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Weekend Roundup: Aug 3 – 6

On Friday night, the Calgary Fringe Festival kicks off with uncensored, non-juried performances featuring both local and international playwrights and actors. Where recommends Push in Case of Emergency by local playwrights Kyle Schulte, Brett Gartley and Talore Peterson. This comedy-drama explores the interactions of group of strangers unexpectedly trapped in an elevator. The show begins at 6:30 pm at Lolita’s Lounge, tickets $12.

After opening with a stellar concert lineup at Shaw Millennium Park on Thursday night (more…)

Save the Date: Mirvish’s Musical 2012/13 Season

The Book of Mormon comes to Toronto in May 2013

Toronto’s biggest producer of theatrical entertainment yesterday announced an all-
singing, all-dancing slate of must-see shows for its upcoming 2012/13 season. Mirvish Productions’ six major stagings comprise an energetic lineup of familiar fare that’s sure
to energize the city’s theatre goers. Check out our photo gallery for a glimpse of what
to expect—and what to come back for!


—Faiza Siddiqui

Hot Date: The Creepy and Kooky Addams Family

photo by Joan Marcus

NOVEMBER 16 TO 27 It’s every parent’s worst nightmare—your spiteful little princess of darkness has fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family. It’s enough to throw The Addams Family into full crisis mode. Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, authors of Jersey Boys, bring this new macabre musical-comedy to life with creative consultation from four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks. Toronto Centre for the Arts, $62 to $180; call 416-644-3665 or visit here for showtimes and tickets.

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for Aug. 12 to 14

Campfire & Storytelling takes place Friday nights through August.

Friday, Aug. 12
Snuggle up ‘round the fire and let your imagination run wild at the weekly Campfire & Storytelling event. The Ottawa Storytellers host an evening of oratory for both young and old at Billings Estate National Historic Site. These artists continue the age-old old tradition of storytelling, no book or paper in sight. Enjoy tales for adults and separate stories and songs for children, as well as plenty of marshmallows to roast.

Give date night a lift by grabbing snacks and laying out a blanket on the grass of Dundonald Park for the Centretown Movies Outdoor Film Festival. On Friday night, follow Harry and the gang in the second last installment of the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. On Saturday night the magic continues with awkward goofball Michael Cera in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, about a teenager who must win the heart of a girl by defeating her seven evil exes. This is the final scheduled two-night showing of the festival, with Aug. 19 as a make-up date for any rained out films and Aug. 20 either a make-up date or a surprise film.

Blues fans and rib lovers come together for the aptly titled Calabogie Blues & Ribfest. This brand new event boasts talent such as Kelly Prescott, Anders Drerup, and MonkeyJunk. There’s also a beer garden, a vendor’s area, a kids’ zone with face painting and rides, Canadian and American “ribbers” who are vying for the honour of best ribs in town, and fireworks. There are even spots for camping so you can make a weekend of it.

Saturday, Aug. 13
Remember the board game Clue? Well Miss Scarlett, Colonel Mustard, Mr. Green and the rest of the motley crew are getting together again for a dinner party, only this time you’re invited! Suzart Productions presents Clue: The Musical, a hilarious dinner theatre show based on the popular game, in which audiences receive clues to help them figure out the mystery of who killed Mr. Boddy, in what room, and with what weapon. Show runs Thursday, Aug. 11, until tonight. (more…)

Hot Date: Wicked

To July 17

Get a new take on the merry old Land of Oz with Broadway Across Canada’s Wicked, winner of 35 awards, including three Tonys and a Grammy. Based on the best-selling novel by Gregory Maguire, this magic-filled musical tells the story of two unlikely friends—one smart and inquisitive with green skin, the other beautiful and materialistic, and how they became the famous Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good. Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, call Ticketmaster, 1-855-985-5000.

Off To See The Wizard

Meet Don Amendolia, the wonderful Wizard of Oz in the hit Broadway musical, Wicked.

By Allison Onyett

Don Amendolia as the Wizard of Oz

Don Amendolia’s first real acting role was in his high school’s version of Annie Get Your Gun. The New Jersey native laughs that he had one line that got taken away. Whoever cut Amendolia’s line could not have foreseen the success the Broadway star now boasts on his resume—highlights that include working alongside Academy Award winner Jane Fonda and multiple off-Broadway productions such as Cloud Nine, which won him the L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award. He’s also worked on the Oscar-nominated short film 12:01 PM, and has had over 30 guest starring roles on hit TV shows like Seinfeld and Frasier. Now, the 66-years-young actor is touring with Broadway Across Canada’s Wicked in the role of the Wizard. Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, the Tony Award-winning musical provides a new glimpse into the Land of Oz, long before Dorothy and Toto followed the yellow brick road. We chatted with Amendolia about his career, working with Jane Fonda, and what audiences can look forward to in Wicked. (more…)

Hot Dates: Whoville Holiday

DECEMBER 17 TO JANUARY 2 Make a yuletide trip to Whoville as Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical comes to life with spectacular costumes and sets inspired by the original illustrations. Watch as the Grinch—with his heart “two sizes too small”—steals Christmas from the merry Whos, only to learn, of course, that the day is about much more than gifts. It’s a heartwarming tale that never fails to put everyone in the seasonal spirit. Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, various times, $25 to $74; call 416-872-2262 or click here to buy.

Rockin’ Good Time

A new rock musical proclaims: “Don’t Stop Believing” in the power of 1980s nostalgia.
By Meaghan Lamb

Rock-musical revivalists will recognize Yvan Pedneault, lately of We Will Rock You (photo by Cylla von Tiedemann)

OPENS APRIL 20 Teeze out your hair, dust off your Flying V guitar and raise your lighter high as the Tony Award–nominated Rock of Ages thunders into the Royal Alexandra Theatre for its Canadian premiere.

Taking full advantage of the trend of using popular music to tell a story (think Queen and Ben Elton’s We Will Rock You and ABBA’s Mamma Mia!), Rock of Ages matches retro ‘80s mega-hits with a boy-meets-girl saga of love and ambition. For the Toronto version of this Broadway blockbuster, a lusty-lunged Canadian cast dons distressed denim and headbands to belt out bombastic anthems including Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive.”Quebec native Yvan Pedneault—rock chops sharply honed thanks to his lead role in the Toronto production of We Will Rock You—plays Drew, an edgy musician with vocal cords set to wail, while British Columbia–bred ingenue Elicia MacKenzie co-stars as Sherrie, a small-town girl with a big-screen dream. The actress knows a thing or two about wish fulfillment—she got her own big break when Canadian television viewers picked her to star as fräulein Maria in the recent acclaimed staging of The Sound of Music.