Modern • MusicalTheatre

Triple Threat with Jeffery Straker

Jeffrey Straker

Get to know artists and production team members from our upcoming shows as we get them to dish on their favourite musical influences! Triple Threat is a regular feature in which we interview a performer or production team member, and ask them to recall which musicals or artists left permanent impressions on them.

Unlike the other performers in this year’s UnCovered: Billy Joel and Elton John (coming up November 12-13), Jeffery Straker is not a musical theatre artist first and foremost. Instead, he’s a successful Canadian musician known for his piano-based pop, much like the music of these two classic “piano men” showcased in the concert. As a touring and recording artist for over eight years, he’s the perfect person to reexamine these songs under a new perspective. We talked to him (see previous interviews with Chilina Kennedy and Jake Epstein) to learn more about his musical inspirations.   More

Five super easy Halloween costumes for the Broadway lover

Ari Wicked witch_rsz

Halloween is almost here! While some people try to figure out the scariest or most pop culturally relevant costume to wear, it’s a Broadway enthusiast’s chance to pay homage to some of the greatest characters in musical theatre. All Hallow’s Eve provides an incredible opportunity to create/craft/design a costume that will make friends burst into four part harmony and jazz hands instead of screams of terror.

I’ve used many a Halloween night as a chance to display my love of musicals. At six years old, I dressed up as the Wicked Witch of the West. In Grade 11, I was inspired to go trick-or-treating as the Emcee from Cabaret (the Joel Grey incarnation, not Alan Cumming). I painted my face white, rouged my cheeks and put on dress pants, a dress shit, suspenders and a bow tie. Unfortunately, it proved to be a rather frigid evening and I had to wear my winter coat… so everyone thought I was a mime. Last year, I even took a friends dare and dressed up as a sexy Grizabella from Cats. More

Has the Internet killed my love of musicals?

Mitchell's CD collection

When I was a kid, I used to collect cast recordings. I don’t know that I ever did a final tally, but I still have about 200 cast recordings on my shelf at home. I used to subscribe those CD clubs in the 90s where you would get 20 CDs for a penny and have to buy 7 more in the year. I used to make the trek from my Thornhill home to downtown Toronto just to visit Song & Script or (the deeply missed) Theatre Qs to pick up the newest recordings. Every Saturday morning I used to wake-up and stay in bed with headphones listening to a cast recording. I remember being in Grade 10 and rushing home after school to listen to the 2-CD recording of Rent in its entirety. I would revel in the linear notes that came with the CD, studying every lyric and studiously reviewing the synopsis between songs to try to imagine what was happening in the book scenes. More

Video Roundup: Food, Glorious Food


If you just celebrated Thanksgiving this past weekend, you’re probably still happily resting in your turkey coma today. And even if you didn’t consume a pile of mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, gravy, stuffing and  - we’ll just stop there –  there’s hardly a holiday or celebration that doesn’t involve some scrumptious snacks or delectable drinks. And of course, not even the boundaries of Broadway are impenetrable by the joy of a good meal.

Check out this feast of musical morsels dedicated to one of our very favourite topics – food, glorious food! More

Announcing the 2014 Banks Prize Winners

blog dual headshot

Every year, Acting Up Stage Company chooses two outstanding musical theatre performers under 30 years of age to receive the Syd & Shirley Banks Prize for Emerging Artists. With this award comes a $1,000 prize, starring appearances in a cabaret of their creation, and exclusive mentorships with professional artists and experts throughout our 2014/2015 season. They will also appear in this year’s UnCovered: Billy Joel & Elton John concert taking place this November 12-13 at Koerner Hall. (Hurry, tickets are going fast!)

Now please congratulate this year’s winners – Alessia Lupiano and Graham Scott Fleming!

Now, let’s get to know them a bit better shall we? More

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