Damon Bradley Jang
It’s been 25 years since the world of cinema and animation was changed with the premiere of “The Nightmare before Christmas”, conceived and produced by Tim Burton, with songs by Danny Elfman and originally directed in stop motion by Henry Selkirk.
It tells the story of Jack Skellington, a resident as well as The King of "HalloweenTown" who stumbles through a portal to "Christmas Town" and decides to celebrate the holiday, with some dastardly and comical consequences. I sit down with Fairlith Harvey, director and founder of Geekenders ( a nerdlesque musical troupe based out of Vancouver, Canada) to chat about the show.
OSB: Geekenders has always been at the forefront of nerd culture, mixed with your love and professional training in musical theatre. What made you think this was the year to do a live concert?
FH: We just never want to get bored! We love trying new things, and putting a Geekenders spin on the 'staged concert' format was just something we'd never tried before. This beautiful score seemed like the perfect one to hear in concert; there are plenty of times in the show where the orchestra is the sole focus.
OSB: What can audiences expect to see or hear from the performances?
FH: Stunning choreography as imagined by local choreographers Sarah Seekamp, Isabella Halladay, Stefanie Michaud, and Lyndsey Britten, beautiful harmonies from a cast of 19 of Vancouver's most whimsical and quirky musical theatre talents, and lush orchestrations written by Matt Grinke (650 hours of work!) and played by 10 musicians on 25 instruments.
OSB: Can you tell us some of your cast? A mix of familiar and new to Geekenders?
FH: We have some familiar faces (Graeme Thompson, Erin Foster, Katherine Alpen), some who haven't done a musical with us before (Julia Lank, Ryan Nunez), and some brand new (Charlie Deagnon, Anuar Chain-Haddad).
OSB: Is this a concert of JUST music or the script too.
FH: You'll see!
OSB: You guys sold out ridiculously fast. Is it safe to say that Nightmare holds up 25 years later?
FH: I think the idea of someone trying to find love, warmth, friendship but not knowing how to make that happen for himself is universally relatable.
OSB: How old were you when the movie came out and what was your first reaction that you remember?
I was five, and I wasn't allowed to watch it! I didn't see it until I was a teenager, and I found it entrancing then and I do still.
OSB: Do you have a favourite song, or character?
FH: My favourite song is Jack's Lament -- I can certainly relate to someone saying how sad they are and unable to help themself while simultaneously bragging about their achievements and how awesome they are. My favourite character is the empathetic and heroic Zero the dog.
OSB: Tell me a little about the costume design, without too many spoilers.
FH: The characters will look familiar to the audience, with a spectacularly Vegas-y, glamourous twist.
Tickets are SOLD OUT but check out the Geekenders Work on Facebook, Patreon and Youtube.