Rachel Babor is really looking forward to reprising her role in the irreverent, foot stomping, laugh out loud show, “Hastings the Musical.” Babor, a triple threat performer, was a big part of last year’s hit musical but this year things are going to be slightly different for the actor who sings, dances and plays instruments throughout the show because this year, she’s pregnant.
Babor, who is on stage for the entire show, says she’s really looking forward to the experience that she and her baby will have.
“I play guitar in the show and it’s cool to think that the baby will feel the vibration,” Babor says.
The show is actually a great fit for the actor who is already laughing about potentially tight costumes and possible changes to choreography for her dance scenes.
“I’m the choreographer for this show so I can adjust lifts and things like that if I need to,” she laughs. “I’m also thinking about how it will feel to be in heels.”
Babor has spent the past 11 years performing, often in large musicals where she sings and dances. She says she set a goal to work in the industry for ten years professionally before starting a family and when she discussed the possibility of being pregnant during the show with creative director Tim Porter, she says his enthusiasm was overwhelming.
“Tim has been really supportive and open to making any necessary changes,” Babor says.
Happy to now be in her second trimester, with her energy coming back in full force, she’s getting ready to take the show on the road; which can be challenging at the best of times.
“I’m doing more training now, lots of vocal warm-ups and brushing up on guitar,” Babor says.
This will continue until the show hits the stage on Aug 7 at the Village Playhouse in Bancroft and then Babor says she just has to trust that the music and the moves are there. Also a yoga instructor, she prepares for show day with yoga, a great way, she says, to get the body warm and build that body/mind connection that she relies on while on stage. She also says she enjoys lots of vocal warm-ups while on the road, travelling to the show.
“Car windows closed,” she laughs.
All of the preparation, rehearsals, great storylines, characters, music and harmonies create a recipe for real stage magic and Babor says she can’t wait to get back into that zone.
“Last year, there was just something so special about the show,” she recalls. “This is about people in the area, its really grassroots – it’s our stories. We felt at times like this spirit was there with us, in the theatre and when we were on stage.”
Babor says the audience felt it too. Many of the people who came to see the show returned multiple times to re-live the experience.
“This show is so collaborative,” Babor explains. “We all do the choreo, the wardrobe, we move the sets – we do everything and it’s raw Canadian work from all of these people who have all of this creative energy and it all comes out in the show. It’s a showcase of how versatile we are.”
As for her favourite part in the show, Babor says she finds playing Christie, a love interest, really moving.
“I’m usually chorus girl in shows – second girl from the left,” she laughs. “But as Christy, singing with Patrick (played by James King) I can feel the energy and the love coming at me from the audience because they want to love love. We all do.”
Audiences can fall in love with the entire cast of “Hastings the Musical” when it plays the Bancroft Village Playhouse from August 7 to 11. Tickets are on sale now at local ticket agents. The Bancroft Village Playhouse is operated by Hospice North Hastings. As part of their “Caring through Culture” initiative, funds raised at the theatre support the free programs and services offered by Hospice North Hastings in the community.