The show's musical star is Meghan Gardiner as toilet manager, Pennywise. She adds to the over-abundant exposition with the exuberant "It's a Privilege to Pee." She has the stage personality of a young Patti Lupone and lungs that grab and hold us. Glib and cynical, she's very funny and quickly becomes one of our favourite characters.
The Producers are there to make sure that all the needs of every part of the show are met. If our stage is the City of Toronto, the Producers are our City Councillors. These are the individuals, who are chosen by you to be your voice and ensure your needs are met. They vow to work tirelessly to give you the opportunity to do your very best on the City of Toronto stage.
It's a common misconception among casual theatre patrons that when a show is Off-Broadway, it's less prestigious or of lower quality than a Broadway show in New York. In fact, Off-Broadway has nothing to do with the quality of the show -- it has not been "kicked off Broadway," as the name might suggest. It simply means the show is housed in a smaller venue, seating anywhere from 100 to 499 audience members. The shows provide a more intimate theatre experience, and they're definitely worth seeking out.
Original Kids Theatre Company Alumni are presenting the first local production of the Tony Award-winning smash hit Avenue Q later this month. The Canadian troupe has learned all the right tricks with life-size replicas of the puppets used on Broadway, so I took my interview to the true stars of the show -- the puppets themselves!
Composer Marvin Hamlisch, who died recently, may be the last of the Broadway-Hollywood composers with a Hassidic soul. Hamlisch wasn't Hassidic of course -- he grew up in a Reform Temple and didn't appear to be particularly observant. But at its core, Hamlisch's search for the perfect melody calls up the emotional and connective power of a good tune that the Hassidic tradition knows so much about.