Jubilations bridges generations with latest production Old Time Rock ‘n Roll

It all comes full circle. 

At least for veteran Jubilations actor Dan Allen, who never thought that he would be starring in the theatre’s latest 2019 production with the daughter of a former co-star from two decades ago. 

“You can’t really imagine anything like that would ever happen,” Allen said when asked about the connection with Kate Cunningham, who is starring in her first Jubilations production, Old Time Rock ’n Roll. Her mother, Shelly Cunningham, performed with Allen in his first show two decades ago. 

“It’s an absolute honour for me seeing friends have kids and then seeing those elements of them in their children. It’s such a treat because there are so many times where Kate reminds me so much of Shelly, even just the little mannerisms. It’s very cool.”

It was a special experience for Cunningham to perform in her first Jubilations production with her mother watching on opening night. Cunningham was not only born and raised in Calgary, but grew up embedded in the Jubilations family. Some would say she was destined to perform. 

“It was nerve wracking at first, but then it sort of gets into your body and you’re just like, ‘This is easy, it’s just like doing any other job,’ but it’s fun,” she says, adding she’s always loved performing. 

“My mom was really proud. She was really excited.”  

Old Time Rock ’n Roll offers a stroll down memory lane when Michael returns home to go through some old records. That’s when he starts to remember an era of rock music and love. Allen, who plays Michael, has been performing in Jubilations’ productions since the ’90s and has been involved in many generational themes. 

“It’s actually been quite thrilling to think back to 20 years ago some of the shows that we were spoofing then, like Bonanza. And then you fast forward 20 years later and you’re doing things like the Golden Girls. It’s so neat to see the evolution and the changing of the demographics.”

Allen is from Edmonton where the production stops next and is excited to perform in front of his hometown. 

“You can’t really put a price tag on having a job where people stand up and clap at the end of your shift. It’s awesome.” 

Old Time Rock ’n Roll Runs until Jan. 11, 2020 at Jubilations Theatre. Please click here for more information and tickets.

Krista Sylvester is a freelance writer (and creator of that’s all she wrote) with a journalism background. She has worked for Metro, CityTV and the now defunct FFWD, and specializes in arts and culture, sports, film and entertainment, social issues and more. When she’s not writing, she can often be found at the poker table or ice rink playing hockey.