The Citadel Theatre! (Mamma Mia!)

Oh wow! I can’t believe I have the pleasure of playing on the Maclab stage. Actually the Citadel facility has 4 stages and a performance space that is transformable. It also has a waterfall and a small indoor wooded area for pleasant walks and park like sits. This is a beautiful space to be in. Our production is being Captained by Ashlie Corcoran, I really like her style of directing. I get the feeling of trust and encouragement in the rehearsal hall, everyone is bringing their best. Our show is really fantastic, the band is great, the crew are amazing and the cast is just awesome. Wait until you see the design and costumes, Cory Sincennes is unbelievable. I can’t wait for my family to see it. My daughter is going to lose her mind.  I thank my lucky stars that Daryl Cloran, and Ashlie took a chance on me for this contract. Did I mention I get to dance in golden knee-high boots! I hope I have opportunities to come back and work here many times.

MAMMA MIA!
February 17 – March 18, 2018

SINGING! DANCING! ABBA!

Chase away the winter blues with the smash hit musical featuring all your favourite ABBA songs.

Music and Lyrics by BENNY ANDERSSON and BJÖRN ULVAEUS
Some Songs with STIG ANDERSON
Book by CATHERINE JOHNSON
Directed by ASHLIE CORCORAN

Set and Costume Design by CORY SINCENNES
Lighting Design by KIMBERLY PURTELL
Sound Design by PETER McBOYLE

VENUE
Maclab Theatre
Recommended for ages 5+

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A Christmas Carol

I finally get to do this play. Currently there are over 25 productions of Christmas Carol being done in Canada. Crazy. Well, I played Bob Cratchet. Directed and adapted by James MacDonald, our production was a large undertaking. People loved it. The Dickensian language was particularly fun. I really loved working with my Cratchet family. I will always remember my little Tiny Tim being afraid to go onto my shoulders. I guess his dad never does this to his son, so when I told him we could practise, he was terrified. We went slow and at first he hunched himself over like the letter C, when I put him up on my shoulder. Eventually though, he warmed up and maybe even started to like it. This story is one where there are a lot of moving parts, and often the story can get lost. I hope to do it again.

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A Closer Walk in Victoria

Hurrah! I finally got to do this show. What a fun time, and in Victoria BC no less.

My friends Melissa Young, and Alison MacDonald put this show together and offered me a chance to be apart of it. We rehearsed in Victoria, and so I commuted. My little family was very happy I was able to come back and forth. We performed in two different venues. A huge gorgeous theatre where Melissa works and then in the heart of Victoria at a small intimate venue. I preferred the larger venue myself, but both had positives. It was limited  run, and the feedback was positive. For me it was just nice to be seen in a city close to home rather than just being on the road all the time. ( I am currently sitting in Edmonton). My wife, mother in-law, and daughter came and sat in the front row!

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Tent Meeting

Well, what a wild summer. I have never been hired as a base singer before, well I suppose in my very first show I was a base, but at this stage in my career, never. Intricate 4 part Baptist harmony. I hope the musical director knows what they are doing. The town of Rosthern Sask. is beautiful, charming, and the theatre is thriving. Station Arts Centre is about 30 min outside Saskatoon. They have a converted train station as a performance space, with a lovely cafe and art gallery attached. I am really excited to work with the director Johnna, she has a passion for theatre that is refreshing. I play a preacher in a town of church going folk. The challenge for me is to just be with the material, and allow the message to be real and without apology. Awesome.

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Mamma Mia in Hamilton

I had a great experience in Hamilton, we cleaned the show, we tightened the show and then we played in the beautiful theatre there for a month. What a glorious space Theatre Aquarius is. Big house and an amazing place to work. I really had a lot of time on my own in Hamilton so I explored a lot. I will be returning to do Million Dollar Quartet spring of 2018. I liked reuniting with our crazy cast, I feel like I’ve made some good friends in this show. Exploring Toronto to see family and some friend was glorious, I even had a trip to Niagara Falls. I was particularly happy that a few of my friends were able to make it out and see me. Life on the road can be lonely so friends and fans are a welcome surprise. Next up life in fern gully (Pender Is.) then off to Saskatoon to do Tent Meeting.

To Broadway, With Love

I have been working on a few things in 2017. On Pender Island, there are not too many things a person with my particular talents can do…. or at least, that is what I thought. I have been keeping busy by teaching an Adult Improv Class, filming a project for Ptarmigan Music and Theatre Society collecting stories on the history of Pender Island, teaching a Musical Theatre Intensive, and finally rehearsing for a little cabaret with my wife Krista called To Broadway, With Love. I am, of course, looking forward to this. I rarely get to perform with my honey anymore. She is very busy and important, I am doing my shows out of town, and we are also very tired parents:) This show will be done on our anniversary, March 11th. Personally, I hope to do a lot more of these.

