What a year it has been, what a rare mood I’m in…why it’s almost like being in bed…oh no…wait! I AM in bed.
And I could not be happier, or more exhausted, or more excited…or more nervous.
Oh people, I am SOOO many things…and they are all a result of the year that was 2009….and the decade that was the….2000’s? The Aughts?
Did we ever come up with a proper way to label this strange, exciting AND effed-up decade?
It seems too daunting to go over the best and worse of the decade…I mean I am in bed, after all….but let me try for this year…
Best: I guested on Keith Cole’s “Needle Exchange” and he surprised me by having a band and handing me the words to “I Kissed a Girl” by Kate Perry…a song I have NEVER sung…nor knew the melody to…I made it up…and was mad…but just fake ‘on stage’ mad. And then John Colbourne wrote something about it in the paper “the closest he (Keith Cole) came to needling any of his guests was when he scolded musical theatre diva Sharron Matthews for not singing enough “pretty” songs — and based on her rendition of The Rose, he might have a point.”…um…is that bad…or good? I went with good…as I love John Colbourne…he has given me all of my most interesting and fabulous reviews…“takes to the stage like a leopard to the jungle”... “can sell any song like it is prime downtown real estate”…see how I worked my bullet points in there…I am such a publicity whore…I own it…judge as you will.
Worst: (Here is a “I am not gonna lie to you, it was bad” moment.)
When I filled lotion bottles at a friend’s spa (NOT a rub and tug you dirty bitches) because that epic musical Rob Roy was cancelled five days before we started rehearsal (two days before Christmas). I filled said bottles because I had reluctantly deemed it close enough to the job to fix my car and buy Christmas presents. OH and…not that I was bitter…I had to quit many gigs as, though there had been no contracts given out it was “leaked” to the Toronto Star that I, and a number of others, were going to be in the show.
Best: It is a tie between the ” Awesome Wedding of Adrienne and Kevin Dennis” and the “Salon/Dance Party at the Loach’s”
The wedding reception was at the Palais Royale…BEAUTIFUL… the guest list was a who’s who a fabu fun people …Serge Kushnier, Matty Murray, David Dunbar, Bob Foster, Karen Burthwright, Rachel Fischer, Patty Zee (who was only at the church because she was doing “A New Brain” and, incidentally had accidentally cut part of her finger off the day before). The evening ended with a live band and a conga line and then a limbo with trained dancers….it was a site to behold an unnamed dancer shimmying under the bar with her beautiful dress hiked up as far as it would go. As I said, AWESOME.
The Salon/Dance Party at the fabulous and supportive Loach’s started with some very intimate performances by Guy Few, George Masswohl (yes, that George Masswohl…he made me cry), my idol Sandra Shamas showed part of her latest show on the huge TV screen and then I told a story about how much she inspired me…I didn’t make it through and cried like a baby and she maybe thought I was bonkers…ah well.
And then…outta nowhere…the party had dwindled down to a core group of fabu people…Christine Horne, Brad Hampton, Dan Thompson, Georgie, Shelly and Peter, the Loach’s…and a two hour dance party ensued…it was quite possibly one of the BEST PARTIES I HAVE EVER BEEN TO!
Best: The “Sing Out, Louise!!!” benefit at Buddies in Bad Times. Because I hosted and produced the evening I had the luxury of standing backstage and witness some of the best performances I have EVER seen… Patricia Zentilli singing “IF”, accompanied by Patti Loach…Zentilli hit a high M at the end of the tune that made me pee. Thom Allison, accompanied by Wayne Gwillim) debuted one of his alter egos, Alexandra Neil, and killed the audience with his talent and style. George Masswohl (yes, that George Masswohl) did one of the most moving two song acts I have seen, with flugel horn accompaniment by John Loach. Damien Atkins and Andrew Kushner performed an accapela medley of songs that was just funny and flabbergasting and featured “Single Ladies” by Beyonce before it was fashionable to copy that song. Just to name a few of the amazing artists!
Worse: I was featured in a article for the Globe and Mail Auto Section, a puff piece for my Sharron’s Parties…and because I drive an SUV I was labeled in the scathing comments as everything from fat and stupid (mean and What has my weight got to do with my car?) t0 a lesbian (which I took as a compliment).
Best: Sharron’s Surprise Party at Buddies in Bad Times…great guests over these two nights…Kritty Uranowski, Gabi Epstein and my dear friend from days of yore Tim Boyle…he and I talked in the interview for 20 minutes and told some very scathing stories about our roomate-ness in the 90’s. IE: the big naked late night walk in Penetang and Hoolies.
Worst: Letting George talk me into going to the audition for “Phantom 2: Electric Boogaloo”…okay…that is not the title….but it should be. The casting directors came to Canada for two days…and went from hearing a whole song to hearing 16 bars during the first twenty minutes of the first day…then it was all over FB that if you were going you better sing some belty 16 bars….I went into the audition and there was an action figure lying on the floor in the centre of the room…that was where we were supposed to stand. I belted my entire song. Then the casting directors picked up and left right after me…as I stood outside and chatted with Julain Molnar we watched at least 10 more people arrive to audition for the show…and the casting team had left.
Best and Worse: Working for three weeks on my Chalmer’s Fellowship grant application. Firstly, while grants are awesome…grant applications suck ass…and not good ass.
I was given priceless help and support from Sky Gilbert, David Oiye, Ed Sahely, Leslie Arden, Paul Sportelli, Curtis Barlow, Louise Pitre and the long suffering but deeply loved George Masswohl. The last day I was a crazy lady. I was in my pajamas all day and George kept running across the street to the Kwik Copy as our printer had broken. One hour before the deadline he drove me to drop the package off on Bloor Street, still in my pajamas…when the time came to give it over I was very reluctant…it is quite honestly some of the best work I have ever done. I am tempted to hang that shit on my wall.
