Summer 2021

Live & In Concert In Your Front Yard!
Illustrations by Meg Leonard. Graphic Design by Sherpa Creative
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PORCHSIDE SONGS

Experience extraordinary outdoor concerts from the comfort and safety of your home!

The Musical Stage Company’s celebrated outdoor cabaret series returns this summer, bringing music into Toronto communities, backyards, and front porches. Four dynamite musical duos will tour around the GTA, creating music in the streets and providing space for communities to gather safely. Following strict guidelines from Toronto Public Health, each 40-minute cabaret features exceptional Canadian talent, incredible setlists, and a promise for a night to remember. Purchase an intimate concert for your friends and neighbours, and we’ll take care of the rest.

Please note, all concerts are sold out! If you’d like to be added to the waiting list please visit the ‘Waiting List’ tab’ above.

Graphic of "Safe travels" Stamp by World Travel & Tourism Councilbadge from

The Musical Stage Company has been awarded a #SafeTravels Stamp by WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council), for adopting health and hygiene global standardized protocols. 

Credits

The Musical Stage Company presents PORCHSIDE SONGS

SAD LADY SONGS!

Conceived and Performed by
Sara Farb (she/her)

Conceived and Performed by
Britta Johnson (she/her)

FAM JAM

Conceived and Performed by
Jake Epstein (he/him)

Conceived and Performed by
Gabi Epstein (she/her)

A CRACK IN THE WALL

Conceived and Performed by
Jewelle Blackman (she/her)

Performed by
Evangelia Kambites (she/her)

JUST MY RE-IMAGINATION

Conceived and Performed by
Saccha Dennis (she/her)

Conceived and Performed by
David Atkinson (he/him)

CREATIVE TEAM

Consulting Director
Thom Allison (he/they)

Venue

Frequently Asked Questions

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the cost of the concert?

Each concert is $395.50, inclusive of all fees and HST. 

100% of the concert fee goes to the performers.

What is the schedule of the concert series?

Each Concert series has a unique schedule based on the availability of the four performing acts. The full performance schedule will be updated as we receive information regarding the Ontario Covid-19 Framework.

What is the length of the concert?

Each concert is roughly 40 minutes in length, with no intermission.

What are the concert area zones?

PORCHSIDE SONGS can be booked for Toronto residents only within the “M” postal code. Please see the map for reference.

On a case-by-case basis, we can accommodate some concerts outside of the “M” postal code with approval from the performing artists.

Please email porchsidesongs@musicalstagecompany.com to inquire about an out of “M” postal code concert.

What do I need to provide as a Porchside Songs Host?

As a PORCHSIDE SONGS Host, you must provide: 

  • A private property within the ‘M’ postal code
  • A ten (10) square foot space on your property for the performers (such as a front yard, driveway, backyard, or directly on your porch)
  • One (1) ground power source for The Musical Stage Company to plug a power cord into. 

We will conduct a site visit in advance of all concerts and can work with you to determine the best way to set up the concert for you & your guests.

How many people can attend Porchside Songs?

PORCHSIDE SONGS will move forward once Toronto enters the ‘Grey Zone’ of Ontario’s Framework for COVID-19, ensuring a minimum requirement of 10 people safely gathering outdoors. Should any concerts need to be canceled or rescheduled due to new or changes to the COVID-19 Toronto legislation, guests will be contacted and bookings will be honoured at a later date.

  • In the GREY zone, the total number of people per outdoor gathering is 10. For PORCHSIDE SONGS, this is inclusive of The Musical Stage Company COVID-19 Representative(s), and the artists. 7 audience members will be permitted. 
  • In the RED zone, the total number of people per outdoor gathering is 25. For PORCHSIDE SONGS, this is inclusive of The Musical Stage Company COVID-19 Representative(s), and the artists. 22 audience members will be permitted. 
  • In the ORANGE zone, the total number of people per outdoor gathering is 25. For PORCHSIDE SONGS, this is inclusive of The Musical Stage Company COVID-19 Representative(s) and the artists. 22 audience members will be permitted.
What are the COVID-19 Safety Policies

PORCHSIDE SONGS will follow Toronto Public Health Guidelines and will remain in accordance with Ontario Public Health Guidelines and Ontario’s Framework for COVID-19.

