Saturday, September 27, 2008

Newman's Own

Justin is in New York for a week. I cannot even begin to tell you how jealous I am. He got a rush ticket to see Patti in Gypsy, need I say more. Anyway, that means I have to step it up on the EAP blog. I am sure all of the avid readers will miss Justin's more objective approach, but I am not a journalist and I can only write about what moves me. And today that subject is Paul Newman. Perhaps one of the most gorgeous, talented and endearing public figures of the last half century, Mr. Newman pasted away yesterday evening from a long battle with cancer.

Everyone knows by now of course, but I want to add my voice to the memorial of this charismatic figure in American stage and screen history. I mean Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - hello! Butch Cassidy, Paul Newman is not just a man who will be missed, he is a legend. Plus Paul and Joanne had the ultimate relationship, a love for all time. Newman was a phenomenal actor, advocate, social entrepreneur and overall individual.Paul Newman also graduated from my mother's Alma matter Kenyon College in Ohio. On June 1, 2007, Kenyon College announced that Newman had donated $10 million to the school to establish a scholarship fund as part of the college's current $230 million fund-raising campaign. Newman and Woodward were honorary co-chairs of a previous campaign, just one of the many philanthropic causes Newman devoted himself to.

Also a Canadian side note - it was during the filming of Winnipeg in 1969 that Newman first got his taste for auto racing, something which became a sincere hobby for him, and an odd passion that he and I share. Basically, i am saying that Paul Newman and I should have been lovers, if it wasn't for the age difference and the fact that we never met, we would have been meant to be. Rest in Peace Sir, you will be missed, but not forgotten.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Toronto theatre openings this week

Here is list of premiering shows this week in Toronto:

B4 the Fringe (Theatre Erindale). This double bill of student one-act plays features Adam Pettle's Therac 25 and Sydney Dunitz's work in progress Stolen Sneakers. Sep 25-27 at 8 pm. Pwyc. Erindale Studio Theatre, 3359 Mississauga N. 905-569-4369.

California Suite by Neil Simon (Stage Centre Productions). Personal dramas unfold at a Beverly Hills hotel in this comedy. Opens Sep 25 and runs to Oct 11, Thu-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $25, srs $20, stu $15. Fairview Library Theatre, 35 Fairview Mall. 416-299-5557.

An Evening With Uncle Val by Andy Jones (Theatre Passe Muraille). A retired fisherman moves to the suburbs of St. John's in this solo comedy (see related story, this page). Previews Sep 30, opens Oct 1 and runs to Oct 19, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat 2:30 pm. $30-$35, preview $15, mat pwyc. 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529.

Ghosts and Ladders by Kim Selody (DynamO Théâtre). This acrobatic show about three brothers is presented in English and French. Opens Sep 29 and runs to Oct 11 (see website for dates and times). $20, srs/stu $15. Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People, 165 Front E. 416-862-2222,

King Lear by William Shakespeare (Hart House Theatre). The classic tragedy gets a staging. Opens Oct 1 and runs to Oct 18, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mat Oct 18 at 2 pm. $20, stu/srs $12. 7 Hart House Circle. 416-978-8849,

Offensive Shadows by Paul Dunn (Studio 180). This modern sequel to A Midsummer Night's Dream looks at life after the lovers wake up (see related story, page 94). Previews from Sep 26, opens Oct 1 and runs to Oct 19, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. $15-$35, Sun pwyc. Tarragon Theatre Extra Space, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827,

Opera Briefs 8 (Tapestry New Opera). Short new works by Canadian composers and librettists are presented. Sep 26-28, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 3 pm. $20-$25, stu $10. Ernest Balmer Studio, 55 Mill, bldg 58. 416-537-6066.

Verdict (Vessel Dance Projects). This funder for the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto features music, dance, poetry and theatre by Kathy Bischoping and Michael Scott. Sep 25-27 at 8 pm. Pwyc-$10. Victory Café, 581 Markham.

