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Algoma U talent shines in The Marvelous Wonderettes

Tuesday, April 29, 2014   by: Staff

The Musical Comedy Guild's latest production, The Marvelous Wonderettes, will highlight Algoma University's musical talent, as two alumni and one current student take to the stage to belt out the classical tunes of the 1950s and 1960s.

Calyssa Rimkey, a graduate of the University's Bachelor of Arts Music program in 2012, is one of four female leads in the production, cast as Missy. 

Rimkey has headlined countless musical performances in the Sault area, and last November starred in the role of Eponine in Les Misérables, alongside many other Algoma U students and grads.  

She also performed in the Musical Comedy Guild's The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz, Pippin, and Annie.

Rimkey is an Orillia, Ontario native, and recently graduated from Lakehead University's Faculty of Education program.

Elizabeth Alloi, a current student of the University's three-year Music program set to graduate in June, will headline as Betty Jean in The Marvelous Wonderettes.

Alloi, a Dean's List student, was part of the chorus in last year's Les Misérables, and in 2012 competed for the Kiwanis' Music Festival Shield.

Both Alloi and Rimkey also worked together onstage with the Algoma University Drama Club.

Both have been in countless productions, including in 2011 in Aeschylus' The Libation Bearers, which Alloi starred in and Rimkey co-produced.

Nicole Dugas, who graduated from the University's Music and French program in 2011, is the show's Musical and Vocal Director.

She will also be performing back-up vocals for the foursome.

Dugas continues to maintain close ties to the University, and often performs at various events including varsity games, Induction, and Convocation.

Prior to graduating, she earned recognition for her involvement on the women's indoor soccer team, taking Most Improved in 2011.

She also earned the Award of Excellence in Music at graduation.

Both Dugas and Rimkey also performed side by side in the University's vocal ensemble.

"This is the first time that the Musical Comedy Guild has staged a dinner theatre show, and we're pleased to see so much talent coming from Algoma University," said President of the Musical Comedy Guild and Director of Human Resources at the University, Darla Pirillo. "Music students at the University have countless opportunities to get involved and show off their talent to an audience that extends beyond the classroom. We encourage everyone to get their tickets and show their support."

The Marvelous Wonderettes uses pop songs from the 1950s and 1960s as a vehicle to tell its story and pays homage to the high school Songleader squads of the 1950s.

When called upon to perform at their senior prom as a last minute replacement, Springfield High Songleaders, Betty Jean, Cindy Lou (Brianna Nero), Missy and Suzy (Kelsey Wade), rally together to entertain their classmates in four-part harmony. 

The songs they sing during the course of the musical include: Lollipop, Dream Lover, Stupid Cupid, among others. 

The second half of the production focuses on their 10 year high school reunion, and the Songleaders entertain the crowd by singing songs of the next decade, including Heatwave and Respect.

Through these tunes, the audience learns about their lives in the past 10 years.

Over 30 songs will be sung.

The Marvelous Wonderettes runs from May 1 until May 4 at the Northern Grand Gardens.

Tickets are one sale the Kiwanis Community Theatre Centre Box Office in the Station Mall or online at


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