Only Grant Tilly can pull off a musical in which the plot revolves around the human spleen. With help from musical director Konrad Pluta, stage manager Joanna Topor, and Nickle and Dime Productions, Tilly’s musical Spleendid will be performed at noon from Jan. 16-19 at the Reeve Theatre Secondary.
Tilly’s love for biology and drama gives him the knowledge to create unique plays such as Waiting for God and Spleendid. One main question about this particular play is why the spleen?
"Well, because it is largely ignored," says Tilly. "There [are] a couple of things in the play about how it is always there for us and yet it is ignored, why do some organs get all the spotlight, like the heart? Why not an organ that puts up a fight?"
This play involves a sick doctor obsessed with spleens. During an emergency operation, the doctor finds the most beautiful spleen he has ever seen and jeopardizes his patient’s life to possess it. Then a strange love triangle develops between the doctor, his assistant and the spleen. The patient dies from complications and his three sons hear his voice from the grave calling the to seek revenge.
This six-person cast involves three Italian mobsters who are played by Javier Vilalter, Dom Poulin and Guilly Urra. The doctor is played by Caden Douglas and the doctor’s assistant, Gretta, is played by Diane Huynh.
Tilly wrote Spleendid for a high school drama festival five years ago. Its second performance was during Tilly’s first year of university, also for Nickle and Dime Productions, which lengthened the musical a bit and pushed the song number up to four.
Now four years later, the same musical is even longer and has eight songs, which Tilly wrote himself.
"[I] just started with the melodies and then did simple accompaniments," says Tilly. "It is pretty simple in a way; I like it that way. It is hopefully the type of music that doesn’t scare off people that don’t usually go to musicals."