Press

“It’s the songwriting that stands out with Tilly. His lyrics are thoughtful and unpretentious. He’s honest without being sappy or laden down with self-pity.  This alone sets him apart in the all-too earnest world of folk music.”

PETER KEARNS, T.O. SNOBS MUSIC (March 02, 2012)


“Grant Tilly knows how to write country-rock, not cheap parody. This show’s score is more tuneful than most large-scale Canadian musicals we’ve snored through in recent years… What you can’t teach is Tilly’s gift of writing a song that sticks with you the minute you hear it and happily stays in your ear long after you leave the theatre.”

RICHARD OUZOUNIAN – TORONTO STAR (JUL 3, 2008)


“Critic’s Pick NNNN – Inspired songwriting and a tight live band make this show a real humdinger.”

JORDAN BIMM, NOW MAGAZINE, 2008


“Grant Tilly as Ritchie Valens is another standout, providing excitement with an explosive performance of “La Bamba.”

MATTHEW HEITI – SUDBURY STAR (MAY 6, 2008)


“Grant Tilly is sweetly loopy as Doody, the guy who’s clueless about anything more complicated than the four chords he’s learned to pick on his guitar.”

RICHARD OUZOUNIAN – TORONTO STAR(DEC 15, 2005)


“Grant Tilly’s (Doody) sweet tone is also pleasing, especially in his solo, Those Magic Changes. His energy on stage is contagious.”

TINA DEPKO – THE BRAMPTON GUARDIAN(DEC 20, 2005)


“Tilly opens ears and eyes with songs from the folk pop album Before My Eyes from the light, lost-love track Somebody Else to the hilariously tongue-in-cheek My Gods Better Than Your God.”

MIKE BELL – CALGARY SUN


“Grant Tilly blew the roof off the Solocentric fundraiser last night”

ALLAN BOSS – CBC RADIO, IN THE KEY OF A


“….The full roster of shows being extended there hasn’t been officially announced yet, but I have been told that Kate Hewlett’s The Swearing Jar (blogged about here) and the country-rock musical The Christian Republican Fundraiser in Dayton Tennessee will be part of it. (The latter has some excellent toe-tapping tunes by Grant Tilly and some obvious, but crowd-pleasing jokes about the so-called Red States. I’ve had the song “Mormons, Won’t You Love Your Gay Children?” in my head since catching it at the Cameron House earlier this week.”

J. KELLY NESTRUCK – GLOBE AND MAIL (JUL 12, 2008)


“The Diesel Playhouse picks the Best of the Fringe for a second coming. A giant hit this year is The Christian Republican Fundraiser in Dayton Tennessee, a hilarious country rock musical by Grant Tilly.

The premise is outrageous. The Republican right wing is holding a secret fundraiser with the heads of mega-corporations in Dayton, Tennessee. The hired band called God’s Country is really a group of liberals. Complications arise when lead singer Jackson comes on to the host’s virginal 26-year-old daughter. The talented four-member band can not only sing but act, while the right-wingers hold their own.

With toe-tapping songs like “Mormons Won’t You Love Your Gay Children?” and “Outbreed the Red Whites to Blue”, how can this show miss? Tilly and Ed Sahely have co-directed the musical with just the right touch of sly satire. This riotous show deserves a commercial run.

The Christian Republican Fundraiser in Dayton Tennessee continues at the Diesel Playhouse until Sunday.”

PAULA CITRON – CLASSICAL 96.3 FM (JUL 25, 2008)


The Christian Republican Fundraiser in Dayton Tennessee tells the story of an insurgent group of liberal musicians who go undercover as a Toby Keith-esque country band in order to agit-prop a Republican gala. It’s a clever story, and it gets a nice treatment in Grant Tilly’s script. But here’s the first reason why the show is great: at its core, it carries an impressively nuanced political message. Political change is all about speaking to actual people and the circumstances of their lives, not endless browbeating with hackneyed slogans and high-minded ideals. The characters learn this lesson the hard way, and by the end of the show, we’ve picked up on it too.

