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Sunday, July 7, 2013

5 musicals for the price of 1 ... because sometimes one musical just isn't enough

At the 25th Anniversary of the Toronto Fringe Festival
The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!)

Music by Eric Rockwell • Lyrics by Joanne Bogart • Book by Eric Rockwell & Joanne Bogart
Starring Mark Cassius • Adrian Marchuk • Dana Jean Phoenix • Paula Wolfson 
Directed by Vinetta Strombergs • Musical Direction by Michael Mulrooney
Costumes by Melanie McNeill • Projections by Blair Francey Stage Management by Dylan Wales • Produced by Jim Aldridge
Factory Theatre Mainspace 125 Bathurst St.

Remaining schedule: Mon. July 8 – 10:15 pm • Tue. July 9 – 6:30 pm • 
Wed. July 10 – 5:15 pm • Fri. July 12 – 12 noon • Sun. July 14 – 7:00 pm
Length: 90 minutes, no intermission.

Tickets $10 • Available in advance through www.fringetoronto.com at by phone at 416-966-1062

Vintage Productions proudly presents the Toronto premiere of The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!), a satiric love-letter to the musical theatre of the 20th century. First performed at Dodger Stages in New York in 2005, the show has had long, successful runs in New York City and all over the United States, as well as in Australia and the UK.  Performed in Toronto by a cast of four of the city's best musical theatre performers,  The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!) is directed by Vinetta Strombergs, with musical direction by Michael Mulrooney.

 The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!) has a simple plot that is told in five totally different styles under five different titles.
·       CORN! tells the story in the the heart-warming style of Rodgers & Hammerstein.
·       A LITTLE COMPLEX explores the story in the sophisticated style of Stephen Sondheim.
·       HELLO ABBY! belts out the story in the style of Jerry Herman!
·       ASPECTS OF JUNITA romanticizes the story in the style of Andrew Lloyd Webber.
·       SPEAKEASY jazzes up the story in the style of Kander & Ebb.

As authors Eric Rockwell and Joanne Bogart have said:  “Why be a second-rate original when you can be a first-rate imitation!” The original NY cast recording is available Jay Productions CDs and online through iTunes.

MARK CASSIUS has been featured on Broadway, in Jesus Christ Superstar, Ragtime and Shenandoah.  Other credits include, Cats, The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber In Concert, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (with Donny Osmond), Miss Saigon and Showboat.  He has performed at both the Shaw Festival and the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.  He also spent eight years with the world-renowned acapella group, "The Nylons".  Since leaving the group in 2005, his work as a Music Producer, Director, Writer and Teacher continues to inspire those in pursuit of creative excellence.

ADRIAN MARCHUK is making his Fringe debut after a decade in the Toronto theatre scene.   He was most recently seen in Toronto as Dr. Madden in Next To Normal (Clearwater Theatre - Tarragon), and as Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys.   Other recent work includes playing Fabrizio in The Light in the Piazza and the world premiere of a new musical Scenes from the Bathhouse at Talk is Free Theatre.   Adrian is also the creator of The Sweetest Sounds (A Century of Song from Rodgers to Guettel), a new concert musical that has been performed around Ontario and which recently made its New York debut at the historic Birdland Jazz Club. 

DANA JEAN PHOENIX is an Urban-Electro-Cabaret Performer from Toronto and a graduate of Sheridan College's prestigious Music Theatre Program. When not in the studio recording her original material, she can be seen onstage fronting the Juno Nominated NuFunk band God Made ME Funky. Select Theatre Credits: 'Mama' Morton in Chicago, Herself in Neil Bartram & Brian Hill’s The Theory of Relativity, Donna Marie in Blood Brothers (Theatre Sheridan), Helen McDougal in Bloodless (Theatre 20/CMTP Workshop), Groovin’ Thru The 60s (Port Hope Festival Theatre), Sarah Good in Obeah Opera (b.current Productions), Sally Brown in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown (The Singer’s Theatre).

PAULA WOLFSON has been a professional actor since 1980 (Godspell, Bayview Playhouse).  She is a seasoned performer with a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Performance (Shaking the Foundations, Buddies in Bad Times), and a shared Vancouver "Jessie" for Outstanding Ensemble (When We Were Singing). She has toured much of North America with "mega-musicals" (1st Canadian National Les Miserables; 2nd American National Beauty and the BeastWhite Christmas). She is an accomplished musician (piano, guitar, autoharp, ukulele and washboard) and is an Artist Educator with the Royal Conservatory of Music.  Paula writes and performs her own cabarets at various venues. Her one-woman show “Between Engagements” has been presented a the Stratford Summer Festival; the Diesel Playhouse, Tallulah’s at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Statler’s Lounge, and P.A.L. in Toronto.

MICHAEL MULROONEY studied conducting, piano, and voice at the University of Toronto, and has pursued an eclectic musical career centering on theatre. He has served as pianist, conductor and/or musical director on nearly 200 productions, frequently contributing arrangements or original music as well. Conducting credits include The Kiss of the Spider Woman (World Premiere, Toronto), Show Boat (Toronto and New York), Starlight Express (Bochum, Germany), and Les Misérables (Toronto and Canadian Bilingual Tour). He has participated in the development of many new works in Canada’s regional theatres, as well as the pre-Broadway Toronto productions of Kiss of the Spider Woman, Show Boat, and Ragtime. He currently teaches at Sheridan College, serves regularly as a mentor for the National Academy Orchestra, and has taught musical theatre at the Randolph Academy and York University.


VINETTA STROMBERGS started her directing career with an acclaimed all-female production of CAESAR at TWP.  Her eclectic career has included brilliant one-man shows (premier of Wild Abandon with Daniel MacIvor and Smoke with Hume Baugh), large cast musicals (Rodgers & Hart: A Celebration; Lysistrata; Godspell; A Chorus Line), edgy dramas, frothy comedies, and of course Shakespeare (outdoors and inside theatres).  She has had a long association with the development of First Nations playwrights and actors and has directed several premieres at various regional theatres.  Her production of 60 Below for Native Earth garnered 7 Dora nominations including outstanding direction. 

MELANIE MCNEILL is a Toronto based set and costume designer. Select designs include: The Odyssey (costume, Driftwood Theatre); Shakespeare’s Nigga (costume, Obsidian Theatre); Les Fourberies de Scapin (costume, Theatre Français de Toronto); Bloodless (costume, Theatre 20); Expire (set & costume, ProArte Danza), Spelling 255 (set & costume, Carousel Players); Doc Wuthergloom’s Haunted Medicine Show, Madhouse Variations (set & costume, Eldritch Theatre); The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (costume, Birdland Theatre); Andromache, Hamlet (assistant costume, Necessary Angel); and eight seasons with Videocabaret.  Film/TV: Todd & The Book of Pure Evil, season 2 (Assistant Costume Designer, SPACE). Melanie has received one Dora Award (for Madhouse Variations) and was nominated for the 2013 Virginia & Myrtle Cooper Award in Costume Design.

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