UnCovered: Sting & The Police

2013/2014 Season

About the Show

November 18, 2013 | TELUS Centre, Koerner Hall

“Message in a Bottle,” “Roxanne,” “Desert Rose,” “Don’t Stand So Close to Me,” and “Fields of Gold”. These are songs of love and loss; of explorers and castaways; of warriors and criminals; the songs of Sting and The Police. At this season’s UnCovered, experience music director Reza Jacobs’ wildly imaginative arrangements and some of Canada’s greatest musical actors’ interpretations of these classic pop songs.


  • music direction, vocal arrangements & orchestrations by
    Reza Jacobs
  • featuring
    Thom Allison, Sara Farb, Kelly Holiff, Trish Lindstrom, Jeff Madden,
    Jeigh Madjus, Jackie Richardson & Mike Ross

Thom Allison, Performer

Thom Allison recently earned raves as Nicely-Nicely in Guys and Dolls and as Coalhouse Walker in Ragtime at the Shaw Festival’s past two seasons. Before that, he made his Broadway debut in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert - The Musical. He was in the original Canadian companies of Miss Saigon, The Who’s Tommy and Rent. He has been nominated for 2 Dora Awards, 2 Betty Awards, a Jessie Award , an Ovation Award and a Sterling Award. At The Stratford Festival, Thom has appeared in Romeo and Juliet, My Fair Lady, Threepenny Opera, The King and I, Henry VIII, and Into the Woods. Other credits include Cabaret, Take Me Out, Outrageous, Dreamgirls, and The Drowsy Chaperone. His CD, A Whole Lotta Sunlight is available on iTunes. Visit his website Next, catch Thom in his solo concert, Shut Up, It’s Christmas at Metropolitan Community Church on Nov. 30.

Sara Farb, Performer

Sara recently made her Stratford Festival debut as Jessica in Merchant of Venice (she also appeared in Romeo and Juliet (Juliet understudy) and The Three Musketeers). Favourite credits: Natalie in Next to Normal (Theatre Calgary - Calgary Critics Award, best featured actress; Citadel Theatre, Edmonton - Sterling Award nominee, best featured actress in a musical; Tarragon Theatre, Toronto); Adele in The Passion of Adele Hugo (Eastern Front Theatre - Robert Merritt Award nominee, best lead actress); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Canadian Stage); The Wizard of Oz (YPT); The Sisters Rosensweig (Harold Green Jewish Theatre); Songs for a New World (Rose Theatre); Edges: A Song Cycle (Acting Up Stage); Jane Eyre, Oliver! (Mirvish). Sara wrote the book for the 2013 Toronto Fringe musical hit Bremen Rock City. Sara has been lucky enough to be a part of Acting Up Stage’s cover concerts since their inception. Thank you Mitchell, Reza, Jason, and the Acting Up Stage family for continually inviting her to be a part of these special nights.

Kelly Holiff, Performer

Kelly is a graduate of The Randolph Academy of Performing Arts. She has starred in musicals including Rent, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Nunsense, The Sound of Music and Hairspray. As a vocalist she was proud to portray the iconic Rosemary Clooney, and recently took on the role of comedic Vaudeville actress Marie Dressler. Kelly found her love for coffee as the official singer for the Tim Hortons’ 2012 rally campaign. She is a well-known, and well-loved Toronto Cabaret performer, who has traveled internationally to sing in a variety of venues from the most intimate jazz lounge to the grandest of concert halls. This year Kelly is honoured to be the voice of the Heart and Stroke Foundation Campaign. She wants to thank Mitchell, Reza and the rest of the incredible team at Acting Up Stage for making such a memorable night happen year after year.

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.

Trish Lindstrom, Performer

A Toronto-native, Trish has appeared in productions across Canada, from Prince George to Charlottetown. Selected credits include: The Mousetrap (Theatre Aquarius); Bloodless (Theatre 20-Founding Artist); The Game of Love and Chance (Canadian Stage); In the Next Room (Tarragon/MTC); Exit the King, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Soulpepper); Assassins (Dora Nomination/TIFT/Birdland); Mimi (Dora Nomination/Tarragon); Stratford Festival: The Tempest (“Miranda” opposite Christopher Plummer), The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Cabaret (“Sally Bowles”), Trojan Women, The Miracle Worker (“Helen Keller”); Mary’s Wedding (Merritt Nomination/Ship’s Company); Dancing in Poppies (Grand); Emily (Charlottetown); Shaw Festival (five seasons): The Cassillis Engagement, Hotel Pecadillo, The Crucible, Tinker’s Wedding, Gypsy, Happy End, Plough and the Stars. TV: Murdoch Mysteries. Upcoming: A Misfortune (TO Fringe/Next Stage); “Alice” in Alice Through the Looking-Glass, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, A Chamber Play (Stratford Festival). Trish is also a certified yoga teacher and a photographer (