Reason the second why Christian Republican Fundraiser rocks: the music is amazing. All of the songs are performed by the actors onstage, and there is some serious talent on display. It never feels like these are actors attempting to be country musicians. These are country musicians who also happen to be actors. I’ve heard rumours that the cast is planning to record the soundtrack. I really hope they do- when it comes out, I’ll be first in line to buy it.”

GRAEME STEWART – BLOG TO (JUL 14, 2008)


 ”The indisputable high point is Grant Tilly’s musical comedy Why You Should Think Twice About Cloning Yourself. Beginning with a gleefully cynical, Young Canadian-style tribute to the “sanitized, homogenized, Calgary Alberta dream,” it tells the tale of Hubert and Yvette, a pair of newly-weds for whom life isn’t complete without a baby. When Hubert is tragically rendered infertile by a cycling accident, adoption and sperm donors are out of the question and the couple turns to cloning as the only logical option. Clone Hubert, suggests the bizarre Doctor McCollun, and when the rapidly aging clone is old enough to mate, Hubert’s legacy will be there for the taking.

The play features relatively sophisticated musical arrangements for a festival venue like this, and a large skilled cast of singers and musicians. Notable in particular are Reyna Giroux as Yvette and Thomas Wilmut as Hubert- their command of music, comedy, and character development is outstanding. the play is well staged by the playwright himself, with smooth transitions between three locations, and the team has created a gem that shouldn’t be missed- but you only have until June 2nd.”

LORI MONTGOMERY – CALGARY’S FAST FORWARD WEEKLY (MAY 31, 2001)


4 OUT OF 5 STARS.  ”Normally we’d caution Fringe-goers against the dreaded “bait and switch”. You know: play titles that suggest sex where there is none, comedies that turn out to be melodramas, respected names who end up boring the crap our of their audiences in the name of “art”.

In the case of Why You Should Think Twice About Cloning Yourself, the bait and switch game gives the cautionary take a real zing. This energetic and politically incorrect musical is not what it seems- and that’s part of the fun.

The show starts off as a golly-gee-let’s-put-on-a-show-in-the-barn country and western musical cabaret complete with a line dance opening number as a satirical poke at Alberta’s oil economy. It ends in a black comedy exploring the issue of human cloning with the most horrific scenario possible. Whew! These kids pack a lot of material into this thing and it never seems hurried or confused. The juxtapositions between the former and the latter themes are in fact hilarious.

Hubert and Yvette (playwright Grant Tilly and Jenny Anderson) are typical Alberta newlyweds ready to start a family when disaster strikes: Hubert loses his testicals. Adoption is out of the question, as are sperm donors. The only logical answer: Clone Hubert and then use the clone’s sperm. No problem for this Catholic couple since the church says there is no “soul” until the sperm and egg meet. Ergo, clones have no soul.

It’s not hard to see where this is going. That the various ethical and moral dilemmas involved with human cloning are explored with a sledgehammer is no problem here. Swell numbers include Happiness is just a family away, There’s a Fresh Young Man in the Attic, and You take his Testes, I’ll take his Liver, and we’ll see What he can Deliver.

A song is worth a thousand words.

The performances are all terrific, especially Jenny Anderson as the seemingly innocent wife, Tilly playing two roles, Guilly Urra as the unscrupulous family doctor and Lyndsey Patterson as the evil cloning scientist.

The science may be dodgy and many of the plot twists completely illogical, but through the absurdity and campy country music theme, a worthy message shines through. The title of the play says it all.”

MIKE ROSS – EDMONTON SUN (FEB 12, 2005)


“Among a mediocre cast, only Caswell — along with understudy Grant Tilly in four ensemble roles and Jayne Lewis as Dr. Parker’s wife Meredith — provide anything like redeeming performances. (They can also sing, which helps in a musical.)”

PAUL ISSACS – EYE WEEKLY, TORONTO (MAR 3, 2005)