Director Ryver Santos Cegnar has been thinking about Ruthless: The Musical Comedy for years now, and he is finally getting a chance to bring the show to Campbell River.
“Back in 2020 during COVID, a Youtube channel called The Show Must Go On was streaming free versions of full Broadway professionally-recorded musicals and Ruthless was one of them,” he said. “I watched it, and I had to watch it again and again. Every time I watched it I just laughed at every joke. Every time I watched it the more jokes I got. Then I bought the script and have been listening to the songs over and over again. This year I wanted to do a musical and decided on Ruthless.”
The thing is, Ruthless is a tough musical to describe. Even Santos Cegnar, who says he absolutely loves it, can’t really describe what it is about.
“Ruthless is a comedy musical about a stereotypical 60’s mother and her very cute, charming, 8-year-old daughter Tina,” he says, adding that “the show follows a bunch of dramatic cliches, soap opera-esque plot twists,” he said.
“The entire show is very confusing to explain, my best suggestion is to just come watch.”
The show features an all-female cast of characters, though there is one gender-bent role — Sylvia St. Croix — which Santos Cegnar will be playing.
“It’s an all female cast as in all of the characters are female, but there’s one gender-bent role which is myself,” he said. “The show is written for that one character to be in drag, some productions do, some productions don’t. I wanted to because I wanted to.”
The cast itself is quite small, with only six actors. There are actually over four times as many people working behind the scenes as on stage.
“I think we’ve got 26 or 27 people working on the show, and we have six actors,” Santos Cegnar said. “We’ve got a full pit band, two pianos, a percussionist, a bass player. It’s amazing.”
The show is set for June 23, 24 and 25 at 7 p.m., with a matinee on June 25 as well at 1 p.m. The show will be performed at the Timberline Secondary theatre, though it is not affiliated with the school. There are also some mature themes in the show.
Tickets are available for $18 at https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/64618.