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Yvan Pedneault

Hot Date: Ross Petty’s Yellow Brick Road

The colourful cast of Ross Petty's reimagining of The Wizard of Oz

NOVEMBER 25 TO JANUARY 6 The Wizard of Oz gets a major overhaul courtesy of producer Ross Petty, complete with winking asides, audience participation and a man in a dress. The end result is a wonderful and wacky family musical. Petty himself steps into the role of the Wicked Witch of the West, while Elicia MacKenzie, who found success as Maria in the Toronto staging of The Sound of Music, slides into Dorothy’s crimson footwear, and Yvan Pedneault who most recently entertained audiences as an aspiring singer in Rock of Ages, is the Tin Man in search of a heart. Elgin Theatre, $27 to $85; call 1-855-599-9090 or visit here to buy tickets.

Hot Date: Rock Out with This ’80s Musical

Yvan Pedneault and Elicia MacKenzie in Rock of Ages

ON NOW Get ready for big dreams, big tunes and big fun with the hit musical Rock of Ages. Set in the 1980’s, this production follows two young lovers, Drew and Sherrie—played by Canadian stage idols Yvan Pedneault and Elicia MacKenzie—trying to make it big in glitzy Los Angeles. Music by Styx, Twisted Sister, Journey and more helps the pair sing their way to fame. Royal Alexandra Theatre, Tuesday to Saturday 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 2 p.m., Sunday 7 p.m., $30 to $175; call 416-872-1212 or visit Ticket King 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.

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December Hot Date: Robin Hood

Yvan Pedneault is among the cast of Robin Hood.

Yvan Pedneault is among the cast of Robin Hood.

ON NOW In the uproarious family musical Robin Hood, the title character and his merry men set aside stealing from the rich and giving to the poor for a greater task: saving the environment. Ross Petty’s latest production sees a swashbuckling troupe try to save Sherwood Forest from destruction by the Sheriff of Nottingham and Nottingham Lumber, purveyor of quality toothpicks and toilet paper since 1732. The talented cast includes Canadian Idol winner Eva Avila in her stage debut as Maid Marion and We Will Rock You’s Yvan Pedneault as Merry Men member Alain de Champagne. Elgin Theatre, Thursday and Friday 7 p.m., Saturday 2 and 7 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m., $55 to $79; call 416-872-5555 or follow this link for tickets. —Jenelle DaSilva-Rupchand

November Hot Date: Fun in Robin’s Hood

Yvan Pedneault is among the cast of Robin Hood.

Yvan Pedneault is among the cast of Robin Hood.

OPENS NOVEMBER 26 In the uproarious family musical Robin Hood, the title character and his merry men set aside stealing from the rich and giving to the poor for a greater task: saving the environment. Ross Petty’s latest production sees a swashbuckling troupe try to save Sherwood Forest from destruction by the Sheriff of Nottingham and Nottingham Lumber, purveyor of quality toothpicks and toilet paper since 1732. The talented cast includes Canadian Idol winner Eva Avila in her stage debut as Maid Marion and We Will Rock You’s Yvan Pedneault as Merry Men member Alain de Champagne. Elgin Theatre, Thursday and Friday 7 p.m., Saturday 2 and 7 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m., $55 to $79; call 416-872-5555 or click here for tickets.