A full length musical comedy. Bingo Ladies hits the Jackpot!

2020-06-10T20:57:46+00:00

BINGO LADIES

Lucky charms, big dreams, and a troll named Thor. It’s Friday night at the Bingo Hall and the gloves are off! Carol needs to pay off her debts. Sandi’s hot for Lou, the rock n’ roll Bingo caller. And then there’s octogenarian Irene, oxygen tank in tow, who always wins. When Carol steals Irene’s lucky spot it sets off a course of events none of them could have predicted…

A new musical about friendship, gambling, and just how far we’ll go for the big win.

Small scale musical comedy, (3F, 1M)

PRODUCTION HISTORY:
2014 – Lunchbox Theatre, Calgary (Premiere of one act version) ~ April 28 – May 17.
2014 – Port Stanley Festival Theatre (Premiere of Full length version) ~ July 10 – 26.
2015 – Hudson Village Theatre, Quebec ~ August 12 – 30.
2016 – Indie Women Productions, Ottawa ~ August 21 – 29.

LISTEN TO SHOW DEMOS:

DEMO RECORDING CREDITS: Laura Caswell as Sandi (1, 4, 5) Lisa Horner as Carol (4, 5) Mary Pitt as Irene (2), and Mark Allan as the Bingo Caller (1, 2, 3). Demos are from the Port Stanley Festival Theatre Production, musical direction and piano by Mike Walmsley, directed by Liz Gilroy. Designed by Eric Burnell. All photos by Mark Girdauskas.

Grant-Tilly

Growing up, I worked a lot of Bingos for the various arts groups I was a part of, and a lot of the experiences and characters I saw made their way into this musical comedy with a big heart. Thank you to the casts and creative teams at Lunchbox Theatre and Port Stanley Festival Theatre for their help in developing this show!

To request more information, click here.

COMMISSION/GRANTS:

Bingo Ladies was workshopped as part of the Suncor Stage One Festival at Lunchbox Theatre. (2012). It received further development at the Port Stanley Festival Theatre’s new play festival (2013), and received development from he Ontario Arts Council Theatre Creators’ Reserve.

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REVIEWS:

Read full reviews by clicking here!

“Bingo Ladies is the most delightful farce I’ve seen in decades. You’ll be singing along to lyrics you don’t even know, and fall in love with the most crotchety old woman to hit the stage in two centuries… If you’re going to do yourself one favour this summer, make it taking in a performance of Bingo Ladies – you’ll laugh till your sides hurt.”
Francine Dennison, Port Stanley News
“One of the funniest, brilliantly staged and performed, and most moving musicals I’ve seen in years. And a winner in every sense of the word… Have to admit I think I’m now addicted to Bingo Ladies The Musical. And would see it again in a heartbeat. It’s that good!”
James Parry, Your Local Journal, Hudson Quebec
“Bingo Ladies a Jackpot for Audiences at Port Stanley Theatre… Bingo Ladies whisks us through the doors of the Bingo Barn and plops us into a sociological microcosm where popping bingo balls are merely a backdrop… If you love comedy, this play has it all.”
Dave Ferguson, Relish Elgin
“There is great fun to be had on a night out at Bingo with the ladies at the Port Stanley Festival Theatre. But jut when you think it’s only a silly musical comedy, you are hit with a thought provoking message about judging others. And there is also a warning about gambling addiction.
Mary Alderson, Entertain this Thought

“Holt belts out Tilly’s songs like the little musical theatre gems they are meant to be — letting us savour every clever lyric and nuance.”

Louis Hobson, Calgary Sun

“From the moment Purves-Smith, slithers out on stage, hunched over an oxygen machine, railing at Carol for taking her lucky spot, Bingo Ladies takes flight.”

Stephen Hunt, Calgary Herald

A full length family musical about getting in the “Family Way”!

2020-06-26T13:44:57+00:00

THE NAMING OF PORT REXTON

It’s 1910 and the town of Ship Cove, NL needs a new name. When it’s decided that the name will be derived from the first child born to either the Randell or Rex families, a baby race ensues as each extended family vies to have the town named either “Port Randell” or “Port Rexton”. But, when a Randell has the first child and it’s a girl, the Rexes push for the rules to be changed so that the town must be named after a boy baby. Based on true events, this is a family musical comedy about getting in the “family way”!

