Heather Feeney hopes the old adage is correct, and that sex does, indeed, sell. Well… sex and everything else that comes along with being in a relationship.
The local actress and musical performer joins pianist Scott Knight over the Valentine’s Day weekend, Feb. 15 and 16, at the Brackendale Art Gallery for a musical cabaret that takes a comedic look at romance and relationships, called Smokin’ and Broken.
She said she hopes the subject matter will get more people in the Squamish community out to experience the fun of musical theatre.
“I’m trying to appeal to a larger group of people,” she said. “At my previous musical theatre shows, there is always a core group that shows up, as well as some guys who have been dragged there by their wives, but I figured having a relationship-themed show during Valentine’s weekend — when people are going out already — would intrigue more people to check out the performance.”
The show features 22 songs culled from various shows, which together cover the “reality of relationships,” according to Feeney.
“It takes about three months to choose the right songs and get to know the material,” she said. “I put the songs together in a particular order to tell a story from beginning to end, despite being from different shows. It’s like watching a play.”
Feeney, who now calls Squamish home, began her career in Calgary where she attended The Young Canadians School of Performing Arts. At the age of 12, she was cast as Annie in Canada’s first production of the Broadway hit. Later, she moved to New York City to further her acting career and studied at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy as well as The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts.
After leaving New York, Feeney returned to Vancouver and continued her career in theatre, film and television, appearing in numerous movie projects and TV shows like Dead Like Me, Postal, Supernatural, Men In Trees, The Collector, DaVinci’s Inquest and more, before going on hiatus to raise a family in Squamish.
Knight is an accomplished pianist who has worked with the UBC Opera, Burnaby Lyric Opera and Vancouver Opera, where he toured the Barber of Seville and La Cenerentola for some 250 performances, and also received Jessie Award nominations for Best Musical Direction for his work on Falsettos and Into the Woods.
The pair has brought musical theatre to BAG in the past, but Feeney warned that Smokin’ and Broken isn’t for the prudish… or children.
“It’s a restricted show,” she said. “Although I may have dropped an ‘f-bomb’ in past shows, this show has some adult and sexual content; for instance, there is a song called ‘Anonymous Sex,’ and it isn’t appropriate for kids.”
Feeney said the show should appeal to everyone no matter where they are in their love life.
“Whether married or divorced, single, or bitterly just out of a relationship, they’ll experience something familiar,” she said. “All the range of emotions.”
The comedic Smokin’ and Broken takes place Saturday (Feb. 15) at 8 p.m. and Sunday (Feb. 16) at 7 p.m. at BAG.
Tickets are $20 and available at BAG or Xocolatl.