  • All Musical Stage Company personnel and Artists will be masked at all times. Performing artists may remove their masks while singing. Small plexiglass shields will be attached around the microphones to direct air particles away from audience members.
  • Physical distance (6 ft / 2m) will be maintained at all times
  • A Distance of 10 ft will separate the audience members from the artists during the performance
  • Gathering sizes will be in accordance with current Public Health Guidelines

Upon booking a concert, hosts will receive our COVID-19 Health & Safety Policy to review before our team conducts a site visit of your concert location.

How is The Musical Stage Company ensuring the safety of the performers and audience ensuring the event adheres to social distancing protocol as outlined by Public Health?

The Musical Stage Company has been in touch directly with Toronto Public Health. We have established detailed plans to ensure the safety of performers and patrons.  Including but are not limited to:

  • One of our Musical Stage Company COVID-19 Representatives will be present at all concerts to ensure their smooth operation and for the safety of the artists and patrons.
  • Physical distancing will always be enforced: only patrons residing in or “bubbling” with another family will be permitted to watch the concert from their property. 
  • Strict safety guidelines will be established and maintained throughout all concerts.
  • Gathering sizes will be in accordance with current Public Health Guidelines.
  • A site visit will be arranged in advance of the concert to plan out a set up that maximizes physical distancing. If the Musical Stage Company COVID-19 Representative(s) determines on the site visit that social distancing cannot be maintained between artists or between artists and audiences, the concert will be cancelled.
  • Patrons/Hosts will be contacted on the day of the concert to ensure no one in the host dwelling is feeling unwell. The concert will be postponed if anyone at the host dwelling is showing any symptoms of illness.
  • The Artists and the PORCHSIDE SONGS Production Team, including the Musical Stage Company COVID-19 Representative(s), will be contacted on the day of the concert to ensure no one is feeling unwell. The concert will be postponed if anyone is showing any symptoms of illness.
  • Physical distancing will be in full effect at all times. Audience distancing will be at minimum 10-feet squared from any singer.
  • Performers (there are 2 performers in each artist group) will be situated a minimum of 6 feet apart from each other, unless the performers have opted to bubble with each other.
  • Artists will be masked pre and post concert and may remove masks for the performance.
  • The PORCHSIDE SONGS Production Team will be masked at all times.
  • The PORCHSIDE SONGS Production Team will be equipped with disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer at all times 
  • For the enhanced safety of everyone, it is encouraged that all patrons wear masks throughout the concert experience.
  • Concert hosts will be asked to keep a log of contact information from all guests for contact tracing purposes.

Have a question about our safety protocols? Please email cassandra@muscialstagecompany.com.

Is the concert appropriate for children?

The concerts are recommended for all ages, parental guidance recommended. Select songs may include slight profanity and mature themes., if you have children under the age of 13 at your concert, please let us know.

What is the refund/cancellation policy?

We have a flexible refund policy in the early planning phases of the concert to ensure we can perform on your private property. Once we are two weeks away from the concert, sales are final. However, concerts will be rescheduled if you or the performers are feeling sick or unwell. The Musical Stage Company will postpone a concert due to weather or illness 3 hours in advance of the concert.

I have a question about PORCHSIDE SONGS or the performance schedule, who do I contact?

Show Calendar

Porchside Waiting List

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TICKETS

CONCERT COST:

  • Each concert is $395.50, inclusive of all fees and HST.
  • 100% of the concert fee goes to the performers.

CONCERT REQUIREMENTS:

  • As a PORCHSIDE SONGS Host, you must provide a private property within the ‘M’ postal code
  • A ten (10) square foot space on your property for the performers (such as a front yard, driveway, backyard, or directly on your porch)
  • One (1) ground power source for The Musical Stage Company to plug a power cord into.

We will conduct a site visit in advance of all concerts and can work with you to determine the best way to set up the concert for you & your guests.