Full length family musical (10F, 7M) in development.

PRODUCTION HISTORY:
2014 – Rising Tide Theatre Festival, July 29 – August 31
2019 – Rising Tide Theatre, July 22 – Sept 2

CAST OF THE NAMING OF PORT REXTON (2019):
The cast of The Naming of Port Rexton 2019, produced by Rising Tide Theatre, Donna Butt AD
Back row L to R: Devon Bryan, Michael Power, Chrissie Baxter, Lonni Patey, Michelle Rex Bailey, Grant Tilly, Reneé Hackett
Front row L to R: Sam Vignault, Elizabeth Hicks, Sarah Connors
Not shown: Stage manager: Cindy Kendall, Director: Kevin Woolridge, Costume and set design: Alison Kate Helmer, Sound design: Maddy Palmer, Lighting design: Lisa V. Oorschot

LISTEN TO SHOW DEMOS:

DEMO RECORDING CREDITS: Charlotte Moore (1,3), Krystin Pellerin (1,3) , Jeff Irving (2), Jacquelyn French (2,3), and Lauren Toffan, Kate Etienne, Gaby Grice, Josh Wiles, Michael Cox, David DiFrancesco as a chorus on track 1. Music direction and additional arrangements by James Smith. Recorded by Justin Stadnyk at Just.music.

PRODUCTION PHOTOS:

Make it a boy

“Make it a Boy” L to R: Michael Power, Sarah Connors, Reneé Hackett.

“Did you Ever?” Sam Vignault and Chrissie Baxter

If I'm going to make a life

“If I’m going to Make a Life” L to R: Reneé Hackett, Chrissie Baxter, Lonni Patey, Michelle Rex Bailey

Cast of The Naming of Port Rexton, 2014

The cast of The Naming of Port Rexton (2014), large cast version, produced by Rising Tide Theatre, Donna Butt AD

Back row L to R: Dennis Fitzgerald, George Roberston, Brian Hiscock, Alex Abbott (music director), Mallory Fisher, Brad Bonnell, Jessie Paynter, Andrew Crawford (tech), Jake Fisher
2nd row L to R: Michelle Rex Bailey, Anna Wheeler, Rachel Huys, Meghan Greeley, Carolyn Fowlow, Lexi Mendoza, Stuart Simpson, Michael Chaisson, Cindy Kendall
Front row L to R: Michael Worthman, Owen Van Houten, Michael Power
Not pictured: Keith Pike (director)

Grant-Tilly

While working at Rising Tide Theatre in Newfoundland as an actor one summer, I heard the legend this musical is based on- how the neighbouring town of Port Rexton was named when one family won out over the other by changing the rules so the town must be named after a boy. With the help of a Canada Council Grant, this show was a part of the Rising Tide Festival season in 2014 (with actors who were descendants of families mentioned in the play!), and is currently being developed further. 

I have high hopes for the future of this show. It’s theme of the the value of women and girl babies to society is universal, along with it’s unique take on the importance of young people staying home in their rural communities if they want to see the change they envision happen there.

To request more information, click here.

COMMISSION/GRANTS:

This show was developed with the assistance of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Left wing protesters crash a Republican Fundraiser in this full length country/rock musical.

2020-06-10T20:59:04+00:00

THE CHRISTIAN REPUBLICAN FUNDRAISER IN DAYTON TENNESSEE

Days before the 2008 presidential election, a group of left wing protesters have infiltrated a secret Republican Fundraiser in the guise of the band “God’s Country”, intent on changing the minds of the top Republicans with their activist country songs and “Three Chords and the Truth”. This country rock musical won Best of Fringe at the 2008 Toronto Fringe, had an extended run at the Diesel Playhouse, and went on to a full length version of the show produced at Talk is Free in Barrie as “Red Fightin’ Blue”.

Full length Country Rock Musical (4M, 2F)

PRODUCTION HISTORY:
2008 – Toronto Fringe, Cameron House, July 2 – 13.
2008 – Best of Fringe, Diesel Playhouse, July 23 –27.
2010 – Talks is Free Theatre, Barrie, May 6 – 15.

