The music of Carole King & James Taylor
About The Show
November 26, 2012 | TELUS Centre, Koerner Hall
After our sold-out, smash hit concerts Both Sides Now and The Long and Winding Road, Acting Up Stage Company blurs the lines of folk, cabaret and musical theatre with an astonishing evening paying tribute to the music of Carole King and James Taylor. Hit songs such as “I Feel The Earth Move”, “Fire And Rain”, “It’s Too Late”, “Sweet Baby James”, and “You’ve Got A Friend” will be re-imagined by some of Canada’s greatest musical theatre performers with stunning original orchestrations.
- music direction, vocal arrangements & orchestrations by Reza Jacobs
dramaturgy & staging Elenna Mosoff
- featuring Cynthia Dale, Arlene Duncan, Jake Epstein, Sara Farb, Alexis Gordon, Kelly Holiff,
Sterling Jarvis, Amanda LeBlanc, Eden Richmond, Andres Sierra, Josh Young
Cynthia Dale, Performer
Cynthia Dale is one of Canada’s most-acclaimed and sought after performers, who has been working professionally since she was five years old. She is a ‘triple sensation’ in her own right, proving her talents to rave reviews as an award-winning actor, singer, and dancer onstage and on screen. She has worked extensively in theatre from New York to Stratford, and on screen in countless film and television appearances with a number of Specials created specially for her on CBC. With three albums of well-loved show tunes under her belt, she is also a recording artist. Cynthia is happy to be here this evening to take part in such an great occasion.
Jamie Drake, Musician
Jamie Drake is a Toronto-based percussionist and drummer with an affinity for chamber music. As a member of TorQ Percussion Quartet, hailed by the Ottawa Citizen as “outstanding – no, make that astonishing”, he has performed across Canada to standing ovations and critical acclaim. He is also one half of the piano-percussion duo Tandem, the percussionist-in-residence for the Hamilton Children’s Choir and High Park Choirs, the house drummer for the Young Centre’s Saturday Night Cabaret Series, and a founding (and still occasional) member of the indie/jazz/prog/instrumental group Muskox. Jamie has also performed with NEXUS, Evelyn Glennie, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra amongst others, and his recordings with various groups can be heard frequently on CBC Radio 2. He has played more than 50 musical theatre productions, and is a frequent collaborator with musical director Reza Jacobs. He is currently a Doctor of Musical Arts (Performance) candidate at the University of Toronto. www.jamiedrake.ca
Arlene Duncan, Performer
Arlene Duncan is a multi-talented singer and actor who works in television, film, theatre and radio. Her recent film & televison credits include: Degrassi: The Next Generation, Winging It, Silent Hill Revelation 3D, Flashpoint, Rookie Blue, The Ron James Show, Mr. D. & Being Erica. Her theatre credits include: Sophisticated Ladies, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Once on this Island, The Who’s Tommy and her Dora & Toronto Theatre Critics Award-winning role of Caroline Thibodeaux in the musical Caroline, or Change. Arlene also appears as the voices of Officer Rabbit on the popular children’s cartoons, Franklin the Turtle and as Mama Zungu in Bobo & Kipi but is best known for her six seasons as Fatima Dinssa in the CBC comedy Little Mosque on the Prairie.
Jake Epstein, Performer
Jake Epstein was born in the wrong generation. From a young age, it became very clear that he should have been alive in the 60s. The chance to sing these sings is a pure hippy thrill. A graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada, selected theatre includes: Green Day’s American Idiot (Broadway 1st national tour), Billy Elliot (Mirvish), Spring Awakening (Broadway 1st national tour), Dani Girl (Talk is Free Theatre), Dog Sees God (Rubinoff Prod.), Dangerous Liaisons (Sayde Bronfman) and Oliver! (Mirvish). On TV, Jake won a Gemini Award for Best Performance in a Youth Series for Degrassi: The Next Generation. Other selected film/TV: Joey Dakota (US pilot), Murdoch Mysteries (CBC), Charlie Bartlett, Being Erica (CBC), My Babysitter’s a Vampire (Teletoon), Living In Your Car (HBO), The Zack Files (YTV) and Blood Pressure (upcoming indie film). Jake dedicates these songs to his pops- for taking him camping.
