It’s been almost two years since I posted anything on this blog. My life has taken a decidedly different direction so my focus is no long specific to the world of Broadway theatre. I work on many interesting projects with people all over Canada and the US so I will now use this space to talk about what I’m up to and to shamelessly promote clients I’m working with…with the hope you may be interested.
First up is the 5th Annual Toronto Garlic Festival on September 20th, being held in a new location this year, Artscape Wychwood Barns…check out their website for all the details. http://www.torontogarlicfestival.ca/ Festival organizer Peter McClusky has just launched his new book…Ontario Garlic: The Story from Farm to Festival. He will be there with books to sign at the festival when you take in all the many vendor’s offerings, chefs dishing up all things garlic and other special presentations. Hope to see you there.
Following in the footsteps of other rock legends (U2) it looks like Sting has penned a musical based on his memories growing up in northeast England. The Last Ship will open in Chicago before heading to Broadway..however at the moment an opening date and theatre are not yet available. The team attached to the project include playwright John Logan (Red) and writer Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal),with directing duties going to Joe Mantello (Wicked) and choreography by Steven Hoggett (Once).
The current Canadian production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production of The Wizard of Oz will take up residence at Las Vegas’s Smith Center for the Performing Arts beginning September 10. Currently at the Ed Mirvish Theatre in Toronto, they will wrap up on August 18 as they prepare to head to south. Most of the current cast will make the journey, which will be the beginning of a North American tour ending on July 20, 2014 at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre.
The theatre world doesn’t often have the chance to celebrate a producer with such staying power as Toronto’s Mirvish Productions. This season 2013/2014 celebrates 50 years since Ed Mirvish purchased the Royal Alexandra Theatre and over the years turned King Street West into the vibrant theatre district it is today. This season brings back a favourite, Les Miserable, with a predominately Canadian cast. Toronto will host the pre-Broadway production of Disney’s Aladdin. Also on tap is the Canadian premier of the Tony-winner Once, a new production of Cats as well as the world premiere of the “tango rock opera” Arrabal from Toronto native choreographer Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys). It looks like Toronto theatre goers will have reason to celebrate this half century of Mirvish presentations. For a full list of the upcoming season visit www.mirvish.com.
The latest report has the iconic musical Les Miserables returning to Toronto in September. With all the excitement surrounding the recent feature film, it just makes sense to capitalize on the continuing popularity of Les Miz. Casting has not been confirmed however expect a stellar gathering since Toronto is a city that continues to have a deep love affair with this musical. Will keep you posted as additional information becomes available.
It is true, Canadian actor Conrad Bain will probably be best known as dad to the two adopted sons on TV’s 80’s series Diff’rent Strokes, however he was much more than that. After serving in the Canadian Armed Forces he studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. In 1956 Bain made his Broadway debut in The Iceman Cometh. Then he returned to Canada and performed at the Stratford Festival in 1958 and continued performing on stage in both the US and Canada until an audition in 1971 led him to television. Bain died on January 14th at 89.
Academy Award winner Tom Hanks is scheduled to make his Broadway debut in Lucky Guy. Written by the late Nora Ephron, Hanks will portray the late journalist Mike McAlary who won the Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the police brutality case of Abner Louima. Previews begin at the Broadhurst Theatre on March 1 with the opening night slated for April 1.
In recognition of Remembrance Day, Mirvish Productions is offering complimentary tickets to War Horse to any Canadian veteran or member of the armed forces from November 13 to December 2. Companion tickets can be purchased from $39 to $69 at the Princess of Wales Theatre. This is an amazing offer to a memorable production…a great way to recognize their service.
So looking forward to the brilliant Louis Pitre performance at the Roxy Theatre in Owen Sound on Friday, October 12th. I have fond memories of working with her on the television series Star Portraits, however it is her stage performances that she is best known. Who can forget her as Fontine in the first Toronto engagement of Les Miserables. Then of course her Tony nominated performance in Mamma Mia! a role she originated in Toronto before heading to Broadway. The Owen Sound community is in for a spectacular night of entertainment.
In a twist of fate, the revival of Gore Vidal‘s political play The Best Man saw the author pass away at 86 during the run. Currently at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater until September 9, the play boasts a who’s who cast including; Cybill Shepherd, John Stamos, Kristin Davis, Elizabeth Ashley, James Earl Jones and John Larroquette.