LISTEN TO SHOW DEMOS:

DEMO RECORDING CREDITS: Jonny Ellul as Keith backed up by Jason Chesworth as Jackson on Guitar, recorded at CBC Radio.

Jason Chesworth as Jackson and Jackie English as Deborah, design by Joanna Yu, from the production directed by Ed Sahely and Grant Tilly

Grant-Tilly

This show was a blast to write. Being raised in Calgary I was surrounded by Country music, and it’s a genre I love but that’s also a lot of fun to poke fun at. We first performed this musical as a site-specific show in the Cameron House in Toronto, a perfect venue with it’s history of roots and country music and for this musical’s “concert style” form. Check out the talented folks singing “She Loves She” as part of an interview we did with the CBC during the Fringe Run. 

To request more information, click here.

COMMISSION/GRANTS:

This show was developed through an Ontario Arts Council Theatre Creators’ Recommender Grant.

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REVIEWS:

Read full reviews by clicking here!

“The trouble with most Fringe musicals is that they have a witty book and an appalling score. The Christian Republican Fundraiser in Dayton Tennessee turns that cliché on its ear. The book is far from appalling, although it’s basically connective tissue between the songs, but ah, what songs!

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)
“…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…Reason the second why Christian Republican Fundraiser rocks: the music is amazing.”
GRAEME STEWART, BLOG TO (JUL 14, 2008)
“A giant hit this year is The Christian Republican Fundraiser in Dayton Tennessee, a hilarious country rock musical by Grant Tilly. 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?”

CRITICS PICK: NNNN  (The Christian Republican Fundraiser in Dayton Tennessee) “Inspired songwriting and a tight live band make this show a real humdinger.”

JORDAN BIMMS, NOW MAGAZINE, TORONTO (JUL 6, 2008)

A New Holiday / Christmas Song.

2020-06-10T20:59:40+00:00

To the People That We Lost Last Year

To the People That We Lost Last Year is a new holiday song, a tribute to those who were lost in the previous year, which was commisioned by Forte Theatre for their “Naughty but Nice” show in Calgary. I had actually started the song many years before, the Christmas after my Mother had passed away. I remember sitting by the Christmas Tree and reflecting on her being gone, and though I missed her, I was also very thankful. This song is meant to be a thank you to those who’ve touched our lives who will no longer be with us in the years to come.

In the fall of 2016 I gathered some of Toronto’s top musical theatre talent to record the song at the Canterbury Music Company, to create a video of the song to share with the world.

In the tradition of Christmas and Holiday tunes, I’d also love to hear other interpretations of this song. If you’re an Artist who would like to perform or record this song, please contact me here.

CREDITS:
By Grant Tilly
Arranged by Konrad Pluta
Musical Director and Pianist Reza Jacobs

Singers:
Sara Farb
Kelly Holiff
Jeigh Madjus
Robert Markus
Cameras by Kevin Sarasom and Fred Yurichuk
Editor Fred Yurichuk
Recorded at the Canterbury Music Company
Recording Engineer Julian Decorte

A full length cabaret where Grant charts his path from Singer/Songwriter, to Jersey Boys, to being a Musical Theatre Writer.

2020-06-11T18:56:00+00:00

Just Your Average Canadian Musical Theatre Writer

JUST YOUR AVERAGE CANADIAN MUSICAL THEATRE WRITER

In this cabaret I tell my own story; from starting out registered in pre-veterinary medicine at the University of Calgary, to moving to Toronto and the highs of being cast in Jersey Boys and getting the first productions of my own work, to the lows as I began to question whether I wanted to continue in the arts. Along the way, the show looks at lessons learned, the day jobs, the family gained and the family lost, and some incredible stories of what it’s like to be an artist in our country.

Full Length Cabaret Musical (1 piano player, 1 or 2 women, and Grant)

One of the songs from the Cabaret, “Until I’m With You” performed at the 120 Diner, with Scott Christian on Piano.

