An original musical production will be coming to the City of Yellowknife in the form of Love + Laughter on the 14th Floor, which is set to premiere at the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre on Friday, April 29.

“It’s definitely a work in progress and a long time coming — a complete labour of love,” script writer Shannon Lyman said.

The show boasts a total of three performers — Lyman, Kara Cherland and Susan Shantora — and pianist Ari Snyder, who will be playing an assortment of songs from different Broadway musicals.

Development of the script began after Lyman was approached by Shantora and Snyder to do a concert in 2021.

“Then it kind of took on a life of its own,” she said. “We decided that we would write a little script, using songs from musical theater and put on a show.”

The idea for the accompaniment of Broadway music came during the development of the script, when Shantora proposed that the song The Girl in 14G, made popular by Kristin Chenoweth, be included in the stage show.

“We all really loved it,” Lyman said. “(So the production’s) just based on the other pieces of music that we had chosen. It made sense as kind of a catalyst in kind of bringing the characters together and (setting) them up in a time in place, set the stage for how they would be part of one another’s lives.”

Some of the other tunes from musicals included in Love + Laughter on the 14th Floor include I Love You Because, On the Town, and The Flood.

The writing process

Writing the script, which occurred in June 2021, was free of roadblocks for Lyman.

“I kind of immersed myself in it and wrote it in the course of, I would say, over a week,” she recalled.

Initially, the hope was for Love + Laughter on the 14th Floor to debut during summer 2021, but its had to pump the brakes a couple of times due to the pandemic.

“We got hit with the Covid wave heading into September,” Lyman said. “Then we got restarted. We were trying to hit (an) end of January performance date, but, of course, the wave that came in January made that an impossibility. So we restarted again.

She’s hoping there will be no further obstacles with the debut now days away.

“I feel like I need to knock on wood, I don’t want to jinx it,” she laughed.

She’s admittedly excited, but also incredibly nervous as the show creeps ever closer.

“The coolest part about this whole thing is actually seeing it through, and seeing it on its feet is very exciting,” she said. “The nail-biting part is like, are people actually going to buy tickets?”

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