Whether a music fan or not, there’s a good chance most people know the name Tom Waits.
Jason Webley? Maybe not.
But Alan Corbishley, artistic director of B.C. Living Arts, could change that for local theatregoers with a new concert experience that will be unveiled at the Pavilion Theatre on Friday.
Webley aWaits combines the music of renowned American musician and actor Waits and up-and-coming folk artist Webley to tell the story of a man who is going through a mid-life crisis.
“He can’t resist it anymore and goes on a bit of bender, really,” said Corbishley. “He derails.”
And what better music to tell such a story than that of Tom Waits, who frequently sings about seedy characters and places, said Corbishley, who originally wanted to present one of musician’s stage shows.
Then he came across the music of Webley, and found it hauntingly similar to Waits. From there the concept of Webley aWaits was born.
To bring the music to life, Corbishley turned to local musicians Kris Ruston (keyboards, guitar), Richard Taylor (accordion), Neil Brun (bass), Richard Graham (percussion, vocals) and singers Rob Threlfall and Sheanna Jones.
Ruston not only performs in the show, but also adapted 25 of Waits and Webley’s songs for the show.
He said Webley aWaits is a concert first, but has a performance element to it, minus any actors.
“It has a theatrical twist to it. It has a loosely based storyline to it,” said Ruston. “The tunes are sung and we tell the story with props and action.”
This requires more of Ruston and his fellow musicians than a simple concert, he said. But he promises audiences they are in for a unique experience. How unique? People will just have to come and watch.
“There’s been a little bit of experimentation along the way to see how this will work for our vocalists and the guys who are involved in the theatrical part of it,” he said.
Webley aWaits runs Oct. 19 to 21 at the Pavilion. Tickets are $22 or $25 and are available at Kamloops Live! Box Office.