PORCHSIDE SONGS will move forward once Toronto enters the ‘Grey Zone’ of Ontario’s Framework for COVID-19, ensuring a minimum requirement of 10 people safely gathering outdoors. Should any concerts need to be canceled or rescheduled due to new or changes to the COVID-19 Toronto legislation, guests will be contacted and bookings will be honoured at a later date.

MUSICAL CONCERTS

SAD LADY SONGS!

Sara Farb and Britta Johnson bring you a captivating concert, celebrating their love of songs by, for, and about complicated women. They’ll perform original music, including work from their upcoming musical KELLY v. KELLY, as well as beloved pop and folk songs by masters of the sad lady music genre. Sara, who was last seen in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway, and Britta, a composer and songwriter heralded as “Canadian musical theatre’s next great hope,” have been friends and collaborators since 2014 and ironically find the most glee while making sad lady music.

A CRACK IN THE WALL

Jewelle Blackman and Evangelia Kambites take you on a musical memoir exploring themes of love, loss, life and everything in between. This dynamic duo are not only exceptional storytellers in song but are also seasoned multi-instrumentalists that are guaranteed to enlighten and entertain with music ranging from Nat King Cole and Gnarles Barkley to their own original tunes. Jewelle, currently on pause from Broadway as part of the original cast of the Tony Award Winning Best Musical HADESTOWN, and Evangelia last seen in BILLY ELLIOT and LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS at the Stratford Festival met only a few years ago but have been connected for many more. And they’ll be the first to tell you that “a crack in the wall, doesn’t always mean it’s about to fall”.

FAM JAM

Siblings Gabi and Jake Epstein take you on the open road with their heartwarming story of music and family. From epic road trips in the backseat of their parents’ minivan to seeing each other perform on the stages of Stratford and Broadway, music has always been the driving force behind their unique and special bond. With an acoustic playlist that includes everything from Beatles to Barbra, the Epsteins will have you singing along, reminding us all that family isn’t just an important thing – it’s everything.

JUST MY RE-IMAGINATION

From Jon Bon Jovi to Gloria Gaynor, Saccha Dennis brings you into her reimagined world by hearing classic songs done with a jazz, funk, and bluesy twist. She was last seen in COME FROM AWAY, Broadway’s hit show, running at Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre, where she played Hannah and others. A Musical Stage Company debut, Saccha is accompanied by the multi-talented David Atkinson. Come experience the retelling of some of your favourite songs with some of Toronto’s most dedicated storytellers.

ARTIST BIOS

SAD LADY SONGS!

SARA FARB

Sara Farb is known for Delphi in HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD on Broadway; five seasons at Stratford (Juliet, Anne Frank, Cordelia, many others); Medium Alison in FUN HOME (Musical Stage/Mirvish, Dora nominee, TTCA winner); Brigid in THE HUMANS (Canadian premiere at Citadel/Canadian Stage); productions at Soulpepper, Theatre Calgary, Tarragon, Theatre Passe Muraille, Segal Centre, YPT, and others. Sara and Britta Johnson’s original musical, KELLY V. KELLY, was postponed due to Covid but will hopefully see a full production this coming theatre season.

BRITTA JOHNSON

Britta Johnson is a writer, composer and lyricist based in Toronto. She made her American debut when her original musical, LIFE AFTER, opened at the Old Globe in San Diego in 2019 following an extended, multiple Dora award-winning run at Canadian Stage. Other credits include: With her sister Anika: DR.SILVER, BRANTWOOD, JACOB TWO-TWO, and TRAP DOOR. With Sara Farb: KELLY V. KELLY, REFRAMED. With Katherine Cullen: “STUPIDHEAD!” She was the librettist for choreographer Robert Binet’s adaptation of THE KREUTZER SONATA (with Ballet Moscow), and was recently named one of 50 Women to Watch by the Broadway Women’s Fund of America.