Wit by Margaret Edson (Alumnae Theatre). A professor looks back on her life while undergoing cancer treatment. Opens Sep 26 and runs to Oct 11, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20, Wed-Thu 2-for-1, Sun pwyc. 70 Berkeley. 416-364-4170,

'Legally Blonde' will close on Broadway

News from New York this morning as Legally Blonde announced yesterday that it will play its final performance at the Palace Theatre on October 19th.

In a statement made yesterday - lead producer Hal Luftig said:

"Producing Legally Blonde has been one of the highlights of my career. Much like Elle Woods, the entire company, creative team and crew has worked with heart, wit, enthusiasm, integrity and style throughout the entire, thrilling run. I can't wait for the rest of the country to be able to experience the show live."

The production will have played 595 regular performances and 30 previews since it opened on April 29, 2007.

Legally Blonde has music and lyrics by both Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin and a book by Heather Hach. James Sampliner serves as music director. Orchestrations are by Christopher Jahnke.

Legally Blonde earned seven Tony nominations, including Best Book, Best Original Score, Best Choreography and Best Actress (for original star Laura Bell Bundy).

A national tour of the musical, starring Becky Gulsvig, launched in Providence, RI, Sept. 21 and is currently booking dates through September of 2009.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Opera 101: War And Peace

The Canadian Opera Company is premiering Opera 101: War And Peace tonight in Queen West. The COC's upcoming production of the Prokofiev opera is discussed with director Tim Albery and host Brent Bambury. The talk will be followed by live entertainment.

The evening starts at 7:30 pm. It is Free. It is happening at the Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen W.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

'AGOKWE' opens tonight in Toronto

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre begins its 2008-2009 season this evening with the world premiere of Agokwe, a new work from 23-year-old Ojibwa artist Waawaate Fobister. Agokwe explores unrequited love between teenage boys from neighbouring reserves.

"Agokwe is a multi-character monologue performed and danced by Waawaate Fobister (Death of a Chief - NAC/Native Earth Performing Arts). Agokwe began as a short monologue, performed as part of Buddies' 2005/06 PrideCab, a collectively created, youth-driven cabaret created over 12 weeks and performed as part of Buddies' Cultural Pride Festivities.

During the 2006/07 Season, Agokwe was further developed as part of Buddies' Young Creators Unit, during which Fobister was teamed up with award-winning director Ed Roy. The world premiere of Agokwe marks the first time that one of Buddies' Mainstage presentations has been entirely developed through all stages of Buddies' Queer Youth Arts Programme. This is also the case with Mark Shyzer's Fishbowl, which premieres in the latter half of Buddies' 2008-2009 Season." (
Created and performed by Waawaate Fobister, Director and Dramaturg Ed Roy, Original Music by Marc Nadjiwan, Lighting Designer Kimberly Purtell, Set Designer Andy Moro, Costume Designer Erika Iserhoff, Sound Designer Lyon Smith, Stage Manager Tracy Lynne Cann

September 23 - October 12, 2008
Venue: Buddies in Bad Times Theatre Mainspace
Price: $15-$29, PWYC
go to for info on tickets.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

[Title of Show] to close on Broadway

On September 19th producers of [Title of Show] announced will play its final performance October 12th at the Lyceum Theatre.

When it closes, the musical will have played 13 previews and 102 performances. Previews began at the Lyceum July 5 with an official opening July 17.

Originally produced at the Vineyard Theatre in 2006, the entire original cast — including co-creators Jeff Bowen (score) and Hunter Bell (book) as well as co-stars Susan Blackwell and Heidi Blickenstaff — made the leap to the Broadway stage. A Chorus Line's Michael Berresse, who helmed the acclaimed Off-Broadway run, also directs the Broadway version, which features musical director-arranger Larry Pressgrove onstage playing the electric keyboard. (Standbys are Courtney Balan and Benjamin Howes.)

The Broadway staging is produced by the Vineyard as well as Kevin McCollum, Jeffrey Seller, Laura Camien, Roy Miller, Kris Stewart.

