Press Releases


Stump City Stories PosterCity Stage New West, in keeping with the city-wide 150th celebrations in New Westminster, and with the support of a City of New Westminster Arts and Culture Grant, has commissioned an original, light-hearted musical based on the history of New Westminster, STUMP CITY STORIES. Written by award-winning composer George Ryan, whose works include over a decade of original scores for Bard on the Beach as well as works for CBC Radio, STUMP CITY STORIES celebrates intertwining lives and unexpected events from New Westminster's rich and culturally diverse history. Hilarious, irreverent, and deeply-moving, STUMP CITY STORIES is a musical confection that's sure to please all comers. Douglas College will host two professional workshop performances of the musical on Saturday, October 17 at 8pm and Sunday, October 18 at 2pm, in the college's Laura C. Muir Performing Arts sTheatre in New Westminster. Tickets are $23/$20 seniors & students, plus service charge, available through Massey Ticketing Centre at 604 521 5050 or online at $10 Tickets (limited seating) for Saturday night's post-show Fundraising Cast Party Gala at The Keg also available at Massey Ticketing Centre.

The cast will feature the talents of veteran Broadway musical actor Sean Allan, along with Damon Calderwood (last seen in the title role of “Billy Bishop Goes to War”), Jeremy Lowe (recently in the Arts Club's Les Miserables), and New Westminster resident and newcomer Dora Brooks, most recently “Phyllis” in DragonDiva Opera Theatre's “Iolanthe”. George Ryan directs and accompanies the superb cast.

STUMP CITY STORIES opens with a cheeky chorus sure to raise chuckles and eyebrows:

Good evening New Westminster, and welcome here tonight To an evening full of history, designed for your delight! You may be disappointed or annoyed if you expect That this will be an ev'ning that's politically correct; We plan on treating everyone with equal disrespect! Welcome to the show!

STUMP CITY STORIES cleverly and, more often than not, comically weaves vignettes drawn from historic events, personal letters, newspaper headlines, and anecdotal diary entries of New Westminster personages. Each member of the ensemble cast plays a number of New Westminster characters, from the great to the humble.

Musically, the show continually delights and surprises, as Ryan creatively references musical styles from across the years. The lavish sampling of original tunes include a poignant homage to First Nations life along the Fraser in “A Land Unspoiled”; a jazzy song that hilariously tells how New West got its name, as well as its nickname, “Stump City”; the gorgeous ballad of “Chung Koh”, a character who sings of his family's legacy as Chinese immigrants; and a toe-tapping tune about riding “The Old Interurban Line” during the 'jitney craze'.

City Stage New West gratefully acknowledges Douglas College's role as venue host for STUMP CTY STORIES. A fund-raising Cast Party Gala will follow the Saturday, October 17 evening performance and will be held at New Westminster's historic train station, now known as The Keg at the Station, 800 Columbia Street, New Westminster. Limited seating is available for this post-show fundraiser; tickets are $10 (free hors d'oeuvres, cash & carry bar) and may be purchased through Massey Ticketing Centre. The Sunday, October 18th performance will be followed by a free Talk-Back with George Ryan, the actors, and a guest speakers to be announced.