A CRACK IN THE WALL

JEWELLE BLACKMAN

Jewelle Blackman is a multi-talented artist from Toronto, ON.  She has played the violin for more than 30 years and graduated from Queen’s University with a Double Major in Music & Film as well as completed the Summer Performance Certificate Program at Berklee College of Music.  Jewelle is currently on pause from Broadway as part of the Tony/Grammy Winning Best Musical HADESTOWN where she originated the role of Fate.  Select credits include THE WHO’S TOMMY (Acid Queen); JACQUES BREL IS ALIVE AND WELL, and LIVING IN PARIS both at the Stratford Festival; WE WILL ROCK YOU (Teacher); THE LION KING (Nala/Shenzi) Mirvish; THE WIZARD OF OZ (Mrs. Banks) Young People’s Theatre; DREAMGIRLS (Deena Jones) The Grand Theatre/StageWest.  Jewelle has also worked extensively in Film/TV.  For the past few years she has been working on her first musical YOU KNOW MY NAME, NOT MY STORY, inspired by Nina Simone’s “Four Women.”

EVANGELIA KAMBITES

Evangelia Kambites is a singer/songwriter, actor, dancer, and multi-instrumentalist based in Toronto. Notable stage credits include HADESTOWN (Citadel), BILLY ELLIOT, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, Stratford Festival, the META Award-winning production of THE ADVENTURES OF A BLACK GIRL IN SEARCH OF GOD (NAC/Centaur/BTW), THE HOCKEY SWEATER (Segal Centre/NAC) I THINK I’M FALLIN’ – THE SONGS OF JONI MITCHELL (Belfry Theatre), FOR COLORED GIRLS WHO HAVE CONSIDERED SUICIDE/WHEN THE RAINBOW IS ENUF, THE SECRET CHORD: A LEONARD COHEN EXPERIENCE, 27 CLUB (Soulpepper), the Jessie Award-winning production of AVENUE Q (Arts Club), A WHOLE NEW WORLD: THE MAGICAL MUSIC OF ALAN MENKEN (Angelwalk Theatre), BUDDY–THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY (Theatre North West). For television: MINORITY REPORT (FOX), HEROES REBORN (NBC), INCORPORATED (SYFY/CBS), THE BOYS (Sony/Amazon). Debut album Feel The Fall available now on all platforms! Twitter/Instagram: @ekambites

FAM JAM

GABI EPSTEIN

Gabi is a DORA winner and one of Canada’s leading stage/cabaret performers best known for playing Audrey in LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (Stratford Festival) and Fanny Brice in FUNNY GIRL (Segal Centre/Harold Green Jewish Theatre). Other favourites include: ONCE (Mirvish– DORA AWARD Ensemble/Production), BILLY ELLIOT (Stratford), PROM QUEEN (Segal), FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (Stage West/Capitol Theatre), HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH, CANDIDE, DANI GIRL (TIFT), THE SOUND OF MUSIC, BLOOD BROTHERS, PERFECT WEDDING (Drayton), and TO LIFE (HGJT– DORA AWARD Nomination Outstanding Performance). Gabi’s album “SHOW OFF” is on Spotify & iTunes and her famous GABARETS have been performed all over North America (“Best Cabaret of the Year” by the Times Square Chronicles in NYC). Her solo show GABS SINGS BABS premiered at the Toronto Jazz Festival and will be performed LIVE at Globus Theatre in August. Gabi and her husband Jeremy are the co-founders of THE NEW LOCAL: DINE IN, SING OUT which partners with local restaurants to provide live virtual dinner & show events. Follow @gabifayepstein on Instagram for all performance updates and to inquire about singing lessons. Thank you for supporting local artists!

