Month: March 2014


Dana Jean Phoenix’s Triple Threat

Dana Jean Phoenix

This past week, we opened the final show of our tenth anniversary season: our reimagined revival of our hit 2007 production of Elegies: A Song CycleBut as the Elegies cast continues to astound every night, our Banks Prize winners are putting the finishing touches on their cabaret, Cabaret Sauvignon. Before they perform on March 30 and 31, we asked them what makes their inner theatre geek sing: here’s what Dana Jean Phoenix had to say. 

What musical’s score will you always remember?

Hedwig and the Angry Inch for its raw energy and authentic rock score written by Stephen Trask. I think ‘Midnight Radio,’ ‘Origin of Love’ and ‘Wicked Little Town’ are up there with the best glam-rock ballads of all time.  Anything Kurt Weill, or Cole Porter is also a sure-fire way to make my heart flutter. .

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Jordan Till’s Triple Threat

Jordan Tilll

Tonight we start previews for the final show of our tenth anniversary season: our reimagined revival of our hit 2007 production of Elegies: A Song CycleBut as the Elegies cast puts the finishing touches on their awesome show, our Banks Prize winners are working hard getting their cabaret, Cabaret Sauvignoninto prime form. Before they perform on March 30 and 31, we asked them what makes their inner theatre geek sing: here’s what Jordan Till had to say. 

What musical’s score will you always remember?

My parents brought me to see Les Miserables in Toronto when I was 4 and I still credit that show for being one of the main galvanizing influences that led me to pursue this as a career. Others of the time like Phantom of the Operawere also major influences but Les Mis really stuck with me, as I know it has with many others. While there are many shows with scores that I absolutely love, I think Les Miserables has had the most lasting impression.

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Throwback Thursdays – Stephen Patterson on Falsettos

You know what happens tomorrow? We have our first preview for our reimagined revival of Elegies: A Song Cycleour hit 2007 production by William Finn. And, in the spirit of good ol’ Bill, here’s Stephen Patterson on last year’s Falsettos – a show and cast that we miss dearly. Like Elegies, Falsettos was full of humour and pathos, wit and wisdom and extraordinary performances and direction. Most importantly, though, how could we ever forget Eric Morin’s short shorts? 

Eric Morin, Stephen Patterson in Falsettos (2013). Photography: Joanna Akyol  

 
Stephen PattersonThe first emotion this picture brings up is total laughter!!! I remember the day I saw Eric in those TINY shorts and how we all enjoyed the 80’s look of them! Choreographing this scene was a bit tricky as we were set on making sure the “game” made sense. Tim French [our choreographer] was our racquetball guru! What also comes flooding back when I look at this, is how much I adored this show. Roberts vision was so beautiful and yet he was generous enough to help us discover our collective vision. To me this show will always be at the top of the list as one of the best theatre experiences I have ever had. From cast to crew, it was amazing. Thanks Acting Up Stage for taking risks and doing such important and professional work. 

Tony Tuesdays – Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Elegies opens in one week (previews start on Friday)!!! To celebrate, I chose Priscilla Queen of the Desert’s performance. Not only is it fun and vibrant, but, if you look closely, you will see Elegies cast member Thom Allison dancing up a storm (hint: he’s a vision in red).

The musical version of Priscilla, based on the Oscar winning 1994 Australian cult movie,  premiered in Autstralia before moving to London’s West End. The production had its North American premiere in Toronto before opening on Broadway.

Full of sass, sequins, drag queens and a score comprised of some great disco tunes, the Broadway production won a 2011 Tony Award for Best Costume Design. Watch the cast strut in the Oscar and Tony winning costumes to “It’s Raining Men” in this vivacious performance.

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Tony Tuesdays – Sugar Babies

This week is a tribute to the one and only Mickey Rooney (and the amazing Ann Miller)!

Sugar Babies was an homage to burlesque and traditional vaudevillian routines that ran for 1,208 performance on Broadway between 1979 and 1982. The show was broken down into scenes (with titles including “A Memory of Burlesque”, “Girls and Garters” and  “Tropical Madness”) that often ended in song (“Cuban Love Song”, Immigration Rose” and “Let Me Be Your Sugar Baby” to name a few). It was nominated for eight Tony Awards, but failed to win any.

The zany, fast paced nature of the show offered a high entertainment value- and plenty of “hoofin’”- that delighted audiences. The Americana finale number featured the entire chorus in red, white and blue costumes with Ann Miller front and centre dressed as the Statue of Liberty. The heart of the show was the undeniable chemistry between Mickey Rooney and Ann Miller (his impish ways and her statuesque vivacity) that is on great display in The Tony performance, it captures what a high energy romp the production must have been.  So much fun!!!

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