Okay everyone, it was announced today so I can actually tell you about it. Here is the background for those of you who don’t know. I’m sure many of you have heard of these TV shows that cast a lead in a major production of a musical. They did it for Nancy in Oliver in the West End, they did it for the Danny and Sandy in the Broadway revival of Grease, they did it for Maria in the Mirvish produced big splashy Sound of Music in Toronto a few years ago.
Well the Canucks will know but perhaps my friends/readers in the U.S. and beyond might not know, but the Mirvish organization is doing it again, this time with their big new production of The Wizard of Oz, which includes new music by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. They will be casting the role of Dorothy and Toto on CBC television on Sunday and Monday nights starting on Sept. 16 and culminating in the final night on Nov. 5.
And the big news is: . . . . . . I am one of the judges. It will be myself, Arlene Phillips (OBE, one of the UK’s most recognizable TV judges) and Louise Pitre (original star of Broadway’s Mamma Mia and one of Canada’s Musical Theatre divas)
I’ve been sitting on this news for a while so it’s nice to get it out and say I’m really, really excited to meet the girls and the pooches and get the ball rolling.… [Continue reading]
Oh my children, it has been way too long. I can’t really say nothing is happening but I can’t say something is happening either. I can give you a couple of things that are pretty much confirmed for now.
1. I am doing a solo concert on FRIDAY, NOV. 30. Mark it in your calendars. It will be at Metropolitan Community Church, 115 Simpson Ave., Toronto. I’m just working out what it will consist of now. I’m very excited. It will be my first big solo gig since being back from Broadway.
2. I am doing a solo Christmas cabaret on SUNDAY, DEC. 16 at Tallulah’s Cabaret at Buddies In Bad Times. I LOOOVE CHRISTMAS!! It’s been years since I’ve done a Christmas show. There will be some familiar songs done in unfamiliar ways. A special visitor or two. Some cheer, some camp, some laughs, some surprises. Come on, IT’S CHRISTMAS!!!!!
I hope everyone can come. I will give more details of where and when as everything gets ironed out. And if you’re wondering if it’s a lot of the same material in both . . . please, would I do that to you my children? There may be a couple of tunes in common, but for the most part, they will be two very VERY different evenings.… [Continue reading]
Well . . . . that’s done. hahahaahhahahaahahahahahahhahaahahahahahaaha It was a crazy, bizarre, exhilarating, fun, heady, scary, sobering, informative, amazing evening. Well it wasn’t an evening. It was a whole freaking day. I started at 10:30 am and I was packed up and out by about 11:15 pm-ish. And I basically stopped doing stuff for about 45 minutes in total for the whole day.
When I got there, we had to go through the order of the jackets to see what I’d where and when. I had already thought it out, cause that’s the kind of guy I am. Then I was called to the stage to do a mic check which lasted about 15 minutes. After which, Chris Earle, the amazing writer of the show, Sandra, our director and myself started walking through the script to make sure we all had the correct changes and to talk about any thoughts of changes any of us might have had. I had been going over and over the script and I had some thoughts of add-ons that we had sort of talked about at a previous meeting. And Chris had some other suggestions too. So we decided on stuff that made us laugh the most but that wouldn’t insult too many people. … [Continue reading]
Well, things are clicking along here on the Dora front. Just trying to get all of the lyrics for the song and the opening monologue in my head. I’m actually having a great time but holy shite, it’s a lot. Want to seem off the cuff and delightful but still be entertaining and kooky. I have a feeling its going to go well. Whenever something is going to work out, I get little signs from the universe. Little tests that aren’t hard but just have to be dealt with. This time . . . its air-conditioning induced laryngitis. I NEVER have vocal issues but I’ve used the air-conditioning in my apartment twice and both times I’ve lost a part of my voice for a few days. Hmmm. Awesome. It’s coming back but this last time, it happened while I was teaching a class here at the Shaw.
The class (Song Exploration through Text) was from 10 -12 in the morning on Sunday – last day of the week. Around 11, my throat was feeling a little dry; by 11:15, it was a bit crackly in the upper register; by 11:35 it was weedly; by noon, 3/4 of my upper range was gone. … [Continue reading]
Whew. Okay well we did it. It’s now two days after Ragtime opening night. How did it go, you ask? I actually don’t know how to say how it went. After I wrote my blog that day, I didn’t feel afraid anymore. I felt like I could go in and tell Coalhouse’s story. I had a good warm up. I did feel a little dry; I hadn’t been drinking enough water. But I didn’t feel bad. The energy backstage was really good. People were excited but not revving too high. I was relaxed enough to do the show but I was keenly aware of being “watched” in a bigger sense of just having an audience. I did feel like I was emotionally in the scenes in the moment but when I’d come offstage, I found I couldn’t remember what I just did. That can be a good or bad thing. I didn’t know which but I didn’t feel like I was doing a bad job.
But the weight of the event hit me before I went out to do the library scene where I have to sing Make Them Hear You. I got out of my dressing room chair to go backstage, and was suddenly exhausted. … [Continue reading]