Glee Kids ready to rock in Ucluelet

“I know these kids are going to be absolutely fantastic.”

Want to rock? Glee’s got you covered.

The Ukee Glee Kids are ready to take their fans on a spectacular journey through the history of rock and roll music as a cast of roughly 40 performers ranging in age from 5-23 years old will present Rock Around the Ukeeverse at the Ucluelet Community Centre on June 8 and 9. Doors open at 6 p.m. for 6:30 p.m. showtimes each night.

The original play’s script was written by Glee co-founder Courtney Johnson, who is excited to see her young performers take their audience on an exploration of the music genre’s evolution and is encouraging all attending to dress up like their favourite rock stars.

“I really wanted the kids to learn about the origins of the music they love so much and stories of the artists that sing those songs,” Johnson said. “You haven’t lived until you’ve seen two 10 year olds arguing over who gets to play Gene Simmons, or showing you how they can dance across the stage like Angus Young…It’s awesome.”

She said the cast has been rehearsing since January and is excited to show their community what they can do.

“I know these kids are going to be absolutely fantastic,” she said. “It is a large and detailed performance and they want it to be perfect. They really take it seriously and they’re proud to show what they’ve learned.”

Johnson and her creative parter Sarah Hogan created the local Glee program in 2012 and June’s Rock Around the Ukeeverse is the popular local program’s 13th production.

“For the last six years I’ve watched these children grow and watched them perform. They’re flat out incredible. For anyone who hasn’t seen a Glee show, all I can say is….’Just go.’ It’s definitely not what you expect and I promise you will be blown away,” she said. “These are our kids and when they see people in the audience, waiting to see what they’re going to perform, they absolutely shine.”

She added the program has helped West Coast youth develop new skills and, more importantly, discover newfound confidence.

“When some of these kids started, they would stand in the back and didn’t want solos or were afraid to speak in front of a crowd,” she said. “Now, they’re excited to speak in front of people, sing solos or dance. The importance of fostering this sort of confidence in a child is monumental. One of the most rewarding things is helping a child discover a talent they didn’t even realize they had. They learns skills that stick with them for their entire lives and I am so proud of them.”

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