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Elvis, Wolfman are in the building

In the musical, Blast from the Past, five kids from today's world get off at the wrong stop and wander into another time zone.

In the musical, Blast from the Past, five kids from today's world get off at the wrong stop and wander into another time zone.

They are met by that hippest, coolest of DJs, Wolfman Jack, and they perform on stage with the likes of Elvis and the Everly Brothers.

So it's a typical plot for a musical - that is, total fantasy. But it is the music that's the thing, says Blast's creator and director Lynne Dickson. Along the way, the kids perform the songs that set the 50s and 60s generations' bopping. Elvis, dressed in a genuine made-in-Las Vegas outfit and along with the grades one and two choir, sings Hound Dog, though it has been rewritten for kids. "Watch for the poodle skirts and blue suede sneakers," Dickson says. The audience will hear tunes from Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Bobby Darin, Paul Anka and the Beach Boys. Because many of the pop stars of the times were men, some of the girls will be drafted into playing the male roles. Dickson says they didn't have room for Motown and the girl groups in addition to all the other musicians. However, the Chiffons put in an appearance with One Fine Day sung by the teen choir.

Dickson wrote the script for this musical years ago and performed it at Rockwood Pavilion in Sechelt where it was an audience pleaser. Eight years later, she found she had to update the script to include, for example, cell phones as a routine part of kids' lives. "One of the funniest parts is played by a girl who acts the part of me, the music teacher, and tells the kids to start the show," said Dickson.

The youngest performer is less than five years old and the oldest performers are part of the adult choir some of whom are in their 70s. Counting all the cast, crew and supporters, almost 100 people are involved. What makes the couple known as The Music Makers, Reg and Lynne Dickson, take on these giant musical projects? Last year, they showed The Jungle Book (Dickson kid-sized the script on that one, too) and have also produced Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. "It's going to be fun," says Lynne, who reveals that she leans more toward jazz, country and folk music herself. "We work really hard and do high quality shows." But one of her primary reasons, she says, is about truth. All of the scenes in Blast from the Past are based on real anecdotes from rock history. Jerry Lee Lewis, when he appears, tells the audience that he's more popular than Elvis. In another story of rivals from the 60s, the Stones' Mick Jagger (played by an adult) battles it out with the Beatles' John Lennon (played by a nine-year-old).

Dickson is joined in her artistic direction by Tracy Lloyd. For music, Warren Allen is on bass, Gary Taylor on drums and Paula Seward on piano. Blast will play for only two performances in the new Chatelech Theatre in Sechelt on Sunday, April 10, at 1 and 3 p.m. Tickets for $12 are on sale at Talewind Books, Coast Books and at Music Makers studio. Contact them at

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