BLAME CANADA! Canadian Musical Theatre Writers Collective Launch
A few years ago this website started up and I was an actor who was putting out a Singer/Songwriter album. Now, it seems that I’ve transitioned again, this time into the world of Musical Theatre writing.
I am so happy to have a work included in the launch of the Canadian Musical Theatre Writers Collective, BLAME CANADA! The song I’ve composed music for will be sung by the incredibly talented Chilina Kenedy, alongside the works of writers who I have admired and taken classes with over the years, including Jim Betts and Leslie Arden. It’s the first time the world will hear a song from the musical that Richard Ouzounian (who has written brilliant lyrics for the piece) and I are writing called “The Moon in Autumn” based on Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. The event is March 24th at Hugh’s Room in Toronto, please check the gigs section (to the right and further down the page)for more information.
Also, check back soon for more great news about writing endeavours, including a song I’ve written that will be included in “Touch me: Songs for a (dis)Connected age” running in Calgary starting April 15th, Bingo Ladies opening at Lunchbox Theatre in Calgary April 28th (the one act version), Bingo Ladies opening at the Port Stanley Festival Theatre this July (full length version) and my new full length musical “The Naming of Port Rexton” opening at the Rising Tide Theatre Festival in Trinity Newfoundland this summer.
Shows in 2014
2014 seems like it will be a banner year. There will be two productions of the musical I’ve written, Bingo Ladies, one running April 28th – May 17th at Lunchbox Theatre in Calgary, the other July 9th to 26th at the Port Stanley Festival Theatre in Ontario. What’s Bingo Ladies about? Here’s the write up from Port Stanley’s production:
Lucky charms, big dreams, and a troll named Thor. Its Friday night at the bingo hall and the gloves are off! Irene never loses but Carol and Sandi are in a bit of a dry spell … 416 days without a win. Something’s got to give! Join us for the premiere production of a musical that just can’t lose. Tight harmonies, melodies that soar, a foot-tapping medley that’ll keep your dauber flying. Come see the bingo ladies, they’ll steal your heart.
There are also a lot of other fun projects on the horizon, including continuing to work on “The Naming of Port Rexton” for Rising Tide Theatre in Newfoundland. Here’s to a great 2014 for everyone out there!
Bingo Ladies in Port Stanley- the Workshop
Looking forward to the first reading of the full length version of my musical, BINGO LADIES at the Port Stanley Festival Theatre this Saturday. We’ll be rehearsing with our 4 talented actors for three days and then having the reading at 8:00 on Saturday night, September 28th. Come on down to Port Stanley and hear some of these songs for the first time!
Go to www.portstanleytheatre.ca for more information and to get your ticket.
The Naming of Port Rexton
Summer is far more than half over now and it is going by so quickly, but I’m happy to report that my new musical, “The Naming of Port Rexton” is coming along well. What an amazing experience it has been to write a show based on the history and people of this place (loosely based, to be clear) while actually being in the area. Thanks to Rising Tide Theatre, and all the great people who I’ve interviewed and chatted with for being a part of it. Really looking forward to having this new piece heard.
So glad to be back again in Trinity NL for the summer. I spent the summer here two years ago performing, and now I’m back, this time writing a new musical, “The Naming of Port Rexton” about the town just across the bay. The scenery and people are beautiful so drop by if you have a chance. I’ll also be playing a weekly gig of Singer/Songwriter tunes at the Doc Marina, right near the Theatre. Hope to see ya there!
Bingo Ladies at Lunchbox Theatre
So glad to announce that the one act musical I’ve written “Bingo Ladies”, will receive it’s World Premiere at Lunchbox Theatre in April of 2014. I grew up in Calgary always wanting to work with Lunchbox, so when Artistic Director Pamela Halstead contacted me last May asking if I could write a musical based on one of the ideas I’d submitted for their Stage One Development series I jumped at the chance. We had the workshop that June and I had an amazing time with the three actresses involved. And now… it’s hitting the boards! I love the description of the piece on their website:
Bingo is serious business. Rituals, good luck charms, superstitions. Friday night at the bingo hall is sacred. But are our three intrepid bingo ladies addicts, or just enthusiastic? How far are they willing to go to win? Bingo Ladies explores their lives with rousing musical numbers and shows us the humanity of the bingo hall.
I’m also working on a full length version of the musical, so stay tuned.
Grant gets a Grant
2013 is shaping up to be an exciting year, as I’ve been awarded a Canada Council Grant to write a new musical based on a true story that took place in the town of Port Rexton, NL. I spent the summer before last performing in Trinity with Rising Tide Theatre just across the bay from Port Rexton, and it is one of the most beautiful places in the world, with incredible people. So, if you’re reading this, and you’re a Canadian tax payer, thank YOU for making this possible and allowing me the time to write this project. I’ll still be doing the occasional singer/songwriter gig when I have a chance so keep an eye out for future gigs- I’d love to see you there!
3 guys from the Prairies in Richmond Hill!
So looking forward to a night of songs and stories with fellow ex prairie singer/songwriters David Hein and Jeff Straker on November 22nd (for details click on “upcoming shows” on the right. David, Jeff, and I began doing these nights years ago in Kensington Market and the show began taking on a life of it’s own. Interestingly enough, we’ve all had a string of successes since we started, with Jeff continuing to release many CD’s and touring internationally, and David continuing with his hilarious musical “My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding”. Hope you can make it out!
Smile Theatre tour
After a wonderful summer performing in an original Canadian musical in Port Dover as well as a few weeks visiting friends and family in Newfoundland, I’m happy to have landed back in Toronto in time to start rehearsals for “Romeo and Juliet (and Joni)” the newest piece by Artistic Director Jim Betts for Smile Theatre. Since I moved to Toronto I’ve been wanting to do a Smile theatre tour, many artists I respect and friends have been a part of this company and they do important work: bringing theatre to seniors across Ontario who are restricted by physical limitations and aren’t able to get out to see a show like the rest of us. I’ve been told it’s one of the most rewarding jobs you can have. So far, we’ve had Shakespearean sword fights with umbrellas, I’ve rehearsed my first death scene, and Paul Mills (one of our music directors for the project) has been teaching to play the Ukulele. All in all it’s going to be a fun show.
Also the Three Guys from the Prairies are gearing up for another show this November- really looking forward to playing with these guys again. Click the link on the right to learn more.
Rum Runners in Port Dover
We’re deep into rehearsals now for the new musical “Rum Runners” written by Derek Ritschel and Steve Thomas. This five person show is set in 1929 Port Dover and is based on the lake Erie boot legging trade, and we’re having a great time with it. Rehearsing a show that takes place in the town you’re performing in is an added bonus, with tons of local history and stories to draw on. Our first show is on the 7th of August, so come on down to Port Dover, spend the afternoon on the beach and make your way two blocks to the lighthouse festival theatre to see our show!