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]
It’s been a little while. I know I said I would write more . . . . psych! No… kidding. I intended to. But better late than never. So I finished my last day of filming on Killjoys yesterday.
Amazing how fast 4 months goes by. Sooooo much …. I can’t tell you about. 🙂 Sorry, kids. It’s all top secret. But loads of fun things happen this season. We get Pree on some missions with the Killjoys, we get some more of his history, a little more of his personal life…. plus more fabulous costumes which you’ll see as we get into the season.
And on Monday, I start teaching again at Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts. I’m really enjoying teaching and coaching these days. It’s fun to see students “get” something or watching them figure out new skill sets.
But the really fun news is that I’ll be joining Soulpepper for the first time to perform in PORGY & BESS IN CONCERT.
I’ll be joined by Jackie Richardson, Alana Bridgewater, Neema Bickersteth and Troy Adams as the singers and Walter Borden as narrator. So thrilled to finally get to sing this music and work with old and new friends. … [Continue reading]