Michael Clarke holds up the microphone as he’s backed up (L-R) by Aadin Church, Duff MacDonald and Michel LaFleche. (Mike Gregory Photo)

Rock Legends breaks nine-year-old Chemainus Theatre Festival box office record

Rock Legends ‘eclipsed’ a previous nine-year box office record at the Chemainus Theatre Festival.

Rock Legends was a show so worthy of a standing ovation night after night this summer that one performance even caused a woman to applaud so hard the diamond fell out of her ring.

The summer musical blockbuster ‘eclipsed’ a previous nine-year record at the Chemainus Theatre Festival likely on the same day or the one following the rare astronomical event on Aug. 21.

Director Alex Mustakas’ sequel to Twist and Shout: The British Invasion sold 25,349 tickets which was 149 more than the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific in 2008.

“That’s a record that’s stood for nearly a decade and it’s that much more gratifying as it comes in our 25th season so we’re pretty excited,” managing director Randy Huber told the Chronicle. “Everything has to line up perfectly if this one is going to be broken down the road.”

Rock Legends was performed 101 times over 12 full weeks in Chemainus with many of the August performances sold out.

It follows a musical tribute format as late night television host Roy Solomon signs off after two decades on the air. Influential rock and roll acts from the 50s through to the 70s all perform, including the Beatles, Beach Boys, Everly Brothers and a few encores from Sonny & Cher.

“I think it really delivered on people’s expectations when they came to the theatre,” Huber said. “The power of nostalgia meant people just connected with the material so well.”

The diamond ring incident took place a couple weeks ago during a Sunday matinee and the woman called the theatre the next day to ask if the stone may have turned up.

“The box office person who took the call (on Monday) went straight into the theatre to the section where she was sitting and found the diamond,” said Huber.

His email to staff letting them know the box office record had been broken was appropriately titled ‘Milestones and Missing Stones.’

The majority of the actors who perform in Chemainus are from big centres like Vancouver and Toronto but have the opportunity to spend a summer on the island as part of the big summer musical – the longest running show on the Festival’s calendar followed by the Christmas performance.

“Chemainus has built up a good reputation as a great place to work and so there’s lots of interest,” Huber said. “We get inquiries from actors right across the country that are interested in coming to work here.”

About 10 per cent of ticket sales for Rock Legends was off Island, including four per cent from the United States and the rest from across Canada.

“We just want to thank the community and the region for its support,” Huber said. “The theatre’s not-for-profit and it can only flourish with the support of local businesses and the broader area so we’re just very grateful to be in a supportive place.”

Just Posted

5 family-friendly events happening in Ladysmith this weekend

Wounded Warriors run stops in Ladysmith Get ready to cheer on the… Continue reading

UPDATE: Stolen pickup truck recovered during arrest south of Nanaimo

Two suspects were arrested in connection with a stolen pickup truck in Cassidy on Thursday evening

Adopted pet pig gets killed and eaten

Animal was adopted out by SPCA staff in the Cowichan Valley

Driver charged in two-vehicle crash on highway north of Ladysmith

Passenger in Volkswagen Jetta transported to hospital with minor injuries

WATCH: Vancouver Island man catches dashcam video of near head-on crash

Video shows oncoming van cross over centre line

Canucks fold 5-3 in first ever trip to Vegas

Daniel Sedin had two points as Canucks fall to the Golden Knights Friday night

That’s a wrap: B.C. Games results after Day 1

Vancouver-Coastal Zone 5 is in the lead for medals Friday at the Kamloops 2018 B.C. Winter Games

Construction set to begin on Nanaimo airport terminal expansion

First phase of construction project to begin in March or April

Sticking the landing at the B.C. Games

Gymnasts talk competition, B.C. Winter Games, and teamwork in Kamloops

$153M in federal cash to fund child care, education training in B.C.

Bilateral agreement will create 1,370 new infant and toddler spaces

A B.C. woman talks her life in the sex trade

A view into the life from one Kelowna prostitute and the issues it can cause for women

Twitter feed prays for — instead of preying on — B.C. MLAs

Non-partisan Christian group wants to support politicians through personalized prayer

Hundreds march for justice in death of Winnipeg teen

Tina Fontaine was pulled from a river in 2014, her body wrapped in a blanket and weighed down by rocks

Most Read