Sara Farb, Performer
Sara is so happy to be a part of Tapestries, sharing the stage with such talented friends. Favourite credits include: Next to Normal (Theatre Calgary/Citadel; Clearwater Theatre, Toronto), The Passion of Adele Hugo (Eastern Front Theatre, Merritt award nominee — outstanding lead actress), Lavender Blue (Smile Theatre), Edges: A Song Cycle (Acting Up Stage), The Sisters Rosensweig (Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company), Wizard of Oz (YPT), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Canadian Stage), Songs For a New World (Rose Theatre), Oliver! (Mirvish), Jane Eyre (Mirvish). TV and film: The Firm, Covert Affairs, The Listener, Celine. Sara has been doing (and looking forward to) Acting Up Stage’s tribute concerts every year since they began, and each one has been more memorable than the last. She feels very lucky to be a part of the Acting Up Stage family.
Braxton Hicks, Musician
Braxton Hicks (saxophonist, flautist, clarinetist) is a unique voice in Toronto’s music scene, and has been performing internationally since 1996. Combining a soulful approach to playing with technical prowess, he has lent his sound to Cuban-Caribbean jazz project Canefire, Juno Award WinnerJohnny Favourite, Clifton David Broadbridge, The Composers Collective Big Band, Brian Culbertson, reggae artist Sonya Collymore, The Victory Traditional Jazz Band, Merry Clayton, Matt Dusk, David Usher (Moist) in addition to many more on stage and in the studio.
He has performed in almost every setting and genre imaginable, from festivals (TD Toronto Downtown Jazz, The Vancouver Folk Festival, The Trinidad And Tobago Jazz Festival) to clubs (Toronto’s Rex Hotel, Hideout, Mod Club, Revival, Trane Studio; Vancouver’s Jazz Cellar) to theatres (Canon Theatre, Roy Thompson Hall, Massey Hall, New Jersey PAC, Hard Rock Live: Universal Studios Orlando). Playing jazz, musical theatre (Billy Elliot), R&B, Blues, and Rock & Roll, his range of performance and influences make him an in demand, enthusiastic soloist, section player, educator, and studio musician. “I’ve never listened to just one type of music,” he says, “if it moves me, if it gives me goose bumps, I try to absorb it, and convey that same feeling to my audience, to move them the same way.”
Kelly Holiff, Performer
Kelly is honoured to be back performing alongside such sensational talents in Keorner Hall! She is very grateful for her involvement with Acting Upstage and continues to be blown away by this company! Selected credits; Pop Goes the 60’s! (Showboat Theatre) Estelle in Full Monty (Theatre Aquarius), Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray (Capital Theatre), RENT, Rona Lisa in Spelling Bee (Fallen Rock), Rocky Horror (Niagara), Hey Marilyn (Jane Mallet), The Decameron (Berkeley), Marge in SUDS, Robert Anne in Nunsense. Kelly is a well known Cabaret performer and a regular headliner in the hottest spots in Toronto, from jazz lounges to concert venues. Most recently Kelly produced and performed in the first annual Hit That Jive Jack, a fundraising production benefiting Toronto Heart & Stroke. Thank you to Mitchell, Reza, Elenna, Jason and everyone involved for making this special night possible.
Reza Jacobs, Music Direction, Orchestrations, Vocal Arrangements
Reza Jacobs is an award winning composer, lyricist, sound designer and music director, known for his versatility in style and genre. His credits include sound design and composition for the Shaw Festival, Factory Theatre, Volcano Theatre, Cahoots Theatre, Acting Up Stage Theatre, the Luminato Festival, & Harbourfront’s World Stage Festival.
As Music Director, he has won Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Caroline, or Change (Acting Up Stage, Best Music Direction & Best Musical 2012) and Assassins (TIFT, Birdland Theatre, Award for Best Musical, 2010).
He is also the resident Canadian Music Director for Andrea Martin’s one-woman show, Everything Must Go.
Currently Reza is teaming up with Andrew Kushnir to write a new musical, commissioned by the Belfry Theatre and Acting Up Stage.
