MITCHELL MARCUS ON OUR 2021 SUMMER SEASON
By Mitchell Marcus
The arrival of Spring and Summer is always exciting, but even more so this year. In addition to warmer weather, these seasons represent hope and optimism with the opportunity to reunite with friends and family in parks and at backyard barbeques hopefully just within reach. While we have kept musical theatre alive online since November, we have been eagerly anticipating and planning for a summer filled with music. We are overjoyed to announce a one- month residency in the magical High Park amphitheatre where we will turn a space normally known for Shakespeare into a home for musical storytelling.
The centrepiece of our residency will be a preview production of BLACKOUT by Steven Gallagher and Crescendo artist Anton Lipovetsky. Those who saw their 30-minute musical two years ago at the Globe and Mail Centre about the 2003 Toronto blackout will be thrilled to know that they have grown it into a full-length musical. This story of how people came together during a crisis in our city serves as the perfect fable for the current times and the chance to preview the eventual world premiere production with a glorious cast, full staging, and modified technical elements to accommodate the outdoor setting is going to bring much joy and meaning into the lives of the 100-people per night (safely distanced) who will get to see it. Stay tuned for additional, exciting High Park programming that we will be announcing as the summer gets closer.
Beyond the tree-lined borders of High Park, we are also looking forward to bringing our signature mobile concerts – PORCHSIDE SONGS – back to Toronto porches, backyards and curbs. Four new concerts have been curated for this year featuring Canadian stars of musical theatre with collective credits across Broadway, Mirvish, Stratford and many more. No doubt these concerts will again become a bright light in reuniting friends, families and neighbours through great music.
And to fill all corners of the city with even more Musical Stage, we are ecstatic to launch MUSICAL MOMENTS which will provide artists funding to conceive and execute creative and interactive programming throughout the city using music and storytelling to animate neighbourhoods and communities.
The COVID-19 crisis is not over, and there is still so much uncertainty for the future. But we know that the magic of making music and telling stories outside will deliver catharsis for our community of audiences and artists, while reigniting the joy of gathering and togetherness. I can’t wait to see you all under the stars!