Issue #250: March 1, 2011
It was a star-studded night on March 1 when the Tony award –winning Billy Elliot: The Musical opened at the Canon Theatre in Toronto. In attendance was none other than Sir Elton John, with his Torontonian husband David Furnish. John wrote the music for Billy and watched the opening night performance with different eyes now that he has become a father. The reviews for the production were stellar with an expected run on tickets for the engagement in town until July.
Had the pleasure of seeing storyteller Sandra Shamas’ latest offering, Wit’s End III: Love Life, at the Winter Garden Theatre in Toronto recently. I so remember her first decades ago…My Boyfriend’s Back and There’s Going to be Laundry…and what a blast that was. This new work is as entertaining as the first with so much more insight and wisdom that comes with age. She is a terrific talent and the good news is that her run has been extended to April 3 so if’ you’re looking for a great laugh be sure to check it out.
- There is some buzz coming from down under with regards to a new musical, Doctor Zhivago. Based on the book by Boris Pasternak, but unlike the David Lean film epic, this production promises to deliver a great love affair with the Russian Revolution as the backdrop. A very ambitious undertaking to say the least but there is a who’s who of theatre connected to the project. Multi Tony winner Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys) is on board to direct with Lucy Simon (The Secret Garden) composing the music. The producers attached are also no slouches including Aussie John Frost of the Gordon Frost Organization and in town…in Sydney that is…recently for the opening was a Canadian contingent from Mirvish Productions. As well, U.S. producers Dodger Theatricals who brought you Jersey Boys were there. All going well…if they can iron out the kinks in OZ…perhaps we can see this exciting new piece of theatre in a season or two.