Here is our poster…

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The Magic of Mamma Mia

A while back in January of 2016 I auditioned for a co-production of Mamma Mia at WCT and Theatre Aquarius. My first leg happened in Kamloops. The experience was very different from how I’m used to working. We blocked the show very quickly, and had an approach to the scene work that was fascinating. I ended up having an amazing time working with so many people I had never worked with before. The show itself is very fun and the costumes are crazy. I really loved this intensely talented ensemble. It is a real privilege working around people, who make me want to be better at what I do. I really can’t wait to see these crazy people again. Coming this spring at Theatre Aquarius in Hamilton, Mamma Mia round 2!

Here they are

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Mamma Mia – Theatre Aquarious/ WCT co-production. http://theatreaquarius.org/onstage/mamma-mia/

Cast

GEORGE ABSI:  Ensemble / Dance Captain
KEVIN AICHELE:  Sam Carmichael
PAUL ALMEIDA:  Pepper / Ensemble
MICHELLE BARDACH:  Ensemble
DANIELLE BENTON:  Lisa / Ensemble
ANNIE CHEN:  Ensemble
RACHEL CLARK:  Ensemble
AUSTIN ECKERT:  Eddie / Ensemble
NICKO GIANNAKOS:  Father Alexandrios / Ensemble
JANET GIGLIOTTI:  Rosie Mulligan
MARK HARAPIAK:  Bill Austin
ALANA HIBBERT:  Tanya Cresham-Leigh
KATIE KERR:  Sophie Sheridan
BEN MONTGOMERY:  Ensemble
DESMOND OSBORNE:  Ensemble
CHELSEA PRESTON:  Ali / Ensemble
ANTONETTE RUDDER:  Ensemble
COLIN SHEEN:  Sky / Ensemble
CAILIN STADNYK:  Donna Sheridan
LEON WILLEY:  Harry Bright

Musicians

KRIS RUSTON:  Guitar
ED HILLIARD:  Percussion
ALEX WARD:  Bass

Creative

RON ULRICH:  Director
STEVE THOMAS:  Music Director
JEFF DIMITRIOU:  Choreographer
IVAN BROZIC:  Set & Costume Designer
GAIL KSIONZYK:  Lighting Designer
GREG KLOHN:  Sound Engineer
BETH BRUCK:  Stage Manager
SKYLAR NAKAZAWA:  Assistant Stage Manager
MADISON HENRY:  Apprentice Stage Manager
ANDREW G. COOPER:  Assistant Director
CHRISTINE LEROUX:  Head Dresser

My Summer of Pender Is.

img_0578This summer I took a big break from the world of theatre. My little girl turned two in May and I wanted to spend time at home. I decided to take on a series of smaller projects that kept me close to home. Much to the delight of my wife.

I was surrounded by the ocean and lakes and community. I have to admit it was a great recharge. I even snuck away to Cuba for an adventure. Soon I am turning 40 years old. I’m sure I’ll look back at this time in my life, and have a sense of real growth and delight. Work life balance. My little family is so cool.

Going to Cuba was transforming. There is a real question of paradise I’ve been wrestling with. What is it? Is paradise attainable? Is there a universal state or place everyone recognizes as Paradise? There is some writing I will do on this.

I taught a musical theatre intensive on Pender with some amazing kids. the turnout was impressive. we had to cap the class at 20 and turned away 6. I taught them a little Peter and The Starcatcher. My wife KJ has really made a profound impact on the growing arts community on Pender and in Victoria. I’m so proud of her achievements. Check out these things she is up to as the AD of Ptarmigan. http://ptarmigansociety.org

Finally, I started a project working on an original musical in Victoria.

Melissa Young, Alison MacDonald, Heather Burns and I, are collaborating. I love this kind of work. There is a real purpose to the creation and discussion we share during this process. We have a performance lined up for the new year, and perhaps a small tour to the gulf islands if I can line it up.

Saskatoon Mary Poppins

I’m back in the flying world of Mary Poppins. What a great show to be doing. I’m here with my daughter. My wife KJ is on Pender doing amazing things with Ptarmigan Music and Theatre. Sawyer and I live with a dear friend here in Saskatoon, she is also the nanny. Our own Mary Poppins. So far so good. Sawyer is doing well, and Im so glad my little girl is with me. We are here doing this show for 6 weeks balancing this crazy show/life of ours. Mary Poppins is a beast of a show, huge in every way. We have a quick rehearsal for this one; 3 days, then tech, tech, tech. This one is already held over. I have to say, these are some of the busiest times in my life.

April 20 – May 22, 2016

Mary Poppins Gliding down from the sky with an umbrella, sliding up banisters and dancing on rooftops – Mary Poppins truly is “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”! This enchanting musical will have you leaving the theatre with a song in your heart and a spring in your step.

 

Million Dollar Quartet

Chemainus Theatre Festival is a really beautiful place to work. I’m working on a Juke-box musical called Million Dollar Quartet. It is the Canadian premiere. I’m playing the great Sam Phillips. In this musical I do not sing, though I’ll try to find a way to join the awesome rock band in the end. This story is about one night and rock-n-roll legends. I haven’t done one of these kind of shows before. I’m loving getting to know everybody. It really is a pleasure to work with people who kick ass at what they do. Come and check this one out.

Million Dollar Quartet

February 12 to March 26, 2016