LET THE SUMMER BEGIN

I’m lying in bed about to get up, finish packing and hop on a plane to Winnipeg. We start rehearsals for RENT tomorrow at Rainbow Stage.  It will be so bizarre to visit the show again after more than a decade. Wow.   It will be so great and weird to be in Winnipeg for the summer.   It’s been years.  I was there in the summer to shoot the movie, LEAVING METROPOLIS, several years ago but that was only for about 10 days.   So this is pretty fun.  It’s beautiful and as warm as it gets cold in the winter.  And my family is there and my best friend, Krista, is there and other wonderful friends.

I’m also really looking forward to being in Winnipeg for the Fringe festival.  It’s been years and the Winnipeg Fringe is one of the best in Canada.  Or it used to be.   I hope it still is.  We’ll see.  Looking forward to finding out.

Oh people, so much is changing and happening.  I feel so full of wonderful things these days.  I’m happy.  It’s just that simple.  Life is good.  I’m getting to go to my hometown and do a show in the theatre Rainbow Stage, where I did my first professional show, SWEET CHARITY; I’m doing the two shows that bookended OUTRAGEOUS, the show that made me a ‘name’ in Toronto (RENT and JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT) a decade ago – so I get to close that circle/cycle; and then I’m going to New York to do my first Broadway show and begin the next cycle of my life.  It’s the amazing feeling when you can actually feel that everything you’ve done up until this point has lead you in the right direction and everything makes sense.

I’m looking forward to the ride ahead.  I want to just remain open and ready for whatever comes along.  My life is about to change in the most fantastic ways.  Bring it!!!

Published in: on May 31, 2010 at 12:12 pm  Comments (1)  

THE REST OF THE NEWS I PROMISED

Okay everyone, this is all out of order but here we go.  This was supposed to be the first news and PRISCILLA was going to be the big news that you heard second but everyone has taken so long to work everything out.  So here we go.  In case any of you were wondering what I was going to be doing between SPELLING BEE and PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT, this is it.

I’ll be going back to Winnipeg for the summer.  For the first time in 19 years, I’ll be doing Rainbow Stage again.  For those of you who don’t know what Rainbow Stage is, it’s one of the only open air theatres left in North America (not open air companies but an actual theatre built where the walls are open but there is a roof).  I believe it’s one of only 2 in Canada – don’t be hatin’ me for that if I’m wrong because I may totally be wrong but it’s one of very few anyway.  I think the only other one is Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) in Vancouver.  I did my very first professional show at Rainbow Stage:  SWEET CHARITY. I still have a very soft spot in my heart for that show.  That was in 1988 – God help me.  I then did PETER PAN, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM, ANYTHING GOES, SAY IT WITH MUSIC (a review created by the late, great Alan Lund), CINDERELLA and WIZARD OF OZ. I have very fond memories of my time there.  I got to watch rehearsals with amazing “professional” actors doing their thing.  I would go to rehearsals when I wasn’t called just to watch them put numbers together and work on scenes, I was mesmerized.  I just wanted to learn and understand.  Many great summers.

What will I be doing you ask??????  Well here we go:  the shows.

Yes, that’s right, the first show is RENT.  It’s been just over 10 years ago that I did the Canadian premiere and then the 2nd U.S. National Tour of RENT and here I am coming full circle.  But what’s cool is it feels really right to be neatly closing that circle before I begin the next phase of my life.  When I did the show in Canada, I played Paul and understudied Angel.  Then I when I went on the U.S. tour, I played Steve and understudied Angel.  Now that it’s 10 years later, I’m a little long in the tooth and a little too built to pull off an Angel, but I’m just in the right place for  . . . . (drum roll)  . . . . TOM COLLINS (Angel’s lover).  I didn’t think I’d ever come back to this show and never thought of Collins but when the offer came, I thought. . . hmmmm, yeah, I totally have a Collins in me right now.  And what’s even better is the director is Jeremy Kushnier.  Many of you may recognize him as the lead on the original Broadway production of FOOTLOOSE. Or from the tour of AIDA.  He’s all famous and a Broadway star now.  But I’ve known Jeremy since he was a kid, well, we were both kids (I was a little older) and we did the original Canadian production of RENT together and we went on to play Roger in RENT on Broadway.    So it will be so cool to revisit this with him since we have such history with the show and with each other.

The second show????

Yep, that’s right.  JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT.  Now, once again, though I look pretty freakin’ good (or so I’m told and I hope people aren’t lying to me) I’m a little long-in-the-tooth to play Joseph.  I’ll be playing Simeon – the second oldest brother who sings the French number “Those Canaan Days”.  Now are you ready for this, speaking of coming full circle?  You know how I just told you I did Rent just over 10 years ago?  Well, I did Simeon in JOSEPH just under 10 years ago, right after OUTRAGEOUS, at Theater Aquarius in Hamilton.  So again, the universe is helping me neatly close some doors and move forward by revisiting these shows.