Grant-Tilly

This new cabaret format was an experiment for me, using songs I’ve written to tell my own story. For our premiere performance I was joined by the incredible Laura Caswell, Lisa Horner, and Scott Christian on piano. The Cabaret was performed March 31 2019, as part of an ongoing Cabaret series at the 120 Diner, and was produced by Jennifer Walls.

To request more information, click here.

A new one act musical for youth about Canada’s people and history.

2020-06-10T21:01:32+00:00

MY SIDE OF THE COUNTRY

11 young Canadians from across the country are in PEI to take part in a youth conference and discuss the future of the country. As they get to know each other, rivalries and crushes emerge as they explore important issues facing Canada today—from Quebec history and western alienation to First Nations’ rights and the difficulties facing immigrants. Finally, the group decides to face the challenges that make this country so unique, as each person commits to ensuring Canada is a country everyone can call homeA new one-act family musical that brings to life Canadian history as it celebrates our diverse cultures and looks to our future.

One act musical for youth (6F, 5M) in development.

DEVELOPMENT HISTORY:
2017 – Neptune Theatre Youth Performance Company, Halifax N.S. ~ Nov 16 – Nov 19.
2010 – Workshopped through Scriptlab in Toronto, an organization to develop new Canadian Musicals.

LISTEN TO SHOW DEMOS:

DEMO RECORDING CREDITS: Kimmy Choi (1, 3, 4), Cody Lancaster (1, 4), Sarah Slywchuk (1,4), Jen Shaw (1,4), Paige Robson-Cramer (1,4), Eric Coles (1,4), Michele Tredger (1,4), Cara Pantalone (1, 2, 4), Grant Tilly (1, 2,4), Matthew Brown (1,2,4), Daniel Greenberg (1,3,4), Music director Adam White, from the ScriptLab workshop directed by Tricia Lackey, demo produced by Levon Ichkhanian, recorded by Greg Kolchinsky. Image courtesy of Andrew Shay Hahn, www.madcraftshoppe.blogspot.com.

Grant-Tilly

In 1999, I had the pleasure of spending the summer away from University in the Charlottetown Festival Young Company production of “Somewhere in the World…” The mandate of the Young Company was not only to produce a wonderful outdoor show for children but to gather as many young people from across the country so that a discussion could be had about the country’s future. The interactions in our group and how our home provinces seemed to affect our personalities, inspired this show. Since first starting to write it our country has swung from the left side of the political spectrum, to the right, and back to the left, yet I believe this show has something to say about the importance of young people taking part of the political discussion, as they will lead us in the years to come.

To request more information, click here.

A one act musical love story based on the memories of Toronto Seniors.

2020-06-10T21:02:17+00:00

REMEMBER THAT SONG?

In this musical we follow a man and a woman from their earliest years in the late 1930’s. He’s from a mining family in Kirkland Lake Ontario, she’s from a family of musicians in Toronto. As the show progresses, we watch them remember the war years, first loves, first jobs, until finally their lives start to intertwine, leading to marriage, children, and many more memories. Remember that Song? is about the the songs that tie us to specific moments in our lives, and the importance of remembering them, even the difficult ones.

One act musical with original music and existing songs (1M, 1F)

PRODUCTION HISTORY:
2016 – Ontario tour Feb 22 – April 23

Directed and Choreographed by Jen Shuber, Music Directed by Rosalind Mills, Designed by Holly Meyer-Dymny, Stage Managed by Laura Grandfield.

Smile Theatre

Smile Theatre is an amazing company. If you have a moment please visit their website and consider making a donation. Their mandate is to bring Theatre to Seniors who are unable to leave their residences, and they do incredible work. Also, if you’re a performer, I highly recommend working with them, it will be the most rewarding job you’ll ever have. Click on the image below for more information.

Smile Theatre
Grant-Tilly

The process of writing this show was such a joy. Thanks to a grant from the OAC, facilitator Toni MacRae and I met with a group of older adults in a retirement residence in Toronto and asked them specific questions: What’s the earliest song you can remember? What songs do you associate with your children? Your spouse? Afterwards, these stories were compiled, and a show began to emerge using their favourite songs bookended with an original song I wrote. The result has been enthusiastically received by Seniors across the province.

To request more information, click here.

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REVIEW:

Best review ever! From one of our senior audience members.