[title of show] debuted in 2004 at the New York Musical Theatre Festival. Bowen, Bell and Berresse each won a 2006 Obie Award for work on the subsequent 2006 Off-Broadway production at the Vineyard Theatre.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Theatre Recap

I want to plug Colin Oliver and Laura Cockburn who I had the pleasure of working with at U of T. Laura is an amazing playwright and director. She directed me in Chess and Blood Brothers for the St Mike's Theatre Co. all those years ago. Anyway The show is called Witch Hazel: A Tale of Two Wise Women. If you can, check out their show at the Palmerston Library Space. I have yet to be able to make it out to one of their productions, because I am always working, alas. There is more information below in Justin's what's opening section. Congrats guys and break-a-leg

Sharron's Party

This Woman is fo'real... you must see her tonight and/or tomorrow.
and part II
- So amazing

Justin posted all the info for this event below


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Theatre Openings: this week in Toronto

Here is your weekly listings of Theatre that is opening this week in the city. Highly recommended is Sharron's Birthday Party - this woman has talent, serious talent.

Boeing Boeing by Marc Camoletti (Stage West). A man juggles three airline stewardess girlfriends in this comedy. Opens Sep 20 and runs to Nov 23, Tue-Sat 6:30 pm, Sun 11 am and 5 pm. $55-$90. 5400 Dixie, Mississauga. 905-238-0042,

Catalpa by Donal O'Kelly (Blood in the Alley Productions). Six Irish expats undertake a risky trip to free rebels from an Australian prison in 1875. Opens Sep 18 and runs to Oct 5, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mats Sat-Sun 2 pm. $23-$28, stu $20, Sun mats pwyc-$10. Diesel Playhouse, 56 Blue Jays Way. 416-971-5656.

The Crackwalker by Judith Thompson (Staged & Confused). A mentally challenged woman and her boyfriend struggle with reality and a bogeyman from their dreams. Opens Sep 18 and runs to Oct 11, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat 2:30 pm. $20, stu $15, Tue pwyc. Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529.

Sharron's (Birthday) Party (Buddies in Bad Times). Cabaret performer Sharron Matthews celebrates with Brent Carver, Keith Cole, Ed Sahely and Marrissa MacIntyre. Sep 19-20 at 8 pm. $20. 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555.

Theatre of the Obsessed (Monkeyman Productions/Bespoke Theatre). This showcase features three short plays by DJ Sylvis and one short play by Stephen Allin. Opens Sep 24 and runs to Sep 27, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. $15, mat pwyc. Centre for the Arts, 263 Adelaide W.

Witch Hazel: The Tale Of Two Wise Women (Theatre Recap). Two jailed women form a bond in this drama about the persecution of women. Opens Sep 19 and runs to Sep 26, Thu-Sat 8 pm. $10 (proceeds to the Assaulted Women's Helpline). Palmerston Library, 560 Palmerston.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The 'Laramie Project' receives an epilogue

A decade after piecing together the docudrama The Laramie Project, about people involved with and affected by the 1998 murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard, the creators of the play are returning to Laramie, WY, to write an epilogue.

Conceived by director Moisés Kaufman and members of his Tectonic Theater Project, who interviewed Wyoming and Colorado residents and wrote and acted in the resulting play, The Laramie Project was produced by Denver Center Theatre Company in association with Tectonic in early 2000 and then ran Off-Broadway March-September 2000.

Check out a great article in the New York Times today regarding Kaufman's return to the material:

Xanadu to close on Broadway

With my approaching trip to New York in a few weeks it seems I might have to fit in another show on my already busy itinerary of Broadway and off Broadway productions, as news broke yesterday that Xanadu will be closing.

The Tony-nominated musical based on the infamous flop film of the same name, will play its final performance at Broadway's Helen Hayes Theatre Oct. 12. When it closes the musical will have played a total of 49 previews and 528 regular performances.

In a statement lead producer Robert Ahrens said, "It was a joy to work on Xanadu, a project that I truly believed in. The cast, which became a family, was superbly talented as was the entire creative team. It's a rare treat to have such a special experience. All of my partners, including Tara Smith, B. Swibel, Dan Vickery, Cari Smulyan, Dale Smith, and Sara Murchison made their Broadway [producing] debuts with the show and their enthusiasm and belief in the project was unparallel. I thank them all."