Sterling Jarvis, Performer
Sterling Jarvis is an accomplished actor and singer whose theatre credits include The Lion King, Crowns, Of Mice and Men, We Will Rock You, The Overwhelming and Ruined for which he received a Dora Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role. He was most recently seen on stage in the play Clybourne Park and the musical Caroline, or Change for which he received the Dora Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male in a Principal Role. Some of his television and film appearances include Perfect Strangers, The Eleventh Hour, The West Wing, Felicity, The Sentinel, ’Til Death Do Us Part , The Bridge, The Border, Covert Affairs, Life With Boys and most recently, Lost Girls. He has sung anthems for the Blue Jays, the Raptors and the Toronto Maple Leafs. His voice can also be heard on many commercials for TV and radio as well as singing the themes for the popular kid’s shows Zaboomafoo, Donkey Kong Country and Wild Kratts. Sterling can be seen on stage in upcoming productions of the opera Sanctuary song and the play The Whipping Man.
Amanda LeBlanc, Performer
Amanda LeBlanc is thrilled to be onstage in support of Acting Upstage Theatre for the sixth time. An actor, singer and songwriter hailing from Nova Scotia, Amanda has performed in theatres across the country. Selected credits include: Dani Girl (Talk is Free Theatre, Toronto Production); The Passion of Adele Hugo (Merritt Nomination for Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role, Eastern Front Theatre); Rockbound (Two Planks and a Passion); Pride and Prejudice (Citadel Theatre/Banff Centre for the Arts); Kiss of the Spider Woman (TIFT); Paperbag Princess (The Grand, London); A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Noises Off, Chicago, My Way (Stephenville Theatre Festival); Wrecked (Theatre New Brunswick); Annie (Neptune Theatre). In December 2010 Amanda released her first album, Yours, truly, recorded and co-produced by Don Kerr (Rheostatics, Ron Sexsmith). She has since toured solo from Victoria to Newfoundland, played The Stan Rogers Folk Festival and LaHave Folk Festival, and is currently preparing to record her second album of original tunes. Many thanks to Mitchell and Reza for the opportunity to work with the best of the best! Again! For upcoming dates and more info visit: www.amandaleblanc.ca
Elenna Mosoff, Dramaturgy and Staging
Elenna is a director and producer in Toronto. She recently completed her MFA in Directing at Ohio University. She has directed numerous productions at Hart House Theatre including last season’s Equus. She has worked in NYC with HERE Arts Centre & FIGMENT. In London, England she worked with Punchdrunk, The Royal Opera House as well as The British Library Archives at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Since returning to Toronto, Elenna has worked with Luminato, The Toronto International Film Festival and Acting Up Stage Company. She is the co-founding Artistic Director of Limehouse Theatre, as well as founding member of The Mission Business.
Elspeth Poole, Musician
Cellist Elspeth Poole moved to Toronto after graduating from the Juilliard School in New York City and has since enjoyed a life of freelance. She can be seen regularly with the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra at the Four Seasons Centre and in all the major concert halls and venues in the city including Roy Thompson Hall, The Air Canada Center and Massey Hall. She has performed with great visiting artists such as Andrea Bocelli, Paul Anka, Chantal Kreviazuk and Metric. Elspeth has been recorded for film and television as well as for national radio in the US and Canada. Elspeth is grateful for the grants she has received from the Canadian Arts Council that made her education and furthering her career possible.
Eden Richmond, Performer
Eden is thrilled to again be taking part in this wonderful evening of music and storytelling. She has performed with Acting Up Stage for the past 3 seasons in Man in the Mirror, Both Sides Now, and last year’s The Long and Winding Road. A graduate of the Randolph Academy, Eden has been working tirelessly to make her way into the Toronto theatre scene. In her spare time she likes to write weird folk pop and is currently recording an EP. Credits include PROGRAM (SummerWorks), Elvis: From Memphis to Vegas (Port Hope Festival), Dancing in the Coal Dust (David Warrack/Lyric Canada), and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Hart House Theatre).
Josh Young, Performer
Josh Young is a 2012 Tony nominee and Theatre World Award Winner for his acclaimed portrayal of Judas Iscariot in the Broadway revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar. He has appeared in two seasons at The Stratford Shakespeare Festival where he originated the role of Judas in JCS (2011 Best Actor in a Musical, Broadway World Toronto Awards), Connie Rivers in Grapes of Wrath (2011 BWW Best Supporting Actor), and Che in Evita (2010 BWW Best Actor). National/
Reza Jacobs’ musical direction, of his own orchestrations, is immaculate.”
— National Post