So, someone sent me something this morning…I do enjoy receiving the interesting info and emails that get sent to me as people are picking up on my penchant (yeah, I said it…penchant…someone says it in ‘The Princess and the Handmaiden’ …the show I am in tech for right now and I like to recycle good words…ever increasing my word potential past swears and cusses…though I love those…this is the longest brackets ever) on my PENCHANT for the exciting, infuriating and funny…
Someone sent me a link to a website that extolls the virtues of two people in the entertainment business who have moved from Toronto to New York in the last 10 years.
They have enjoyed, and worked for, amazing success in NY.
That was not the reason the link was sent to me.
It was sent because they have commented on their blog about the debacle, craziness and sadness that surrounds the Garth Drabinsky trial…
Which I have also commented on…he employed me for 4 years on and off…and helped to create some of the biggest breaks I had in my early twenties. I don’t think that stealing is right but…he was a titan here…and he loved theatre.
This blog wrote pretty much the same thing….again, not the reason the link was sent.
The thing that my email-er…is that a word?…took umbrage at….umbrage to….using a new word is hard….anyhow…the thing that pissed my emailer off….see the cusses work just as well….was the following comment about Garth and theatre in Toronto…
“Quite simply, Toronto theatre was not as good before…and certainly has not been as good since…”
It sat it their craw enough that they finally sent it to me…and now it has been crawling around inside my head. (See what I did there?)
And it made me think.
I am all thinking…
“Yes, theatre in Toronto has been beat around something fierce in the last few years….”
“Big theatre in Toronto has gone the way of popular juke box musicals…but who am I to judge what people like?”
Then I got mad.
Then my ever favourite listing started.
1. Toronto NEVER had a big contemporary musical theatre scene until Garth it is true but he has left a legacy here… he spurred young people to come out of schools and from across the country and to create exciting companies like Acting Up Stage (the musical theatre company run by Mitchell Marcus that not only produces theatre and cabaret, but teaches young people about contemporary musical theatre), the new Ghostlight Productions that had the idea to produce TWO contemporary musicals in rep and use one to sell the other! People are self producing their stuff ALL OVER the place…instead of waiting to be cast or produced….Garth helped create a city of self promoters and producers.
2. Scriptlab…spearheaded by the ever patriotic Jim Betts has been giving young writers and composers (and older) a place to meet, work and feature their pieces for a long while. Also giving young performers a place to do the same….and all learn. Jim Betts also produced a music book and an accompanying CD of Canadian Musical Theatre songs called Field of Stars…people now more than EVER come into auditions with Canadian content…it is funny…people used to ask for a Canadian monologue but could never really ask for a Canadian song…now they can.
3. Some of the best new young composers are working there shit out here with help and support from companies like Canstage, Acting Up, Scriptlab, Sheridan College, The Stratford and Shaw Festivals….Reza Jacobs, Jonathon Monro and Zachary Florence to name a few…
4. Independant Toronto producers like Derrick Chua and Micheal Rubinoff continue to find new and interesting projects to do…they both support our community and proudly travel our Canadian message abroad as they both branch out into the world at large. (I don’t quite know what our message is….but you get the gyst.) There are many more new and upcoming Toronto producers out there doing there thing and starting their journey’s !
5.The Toronto Fringe Festival …Drowsy Chaperone…. The most exciting Toronto export since….well, you can’t count Showboat…not Canadian…Ragtime…not Canadian….and DC won TONY’s BABY! And started at the freakin’ Toronto Fringe Festival! My Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding ….musical also started at Toronto Fringe Festival and transfered to the Mirvish season…we NEVER had independantly produced Canadian musicals making such a splash EVER!!!
IN TORONTO …and then the world.
And my friends…. that is just a few things that I can come up with!!!
Maybe you can help me think of more….
Me wonders…do these NY/Toronto transports even KNOW what is going on in our scene…well, maybe they should come and see!!
There is some great, inspiring, inspired, innovative, creative, audacious, hilarious, moving Canadian stuff being done up here…In TORONTO!!!
Please add to my list!
Support our Canadian Musical Scene!
Things that make me ….
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