Xanadu currently features 2008 Tony nominee Kerry Butler, Cheyenne Jackson, Tony Roberts, Mary Testa, Jackie Hoffman, Kenita Miller, Patti Murin, Marty Thomas, André Ward and Jacob ben Widmar. Christopher Ashley directed with Dan Knechtges providing the choreography.

Monday, September 15, 2008

We're Celebrating at Statlers

Tonight Emerging Art Productions is celebrating getting our first grant off to the Canada Council. We'll be partying at Statler's obviously, and I'm treating myself to a song! It's been a while since I've sunk my chords into anything of note. (haha no puns intended.) Anyway hope to see some familliar faces. I will be previewing some more of Wood.
Laundry Day, is the name of the track.


'Curtains Down' at Statlers Tonight


Jenni Burke and Michael Baber will be partying and celebrating E-CAB!


Tracy Erin Smith, Amelie Lefebvre, Johnnie ellul, Michael Mcginn, Geoff Whynott, Natalie Nadon, Ester Jaciuk, Amy Sellors, Paula Vavaro, Jodi Pape, Dana Vranic, Michael Whithead, Kristen Truelson and Kira Callahan.

Check this out tonight!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Theatre opening this week in the city

Here are the openings for this week:

Blue Note by Brian Quirt and Martin Julien (Nightswimming). Theatre artists, musicians and architects collaborate in this performance installation about seven singers in rehearsal. Opens Sep 16 and runs to Sep 21, Tue-Sun 7 pm (gallery opens noon). Free. York Quay Centre Main Gallery, 235 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000.

The Harlettes Rock the Block (The Harlettes). The burlesque troupe performs a musical comedy and dance show. Sep 13-14 doors at 8 pm. $15. Bread & Circus, 193½ Baldwin.

Late/Black Medea by Marcia Johnson/Wesley Enoch (Obsidian Theatre Company). A play about an awkward meeting and a contemporary interpretation of a Greek tragedy are presented in this double bill (see related story, page 85). Previews from Sep 11, opens Sep 17 and runs to Oct 5, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20-$30, previews $15, stu/srs $5 off. Berkeley Street Theatre Upstairs, 26 Berkeley. 416-368-3110.

The long Weekend by Norm Foster (Theatre Collingwood). Two couples try to keep up appearances at a country retreat. Opens Sep 17 and runs to Sep 27, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sep 18 at 2 pm. $30, stu $15. Gayety Theatre, Collingwood.

Menopause out loud by Jeanie Linders (Rose Theatre). Women at a lingerie sale discuss “the change” in this musical comedy. Opens Sep 16 and runs to Sep 21, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, mats Sat 2 pm, Sun 3 pm. $45-$60. 1 Theatre Lane, Brampton. 905-874-2800.

Shakespeare in The Pork (The Shameless Dames). The burlesque troupe goes back in time to help Shakespeare become famous. Opens Sep 15 and runs to Sep 20, Mon and Fri-Sat 9 pm. $12-$15, Mon $10. Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor W.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

'Hair' moves from Central Park to Broadway

The New York Times is reporting that:

"Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical will move to Broadway this season, the Public Theater announced on Wednesday. The show will make the transfer after the first of the year, with a theater and dates to be announced soon. The show, directed by Diane Paulus, with music by Galt MacDermot and book and lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni, began previews in Central Park on July 22 and has been extended three times. The final performance of the production at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park will take place Sunday."

-Julie Bloom,

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Spamelot returns to the Canon Theatre

It seems the Mirvish company enjoys return engagements as the hit Broadway musical Spamalot (which played exactly a year ago at the same house) returns once again tonight to the Canon Theatre on Yonge Street.

The musical is great though. The story and dialogue is witty and light, and the music is quite enjoyable as well.