Any of you who are in Winnipeg or will be around, here is the website in case you are thinking of getting tickets.

Rainbow_Main.html

What’s really great is there are so many other things that will be great about being in Winnipeg for the summer.  My best friend, Krista, lives there with her wonderful husband and their beautiful son, Miles.  The Winnipeg Fringe Festival will be on in July and I haven’t been home for that in ages and it’s one of the best in Canada.  My family is there and it’ll be nice to have some quality time with my mom and dad in weather that doesn’t turn my genitals into icicles.  In fact, even though I won’t be there until the actual day, I can still celebrate the fact that this Sept. 9 is my parent’s 50th Anniversary. Holy Doodle, y’all.  I don’t know anything I’d want to do for 50 years.    So I applaud them.  It’s great that I can be there to do something with/for them surrounding that.  So it’s all good.  And I’ll basically go right from that into rehearsals for PRISCILLA.  I love back to back work.  Woohoo.  I’ll really be treasuring the two weeks off I get after SPELLING BEE ends at the end of this week.

And that’s the news.  I know it’s taken so long, no one gives a scoot at this point but for those of you still interested, there it is.

Published in: on May 12, 2010 at 7:30 am  Comments (4)  

FROM KING TO QUEEN

Okay y’all.  So, though it’s not quite all signed up yet, I can talk about it now.  The reason I haven’t been able to speak is that up until about a week ago, we (my agent and I) hadn’t officially told Theatre Calgary that I wouldn’t be doing the second half of the MTC/Theatre Calgary co-pro of The Drowsy Chaperone.   And I’m here in Calgary right now doing The 25th Annual Putnum County Spelling Bee at Theatre Calgary so there have been moments of awkward.  But now it’s on the table and everyone at Theatre Calgary has been amazing.  Of course they understand.  It’s not like I’m leaving the show to work at Starbucks (thank you, Kyle G.).  I’m going to Broadway.  . . . . . wow, I haven’t really seen it written yet.  I’M GOING TO BROADWAY, Y’ALL.  HAHAHHAHAA  So bizarre. Oh and speaking of my not doing The Drowsy Chaperone.  As soon as it leaked out that I may not be doing Aldolpho, everyone and their dog was walking over my steaming carcass to get their hands on my part.  Suddenly, people from Drowsy were getting calls from people “casually” wondering who one might contact about the show.  Vultures.  That shit’s cold.  But it still made me laugh.   Whoever gets it fully gets my blessing.  I’m going to Broadway and they have to deal with being compared to my version.  Ha ha!  I mean, . . . they’ll have a wonderful time with it.

So, we go into rehearsals in New York on Aug. 23 until Sept. 25, then come back on Sept. 26 to move toward our Oct. 12 previews.  I believe all of that is common knowledge at this point.  I don’t think they want the rest of the information on the Toronto run public yet.  But we go into rehearsal in New  York again on Jan. 31.  And we open Mar. 6 on Broadway.  I’ve seen that in print so I’m not giving anything away.  Then it’s an open-ended run.

I can’t even pretend I’m not excited about that.  It’s going to be so much fun.  So much to see and do.  I already told you guys what I’m doing in the show.  I was not thrilled about doing ensemble, I won’t lie but the creative team, who were sooooo amazing through the whole experience, were very cool and were very convincing about wanting me to cover Bernadette.  The rumour  is that Tony Sheldon, who did it in Australia and London is coming over to play Bernie.  How cool is that.  I’ve heard he’s a lovely guy.  So I’ll suck it up to get my ass to Broadway and expand my possibilities exponentially.

I’m really looking forward to a few specific things.  One: I can’t wait to have all of those shows at my viewing disposal.  To just be able to walk over to a theatre and see whatever the hell I want.   It’s heaven.  I realize I’m a big anomaly but I love theatre.  I mean I really REALLY LOVE theatre.  I would rather go see a show than anything else.  And I can see everything and anything I want.  That’s going to be thrilling for me.  Two:  Cabaret.  I can finally really check out the New York cabaret scene.  See these people who really do this – do this. I can start to figure out where I fit into all of that.  It’s time.  Three:  EVERYTHING ELSE –  Come on, people – the food, the people, the jazz clubs, the museums, the parks.  It never ends.  So much I want to see.

And I have every intention of keep you all posted.

Oh and I do still have other news, though not as big.  But it’s still up in the air.  I hope to know this week.  It really should have been worked out weeks, perhaps months ago. hahaha  ah well, bette late than never.  So I’ll have an update on that soon.

In the meantime, I’m living it and loving it, y’all!!!!

Published in: on May 4, 2010 at 6:10 am  Comments (4)