Best: The very last Sharron’s Party!! It was packed! It was my Big Gay Party…which is no different from every other Party I have written and hosted. It was amazing to reach the end of this five year journey and wrap something up before it got stale. The audience was off the rails…Thom Allison sang ” I am Changing” from Dreamgirls and Jeigh Madjus sang “It’s Raining Men”…and Christopher Skinner yelled “One More Song”!!!
You are missed Skinner.
And I wore this outfit….life rocks…as does FASHION CRIMES!!!
Best: My niece, Vivian, visited and the most culturally diverse week I have ever had occured. We went to see The Sound of Music, West Side Story at Stratford, she came to see my show at Statlers…I know, I tried VERY hard not to swear and we saw the Producers at Stage West. We then went to Canada’s Wonderland and rode all of the coasters until I almost threw up. She was a great pleasure to have and she said her fave part of the whole visit was when we walked the dogs.
Gotta love it.
Worst: This was the month I had the “tea bag” incident with the “Hair-pointy-uppy-valley-girl-speakie-barista-boys” at Starbucks on Church street. Jesus wept. Oh and “tea bag”…not what it sounds like.
Best: Tie! This month I was lured to Buddies under the guise of attending a young version of “Sing Out Louise!” and it became the biggest surprise of my life. The youngsters, headed by the lovely Sara Farb, put together a show to salute Jenni Burke and Myself…it was an amazing night…it felt like I had died and gotten to be at my funeral. I was honoured. But before the surprise, you gotta love that my first thought when Thom came onstage was “Why didn’t they ask me to host for fucks sake?” THANK YOU FOR THE HONOUR!
AND! Shooting an episode of “Murdoch Mysteries”…the lovliest set ever…and George Masswohl (yes, that one.) was also on the episode….he played a rich dude…and I played…his nanny…I wasn’t fancy enough to play his wife…but we sat in director’s chairs and talked on our cellphones…like the low budget version of Brangelina.
Worst: Waiting to dance in a commercial 3:00am in the men’s underwear section of Walmart. Nuff said.
Best: TIE AGAIN! Visiting my dearest friend Thom in Edmonton…it was like going to a three day slumber party where the other person gives you birthday cards and chocolate EVERYDAY! And also cooks your every meal!! That is my dream world.
AND Seeing aforementioned Walmart commercial and realizing that I am pretty much unrecognizable!!! Yay!!
Worst: Thom and I getting into an arguement with a lady…and I use the term loosely… in a bus shelter Edmonton…yes, Thom and I were in a bus shelter…will wonders ever cease…this bitch didn’t know who she was messing with. We had her smooshed in a matter of seconds. H
er “Mom Pants” were in a twist!
Best: This was a huge month! A lot of my dreams came true…so excuse me again if there is more than one best this month…but it is October and this blog is longer than “Gone with the Wind” or “Lord of the Rings” so if you are still reading at this point…A: Thank You for Caring and B: You clearly have some time to kill and kinda enjoy hearing me go on about myself…SO!!!…
I toured my “Sharron’s Big Broadway Show” out east…my first tour out of Ontario! And Wayne Gwillim came with me…it went very well…and Wayne had to be navigator…and as we drove out of the airport parking lot in Charlottetown he got his shit together and told me where to go…figuratively speaking…and then 20 minutes later very calmly stated we were going the absolute opposite way to way we were supposed to be going! I love WAYNE!
I have always wanted to be a part of the “Hysteria Festival” and I was asked by Moynan King to do my own set in Buddies to begin one of the evenings…and I could not have been happier or prouder!
AND I also had the great honour of premiering my band “The Panik Attack” at the Canwest Cabaret Festival! SOLD OUT PEOPLE!!!
And I started rehearsal…on the newest Leslie Arden musical “Princess and the Handmaiden”…and I was playing the King!!! It was a big month…one that made me look back to the pumping of the lotion in January and think…wow…things can change very fast. And I was very thankful.
Oh, and I don’t wanna brag….but Now Magazine named me “Best Cabaret Performer”…I mean, I guess I do wanna brag…but I worked my shit off…so it was a happy, tearful and proud moment.
October 2009…I thank you.
Worst: I will not dishonour the great month of October 2009 by focusing on ANY negative thoughts. So suck that, January.
Best: Opening night of the “Princess and the Handmaiden” @ the LKTYP…when I came out in the Prologue and sang to the audience I saw all the Canadian composers, producers, actors young and old and felt what an important night it was. I felt honoured to be opening an original Canadian musical in Toronto…and that it was the second Leslie Arden musical to be produced in Toronto. There should be hundreds. She is amazing. As is LKTYP. They are one of the best places to work in…the world. Yes, I made that statement…the world.
Worst:Waking up the morning after the opening and realizing that I probably said the above mentioned statement about one million times after drinking a little too much at the opening night party. I hope I didn’t wear it out. Oh, and in the words of Shauna Mac…I had a 10th Grade Hanger.
Best: Though super busy George and I enjoyed our best Christmas EVER! Too many awesome parties to mention. AND I dyed my hair red. Suck that resume shot.
Worst: Hmm. Huh. I cannot think of one damned thing.
So, there you have it faithful and patient readers. I started the year pumping lotion in the depths of despair and ended it with my best and happiest time EVER.
You can’t write that shit.
I want to thank you all for caring and listening and supporting.
I had named 2009 the year of “I am not fucking around!” which was true….and the title that George and I have come up with for 2010?
We are gonna be open to what comes.
I hope that you all have a great year…and see the pluses and the minuses…and the balance…and forge forward!!!
All my BEST!