Here are the details:

The National Touring Company


A new musical based on the motion picture "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"
Dates: September 9 - October 5, 2008
Performance Schedule Tues - Sat @ 8 PM; Sat 2 PM; Sun 2 PM & 7 PM
Added performances: Wed Sept 17 2 PM

*There is no performance on Sun Sept 21 at 7 PM
Venue: Canon Theatre - 244 Victoria StreetToronto, Ontario

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Theatre Openings: Toronto

Anne by Paul Ledoux. (Theatre Scarborough). This drama is based on LM Montgomery's novel Anne Of Green Gables. Opens Sep 4 and runs to Sep 14, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mat Sep 14 at 2 pm. $17, stu/srs $14 (Thu and Sun only). Scarborough Village Theatre, 3600 Kingston. 416-396-4049,

The Fantasticks by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt. (The Civic Light Opera Company). A false feud leads to love in this musical. Opens Sep 4 and runs to Sep 20, Thu-Sat 8 pm, Wed 7 pm, mats Sun (and Sep 20) 2 pm. $20-$25. Fairview Library Theatre, 35 Fairview Mall. 416-755-1717, Life by John Mighton (Thousand Islands Playhouse).

Two seniors find love despite the objections of their adult children. Previews Sep 4, opens Sep 5 and runs to Oct 3, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Wed, Sat and Sun 2:30 pm. $32, srs $30, stu/preview $16. Springer Theatre, Gananoque.

Lady In Waiting by Charles Hayter (Fifth Ventricle Productions). A doctor's secret life as a drag queen comes to light in this solo show. Opens Sep 9 and runs to Sep 13, Tue-Sat 8 pm. $15, stu/srs $12. Buddies in Bad Times, 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555.

The Little Mermaid and the ugly duckling adapted by Zenon Skrzypczyk (Solar Stage Children's Theatre). Two classic tales are paired in this musical family show. Opens Sep 6 and runs to Sep 27, Sat-Sun 11 am and 2 pm. $13. 4950 Yonge. 416-368-8031.

Norway. Today by Igor Bauersima (Theatre Smash). A man and woman meet on a cliff after entering a suicide pact in a chat room (see related story, page 115). Previews from Sep 5, opens Sep 9 and runs to Sep 21, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. $20-$25, previews $15, Sun pwyc. Tarragon Extra Space, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827,

Wickedly Wonderful by Heidi M Hayward (NovaStage). Four witches seek alternate careers when witchcraft is banned. Opens Sep 5 and runs to Sep 13, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mat Sep 13 2 pm. $10-$13. Cambridge Centre for the Arts, Cambridge.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Underwear: A Space Musical

This is a video clip from a new musical out of New York, that EAP is hoping to bring as a reading and development project to Toronto in the fall of 09. It may seem like a long ways off people, but that's what it takes to get things done. Anyway, these kids in New York are workin' it. They are coming off a very successful run at NYCFringe, the review at is a rave, and TimeOut New York, was also very positive. I have posted the link for's review below. I have also posted the Underwear: A Space Musical blog. I think it's great to utilize the blogs as a marketing tool, and Undearwear has done it right. The show looks great, and if all goes well it may eventually be seen by Toronto audiences. Now if only "The Theatre" would catch up with the internet, in terms of production speed, life would be grand. I would also like to shout out Adam Enright, who stars. I had the distinct pleasure of working with him on Wood in July and he is a real talent.

In addition to Adam, the Fringe cast featured Cait Doyle, already a favorite of mine. She does an amazing cabaret show at the Duplex in the Village (NY not TO.) Look for her Hot Mess in Manhattan, her myspace page bellow is a good start. And damn if Gisela Adisa, who is playing Patricia Pezon, doesn't just melt my heart with her weave line in this interview with the cast. It comes out around the 1:20 mark. I have to meet that girl! Congrats to all, and be sure to check out the Underwear blog for more.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Curtains Down at Statlers

Holiday Monday is here. Check out tonight's cabaret/open mic night "Curtains Down" at Statlers Loung on Church.

This week, Jenni Burke will feature the voices of,

Kritty Uranowski, Natalie Nadon, Jamie Dawne Sussman, Matthew Edison, Cheryl Cline, Haley Toane, Laura Burns, Justin Bott, Sandra Krstin, Theresa Rowland, Isabelle Hornstien, Alisha Ruiss, Jory Rossiter, Ryan Kerrand.