Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times
“All Together Now” cast members invite audience members to “Be Our Guest” as they open the show with the classic “Beauty and the Beast” number.

Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times “All Together Now” cast members invite audience members to “Be Our Guest” as they open the show with the classic “Beauty and the Beast” number.

The show will go on

Oak Harbor performers are relieved to be taking the stage safely this weekend despite a COVID scare.

Oak Harbor performers are relieved to be taking the stage safely this weekend despite a COVID-19 scare just one week before opening night of “All Together Now.”

Though one cast member received a COVID diagnosis last week, the rest of the cast and crew have since tested negative and, after some adjustments to the program, are ready to perform as scheduled. As they say in the theater business, the show must go on.

And go on it will, not only on Whidbey Island, but all over the world. “All Together Now” is an international musical revue founded by show licensing company Music Theatre International to help small theaters rebound from a pandemic-induced performance hiatus.

Composers and playwrights who normally receive royalties from theaters that put on their works have donated performances of songs from their shows, allowing schools and local theaters to perform them for free.

“The whole idea of ‘All Together Now’ is to celebrate getting back into the theater, doing live music — live musical theater,” said cast member Heather Good McCoy.

The Whidbey Playhouse is just one of almost 4,000 theater companies from around the world performing “All Together Now” this weekend, and each company’s performance will be unique; every theater got to choose from a long list of donated songs to create a show that fit its cast.

The Whidbey group will be performing 15 songs from shows such as “Beauty and the Beast,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Guys and Dolls” and more. Performances include solos, small group numbers and four show-stoppers featuring the entire cast.

“If no one’s ever delved too deep into musical theater, and they want to start, this is a good way, because there’s different genres of musicals, different styles from different times,” said performer Marianne Campos.

Part of preparing for this weekend has included making adjustments to cover for the cast member who won’t be finished quarantining in time to perform. Performer Erin Tombaugh said most of the cast are veteran performers who haven’t had trouble filling in or helping the team navigate this tricky situation in other ways.

“We have a couple of medical professionals in our cast, and so we’ve had some guidance along the way of how to do this safely,” she said.

Everyone is stepping up to allow the show to continue; even Director Sue Riney will be taking the stage, filling in for the sick cast member in the song “You Could Drive a Person Crazy” from the musical “Company.” Riney said she has performed the song before — though not since 1994, she joked.

Cast members are hopeful the performance will help community members reconnect after the past two years of separation.

Good McCoy said her favorite song from the show is the closer, “Seasons of Love” from “Rent,” because the song’s subject — how to measure time passing — is especially relevant during the pandemic.

“The song mentions daylights, and sunsets, and cups of coffee, and when you’ve lost somebody to the pandemic, to COVID, those things are important,” she said.

Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. Nov 12 and 13, and at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 13 and 14 at the Whidbey Playhouse, and all four performances will also be livestreamed for those who wish to participate from home. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at www.whidbeyplayhouse.com/shows.

The Whidbey Playhouse requires all audience members to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test taken within the last 72 hours to enter the performance, and masks are required for all patrons at all times. Cast and crew members were required to provide proof of vaccination before auditioning.

Photos by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times
Performers take the stage to sing one of four numbers featuring the entire cast, “Consider Yourself” from “Oliver!”

Photos by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times Performers take the stage to sing one of four numbers featuring the entire cast, “Consider Yourself” from “Oliver!”

“All Together Now” cast members perform “Take a Chance on Me” from “Mamma Mia” at a rehearsal Nov. 7.

“All Together Now” cast members perform “Take a Chance on Me” from “Mamma Mia” at a rehearsal Nov. 7.

The cast rehearses “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat,” an upbeat tune from “Guys and Dolls.”

The cast rehearses “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat,” an upbeat tune from “Guys and Dolls.”

More in Life

Photo provided
Fourth grade students at Whidbey Island Waldorf School construct bat houses for local bat populations to roost in.
Fourth graders apply classroom skills in conservation project

Students at the Whidbey Island Waldorf School built wood homes for local bat populations.

C.C. Cushen, at far left, presides over what looks like a game of cards with his buddies in the billiard room of his Central Hotel in 1924.
Collection of oral histories tells story of Front Street

A book of interviews compiled by Judy Lynn captures hundreds of years of memories about Coupeville.

See caption
Budding herbalism studio open for business

A Langley herbalist whose business sprouted during the pandemic has opened a new studio.

Photo provided
Melany Alanis was one of around 500 All American cheerleaders and dancers chosen to march in the Thanksgiving parade at Disney World.
Oak Harbor cheerleader selected to participate in Disney World parade

Senior Melany Alanis was selected to join an elite group of All American dancers and cheerleaders.

Oak Harbor nativity features live animals

Oak Harbor Christian School is bringing the spirit of Christmas with a biblical re-enactment.

See caption
Santa by the Sea

Photos: Santa Claus handed out candy canes to children Saturday evening in Langley.

See caption
A Whale of a Tale

Orca Network celebrates 20th anniversary

Photo provided
Boaters line up at the beginning of the 2009 Deception Pass Dash.
Paddlers to brave cold in Deception Pass Dash

The Deception Pass Dash returns Dec. 11 after being cancelled last year because of COVID-19.

Tilth Market opens for holiday

South Whidbey Tilth’s second annual winter market is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m on Dec. 5 and 12.

Most Read