A one act cabaret exploring the music, history, and people of NL, as Grant uncovers his own roots on the Island.

2020-06-11T18:57:12+00:00

Newfoundland Routes & Roots

NEWFOUNDLAND ROUTES AND ROOTS!

This cabaret explores the music, history, and people of Newfoundland as I trace my family connection to the Island through the Grandmother I barely knew. Along the way, I meet A LOT of new cousins and look at the question of what it means to be a “True Newfoundlander”. A musical cabaret with live fiddle and guitar accompaniment.

One Act Cabaret Musical (1 Female violin player, And Grant on guitar)

Margaret McDougall Tilly

My grandmother, Margaret McDougall Tilly, who the show is dedicated to.

The-Tilly-House-Elliston-NL

The “Tilly house” in the town of Elliston NL, where my Grandfather’s family were from.

Trinity, Newfoundland

The town of Trinity NL, where my Great Grandmother Mary Grant was born. The town figures prominently in the show.

Grant-Tilly

I wrote this show initially for Smile Theatre, a company that specializes in touring shows to long term Seniors Residences. We did a premiere performance on February 29 2020, and then sadly were unable to continue a planned Spring tour for the safety of our audiences due to COVID-19. Once this pandemic is over I look forward to bringing this show (and a lot of joy) to Seniors who have been isolated for so long!

To request more information, click here.

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Eli brings his Granddaughter Annabelle back to his hometown in Newfoundland in this full length play.

2020-06-10T21:03:36+00:00

A SUMMER IN NEWFOUNDLAND

Eli Greene moved his family from Newfoundland more than 25 years ago in hopes of finding a better life in Calgary. Now, he’s brought his granddaughter Annabelle back with him for one last summer in the family house before it’s sold and leaves the family forever. His daughter back in Calgary, Susan (who knows that Eli has recently been diagnosed with dementia) has relented to Eli having this one last summer as long as Annabelle is there to look after him.

While trying to pass on as many traditions and memories as he can to an uninterested granddaughter, Eli must adjust to his traditional outport town now being a tourist hotspot, while also putting the wheels in motion to go against his daughter’s wishes and spend his final days in Newfoundland.

Full length play (2M, 2F) in development.

PRODUCTION HISTORY:
This play was a part of the Thousand Islands Playhouse Playwright’s Unit 2015, and is currently in development.

Grant-Tilly

Much of this show is based on my own experience of working in summer theatre in a small town in Newfoundland. How were they adjusting to the influx of tourists? Are they preserving the history of the place for themselves, or for the tourists who are helping the economy yet buying up all the homes? I’m also interested in the rights of the elderly to stay independent as long as possible, which seemed an idea worthy of dramatization.

To request more information, click here.

COMMISSION/GRANTS:

A Summer in Newfoundland received development support from an Ontario Arts Council Theatre Creators’ Recommender Grant.

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A new musical comedy in development as part of a playwright’s residency with Theatre Orangeville.

2020-06-10T21:02:58+00:00

THE WHOLE ENCHILADA!

Synopsis: The town of Gammond New Mexico is in trouble. After the recent fire (and flood), the local economy has dried up and tourism has tanked. The solution? Attempt to set the World Record for the most Enchiladas consumed by a town of over five hundred people in less than an hour! But when the representative from Finnigan’s Book of Records (a lesser known but no less astiduous version of Guiness) arrives, he puts their record setting attempt, their patience, and their town to the test.

Small cast musical comedy Cast size (3M, 2F)

PRODUCTION HISTORY:
– Currently in development through a Playwright’s Residency with Theatre Orangeville, supported by the Ontario Arts Council.

Grant-Tilly

I was grateful to receive an OAC Grant to write this new musical, and I’m having a blast with the characters and music so far. In September 2016 I also took a two week trip to New Mexico and met some wonderful people while I did my research. I’m hoping to post some demos of the songs I’m working on soon, but for now, feel free to check out some of the pictures from the trip, there are, of course, pictures of some of the many Enchiladas I had.

To request more information, click here.

RESEARCH PHOTOS:

COMMISSION/GRANTS:

Developed through a Playwrights Residency Grant with the Ontario Arts Council through the OAC.

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