Okay, y’all. I’m so excited to get to share this with you.
So I’ll be one of the featured singer’s in the wildly popular concert UNCOVERED: Stevie Wonder & Prince, that is produced by The Musical Stage Company. It’s Toronto’s foremost exclusively musical theatre company. I believe in this company so much, I sit on the board as the first and only artist.
Every year they do a concert that features the music of the greatest artists of the 20th/21st centuries. Elton John, Joni Mitchell, the Beatles, etc. This year the artists are Stevie Wonder and Prince. No slouches. It started off as a one night deal at the beautiful Koerner Hall, but the popularity has grown so great, they have expanded to 4 nights at Koerner Hall – Nov. 4-7 – and 2 nights at the Toronto Centre for the Arts (now the Meridian Arts Centre) – Nov. 8 & 9.
The roster of artists is a who’s who of Canadian theatre and music:
Jully Black (Juno Award Winner)
Jackie Richardson (Gemini and Dora Award Winner)
Divine Brown (Juno Award Winner)
To name just a few.
But when I expressed how my fans have been, particularly the Killjoys fans, Mitchell Marcus (MSC Artistic Director) suggested we offer something special. … [Continue reading]
It’s been a while since I wrote. I didn’t mean for it to be. So much has happened in the last two years. (I don’t think it’s been two years but that is what a big part of this blog is about.)
Most of you already know that my mother just passed away. The weirdest part of that is the fact that in a period of 2 1/2 years plus 3 days, my whole immediate family has died.
MILTON ALLISON (1929 – 2016)
My dad died of gastric (stomach-ish) cancer on Dec. 4, 2016, my brother died of lung and bone cancer on Oct. 7, 2018 and my mother has just died of cancer on June 7, 2019 – 8 months to the day after my brother.
My dad was an amazing man. He was nicknamed the “mayor of Winnipeg”. Everyone seemed to know and love him. He loved people – he loved talking to them, helping them, learning about them. He was a porter for VIA Rail for 38 years and loved every second of it. I remember him polishing his shoes, getting ready to go on a run and he’d be happily humming away.
So I directed a production of Mary Poppins at Young People’s Theatre in Toronto that opened on Nov. 8, 2018 (3 days ago) and I had to post something. I have been inspired to share some thoughts about it.
First of all, I always love working at Young People’s Theatre (YPT) because the entire crew, administration staff, custodial staff, box office staff are the nicest, most generous people ever. And they are lead from the top by Allen MacInnis (Artistic Director) and Nancy Webster (Executive Director) who are two of the most decent, thoughtful, funny, creative, helpful human beings in the business. Allen has been a friend for several years but in the last few years has become an unofficial directing mentor and he and Nancy have been two of my greatest supporters.
One of the many things I love about Allen is that he wants his theatre to reflect the cultural landscape of Toronto, so multicultural casting is always of the utmost importance. As an actor/performer/now director of colour, I couldn’t be more on board with that.
Jump back in time with me for a second (insert flashback music). I saw my first shows at Stratford when I was 14. … [Continue reading]
Hi y’all. I always mean to be consistent with the blogs because I quite love writing them, and then I don’t write. What is that about? I think so many people have that occurrence where there is something you like to do but you never give yourself the time or take the time to do it. Well . . . .this is it. Anyway…. Here I am. I have so many things in my head but I don’t know where to start.
It has been the most unusual and wonderful and sad year. I don’t remember the last time I’ve been this busy professionally. The year started off with the filming of KILLJOYS Season 4 at the end of January. This season I had lots of fun things to do in this season which is unfolding now so I can’t talk about details or they will have to kill me. Juuuuuust kidding.
While I was filming that, I was planning and directing Micah Barnes new Las Vegas-themed stage show, MICAH BARNES AT THE SANDS, which went up on May 14 and was a big success. I was also prepping/planning for the production of Stephen Sondheim’s A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC that I directed for Randolph College for the Performing Arts in August.… [Continue reading]
Once again, I’ve been too long in writing. This is a blog I wrote on the plane back from Taipei. Since I wrote it, I felt like might as well publish with the pics for whoever is interested. Here we go:
Well it’s been a while but my God the things that have been going on. Where to start. I finished Killjoys but just as I did, I was asked to be in the cast of Porgy and Bess: In Concert for Soulpepper. For clarity, we didn’t sing specific roles. We sang a variety of the songs – sort of the greatest hits – and there was a narrative written that talked about the making of the original show. But what a joy to work with this cast. It’s one of those shows where I can’t believe these crazy, talented people are also my friends – Troy Adams, Neema Bickersteth, Alana Bridgewater and the wonderful Jackie Richardson. We had a ball. And the show did really well. I don’t know that anyone thought it would sell so well. So great to sing that material.
And while we were running Porgy and Bess, I was offered the craziest gig. … [Continue reading]