2011-2012 Season Launch

Time for Change in Toronto's musical theatre - Toronto Star, Sunday, May 1, 2011


“Parade is a welcome reminder that there are still artists and producers who regard the musical as an art form rather than just a way to cash in on nostalgia for old rock songs or movies… The show is studded with fine performances.”
– Christopher Hoile, EYE Weekly

“This production of Parade is absolutely compelling… Parade is thinking people’s theatre.”
– Paula Citron, Classical 96.3FM

“This is a powerful and disturbing musical.”
– Michael Engelbert, AM 740

“Bravo to all involved. Great and memorable evenings of theatre are rare, and they usually cost up to $100 a seat, even more. And here, in an old, run-down factory, was a highlight of the year for me.”
– Allan Gould, Post City Magazines

“It’s bold, it’s beautiful, it may just be the season’s most emotionally charged offering guaranteed to chase away the winter blahs.”
– Steven Berketo, Toronto Stage.com

The Light In The Piazza

“The Light In The Piazza had me in its corner from the first notes…I haven't witnessed a standing ovation so heartfelt and deserved since the Shaw Festival's The President."
– Robert Cushman, National Post

“There’s a bright light shining down on Berkeley Street….[A] glorious achievement in class and style.
– Mark Selby, Toronto Star

“We owe a great debt of thanks to Acting Up Stage for bringing Toronto the Canadian premiere of The Light in the Piazza!”
– Christopher Hoile, EYE Weekly

“Light in the Piazza benefits from generous production values…The shimmering score sounds absolutely wonderful under the musical direction of Jonathan Monro.
– Kelly Nestruck, Globe and Mail

“You won't find a more perfect Valentine's Day show than The Light In The Piazza, a love story packed with real emotions and seductive melodies.
– Jon Kaplan, NOW

"Toronto is doubly blessed these days not only with the big commercial Broadway musicals but with intimate musical theatre. This latter area has been taken care of over the past 5 years by Acting Up Stage Company and artistic producer Mitchell Marcus. He has delivered first rate productions that truly have given Toronto a new dimension to our theatrical musical scene… I urge you to not miss this production!”
- Michael Engelbert, AM 740

A New Brain

“Acting Up Stage, who specialize in bringing offbeat musicals to Toronto, have done this one very well with the director, Daryl Cloran, delivering a faultless production that moves smoothly, sensitively and inventively from one mood to the next.”
– Robert Cushman, National Post

“The show has moments so wonderful you will want to cry or cheer.”
- Richard Ouzounian, The Toronto Star

“A New Brain is an absolutely charming and inventive musical from beginning to end, staged with great wit and imagination by Daryl Cloran.
Christopher Hoile, EYE Weekly

A Man of No Importance

“If you’re tired of musicals based on the back catalogs of pop/rock groups or ones that depend on computer-generated imagery or litres of fake blood to create an effect, then hurry to the Berkeley Street Theatre to see A Man of No Importance, a soul-restoring musical that will renew your faith that people can still tell a deeply moving story simply through beautifully crafted words and music.”
- Christopher Hoile, EYE Weekly

“Acting Up Stage produces musicals with depth, substance and does them beautifully. The artistic producer is Mitchell Marcus and he assembles the best talent with stellar results.”
- Lynn Slotkin, CBC 

“Acting Up Stage again delivers a first rate production.
- Michael Engelbert, AM 740

“A brilliant two-hour musical tour de force…A first rate show.”
- David Bateman, Xtra

“I'm not generally a musical kind of guy, but I'm not ashamed to admit the musical performances gave me goosebumps on a few occasions.”
- Graeme Stewart, BlogTO

Elegies: A Song Cycle

“Let's get right to the point: Elegies: A Song Cycle is the most satisfying, fulfilling, beautifully performed piece of musical theatre I've seen in this city for a long time…If you believe that musical theatre is an art form capable of rousing you to both tears and laughter in the same evening, then this is the show for you.”
- Richard Ouzounian, Toronto Star

“In a city that recently has witnessed the demise of a big musical (The Lord of the Rings), the slaughter of a classic one (The Threepenny Opera), and the premature birth and inevitable death of a homegrown effort (The Story of My Life), this relatively unknown work and its low-key interpreters should be embraced and feted. For unlike The Lord of the Rings, Elegies is intimate, personal, yet effortlessly universal. In stark contrast to The Threepenny Opera, it is cast with musical-theatre people who (shock! horror!) can sing. Compared to The Story of My Life, another musical that revolved around death and eulogizing, this one is sung without amplification, and actually tells a good story… If the show proves anything, it's that musical theatre, while always a challenge, is not rocket science. All it takes is a few good songs, a handful of actors who can sing, and a director who trusts both material and cast. Why has that eluded the biggest companies in town?”
- Kamal Al-Solaylee, The Globe and Mail

“I am not familiar with the Acting Up Stage Theatre Company – now in its third year – but now that I’ve seen what they can accomplish, I’m just sick that I’ve missed any earlier productions…The voice – and the acting – of Thom Allison, Barbara Barsky, Steven Gallagher, Eliza-Jane Scott, and Michael Strathmore are among the finest I’ve encountered in four decades of reviewing…This song cycle provided some of the most powerful moments I’ve experienced in musical theater. Bravo.”
- Allan Gould, City Post Magazines