JAKE EPSTEIN

Jake Epstein is a Toronto based actor, singer and writer. He originated the role of Gerry Goffin on Broadway in the Tony-nominated hit BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL, and survived a year as Spider-Man in SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK. On tour, he has performed in most major theatres across the U.S., starring in the Tony-winning hit SPRING AWAKENING (Melchior) as well as Green Day’s AMERICAN IDIOT (Will). Off-Broadway, he starred in the New York Times critics pick STRAIGHT. Selected regional credits include BILLY ELLIOT (Mirvish), THEREFORE CHOOSE LIFE (Harold Green Jewish Theatre, Broadway World Award), DOG SEES GOD (Michael Rubinoff), two Ross Petty Pantos, and the world premiere of Ken Ludwig’s DEAR JACK, DEAR vLOUISE (Arena Stages in Washington D.C.). He has appeared in over 30 TV shows and films, but is best known for Degrassi (CTV, Gemini Award), Designated Survivor (ABC and Netflix) and Suits (USA Network and Netflix). Jake’s solo show BOY FALLS FROM THE SKY, which premiered at the Toronto Fringe Festival (Best of Fringe, Outstanding Production) is slated to be part of the upcoming Off-Mirvish season. Currently, Jake is filming The Umbrella Academy (Netflix).

JUST MY RE-IMAGINATION

SACCHA DENNIS

Saccha is thrilled to take part in Musical Stage Company’s PorchSide concerts. She was last seen in the Broadway hit musical COME FROM AWAY as Hannah and Others, at the Royal Alexandra Theatre. An actor, director and creator originally from Montreal, she studied Musical Theatre Performance at Sheridan College in Oakville. Since then, she has toured Canada, U.S and abroad. Her highlighted credits include, SOUSATZKA: a new musical with Victoria Clarke and Montego Glover. Dora-nominated JACOB TWO-TWO, and JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH (YPT). Deloris in SISTER ACT (Rainbow Stage), Gary Coleman in AVENUE Q (Citadel Theatre), Four seasons at the Shaw Festival and 1st U.S National tour of WE WILL ROCK YOU, to name a few. Saccha has also directed hit shows like LEGALLY BLONDE (Hart House Theatre) 9 TO 5: THE MUSICAL, DREAMGIRLS (LOT) and most recently, PIPPIN (Sheridan College). Besides acting and directing, her passion lies in creating new and reimagine works. You can find Saccha online @sacchafierce (Insta) & sacchadennis.com

DAVID ATKINSON

An award-winning pianist, composer, and music director, David has most recently been a rehearsal pianist at the Stratford Festival, a keyboard programmer at the Shaw Festival, and in 2019 the Associate Music Director for the Toronto production of DEAR EVAN HANSON. As music director with the silent film-inspired Keystone Theatre, David co-created three new works, including THE BELLE OF WINNIPEG, for which he proudly received the 2010 Dora Award for Original Sound Design & Composition. At the piano, David has had the privilege of performing with Shirley Jones, Rufus Wainwright, Elton John, Josh Groban, Boy George, Brent Carver, Robert Pilon, and David Byrne.

 

HEALTH & SAFETY

PORCHSIDE SONGS will follow Toronto Public Health Guidelines and will remain in accordance with Ontario Public Health Guidelines and Ontario’s Framework for COVID-19. 

  • All MSC personnel and Artists will be masked at all times. Performing artists may remove their masks while singing. Small plexiglass shields will be attached around the microphones to direct air particles away from audience members. 
  • Physical distance (6 ft / 2m) will be maintained at all times 
  • A Distance of 10 ft will separate the audience members from the artists during the performance
  • Gathering sizes will be in accordance with current Public Health Guidelines 

Upon booking a concert, hosts will receive our COVID-19 Health & Safety Policy to review before our team conducts a site visit of your concert location.

Please note: PORCHSIDE SONGS will move forward once Toronto enters the ‘Grey Zone’ of Ontario’s Framework for COVID-19, ensuring a minimum requirement of 10 people safely gathering outdoors. Should any concerts need to be canceled or rescheduled due to new or changes to the COVID-19 Toronto legislation, guests will be contacted and bookings will be honoured at a later date.

Have a question about PORCHSIDE SONGS? Contact us at porchsidesongs@musicalstagecompany.com

Graphic of "Safe travels" Stamp by World Travel & Tourism Councilbadge from

 

The Musical Stage Company has been awarded a #SafeTravels Stamp by WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council), for adopting health and hygiene global standardized protocols.