christmasrocksMy interview article with Christmas Rocks! writer, director and actor Wade Lynch made it into November issue of The Buzz. It was done through my internship at the Confederation Centre. And for your viewing pleasure…

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Christmas Rocks!: Wade Lynch and Don Fraser write a new version

Wade Lynch grew up around musical theatre. “I got bit by the bug very early on,” Lynch said. “I recall being cast as Joseph in the Christmas pageant in Grade 1. You’d be hard pressed to get me offstage since.” Lynch, who serves as The Charlottetown Festival’s associate artistic director, is co-writing Christmas Rocks! with the Festival’s musical director, Donald Fraser. He also co-wrote Canada Rocks! and Canada Rocks Christmas.

Christmas Rocks!, which opens at the Confederation Centre of the Arts on November 25, is a holiday show with a little something for everyone, Lynch said. “Every age, every idea and every religion. It’s a show that celebrates winter, not just the Christian aspects of it. It’s about celebrating family and life in wintertime.”

Christmas Rocks! will include lots of recognizable holiday tunes—but audiences shouldn’t expect the traditional Christmas show. “What I’m doing for the comedy element is a little bit different,” Lynch explained. “The subtitle for the show is A Winterland Who’s Who and that’s a play on words on the old CBC nature spots, a Hinterland Who’s Who.”

Christmas Rocks! features characters you don’t necessarily think about at Christmas time, Lynch said. “Like the neglected Christmas tree. Like the New Year’s resolution. The class clown at Christmas. And my favourite, the Christmas turkey. These are all voices you’re going to meet and hear from on stage at the Confederation Centre.”

Lynch is also one of the actors in the show. He said directing and acting in a show can be difficult at times. “Thankfully, I have a good stage manager to rein me in.” Objectivity can become an issue when directing a show you’ve also written. ‘It’s like ‘Oh my God, who wrote this?’” Lynch said.

Being a director and the man in charge definitely has its perks. “It’s the power!” he said, laughing. “It’s really the ability to oversee a project, have a particular vision for a project and be able to see it come through on stage. There’s nothing more thrilling.”

The prep work for Christmas Rocks! has been particularly enjoyable, Lynch said. “It’s my responsibility to maintain the audience we had for Canada Rocks! and Canada Rocks Christmas!, but to deliver a brand new show that’s going to satisfy them, because people are going to have preconceived ideas of what the show is going to be.” He wants to ensure the audience sees nothing they’ve seen before. “I’m trying to outwit our audience and that’s a great challenge.”

Lynch also directed The Ballad of Stompin’ Tom and has appeared in Shear Madness, Eight to the Bar, 18 Wheels, Stones In His Pockets, among others. This past season was Lynch’s fourteenth with The Charlottetown Festival and his fourth as associate director. He was also in over 1,300 performances of A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline.

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