC graduates. The project began in April 2011 as a conversation between Yu and Wong during a car ride. The production quickly took shape: by the end of June 2011, the storyline was finished and six songs were written. Riverview High was accepted to the Vancouver Fringe Festival in February 2012 and continued developing until May 2012.
The production is set in 1996 and pays homage to Archie comics with a clear influence from great sitcoms from the 90s like Saved By The Bell and Clueless. The storyline is perfect for people of all ages: many of us remember our awkward times in high school and how difficult the transition to adulthood can be. So who will Alex choose in the biggest decision of his teenage life? Riverview High: The Musical will make its world premiere on September 6 at 9:30 pm at the Firehall Arts Centre in the Vancouver Fringe Festival.