Jeff Madden, Performer

Jeff Madden is best known for starring as ‘Frankie Valli’ in the hit musical Jersey Boys in both the Toronto and Australian productions, winning the Dora Award for ‘Outstanding Performance in a Musical’ for his work. Overall, Jeff has performed the role more than 700 times, to a combined audience of more than 1 Million people. Jeff was previously a member of the Shaw Festival ensemble for eight seasons. Jeff was featured in Wonderful Town, Mack and Mable, Design For Living, Happy End, Floyd Collins and the World-Premieres of Anne Marie MacDonald’s play Belle Moral, and Jay Turvey and Paul Sportelli’s musical Tristan. Some may recognize Jeff from his work on TV’s Murdoch Mysteries and Mayday. Jeff has also recorded two albums, Taking the Wheel and My Life in Song, a live recording of his cabaret concert show. Transitioning away from the stage at present, Jeff is enjoying teaching at Sheridan College, writing for, and learning theatre administration with Canadian Stage.

Jeigh Madjus, Performer

Jeigh Madjus was born and raised in Toronto. He danced in the womb and was singing before he could speak. After attending Etobicoke School of the Arts he continued his studies at Sheridan College for Music Theatre- Performance. He just closed the Off-Broadway hit written by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim “Here Lies Love” at the Public Theater in New York. Other theatre credits: Jacob in La Cage aux Folles (1st nat’l Bway tour), Lola in Prison Dancer: The Musical (NYMF Outstanding Individual Performance Award), Chip Tolentino in Spelling Bee (STC), Mark in Altar Boyz (Angelwalk-Dora nominated) and Man 3 in Myths and Hymns (TIFT). Film/TV: Servitude, Prison Dancer: The Web Series. Thanks to Mitchell and Reza for asking me back!

Dana Jean Phoenix, Performer

Dana Jean Phoenix is so honoured to be a co-recipient of this year’s Acting Up Stage Syd & Shirley Banks Prize! Dana is an Electro -Cabaret Performer from Toronto and a recent graduate of Sheridan College’s prestigious Music Theatre Program and of Second City’s Improvisation Program. When not in studio recording her original material, she can be seen onstage fronting the Juno Nominated NuFunk band, God Made ME Funky and reprising her role as June in the upcoming Mirvish/Vintage Production of, ‘The Musical of Musicals, The Musicals!’ at The Panasonic this December! Favourite Theatre Credits include: June in The Musical of Musicals: The Musical! (Patrons’ Pick - Toronto Fringe 2013), Polly in Funny Girl In Concert (HGJTC), Mama Morton in Chicago (Theatre Sheridan), Helen McDougal in Bloodless (Theatre 20/CMTP Workshop), Groovin’ Thru The 60s (Port Hope Festival Theatre). Elsewhere, Dana has toured with Juno Winning R&B Singer Jully Black, and Dana’s original music has been licensed to NBC, MTV, Nickelodeon, and Bravo. Dana would like to thank Acting Up Stage Company for this incredible opportunity!

Jackie Richardson, Performer

Jackie Richardson is one of Canada’s foremost singers of gospel, blues, and jazz. Selected theatre credits include Cookin’ at The Cookery, (Dora Award), Crowns, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God, and St. Carmen of the Main. She has an extensive film and television career, with credits including Majority Rules, Doodlebops, Stuart McLean’s Vinyl Café and as host of the gospel TV series Hallelujah. In 2011 Jackie received a Gemini for “Best Performance by and Actress in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series” in The Gospel According to the Blues.Jackie’s CD, A Woman’s View Through Child’s Eyes, which is mainly contemporary jazz, is available at all her of her live performances. Ms. Richardson has received the The Canadian Actor’s Equity Lifetime Achievement Award, The Canadian Black Achievement Award, The Toronto Blues Society Lifetime Achievement Award, and is the recipient of Dora, Gemini, Juno, Jessie, Betty, and NAACP Award nominations.

Mike Ross, Performer

Mike Ross is a Resident Artist at Soulpepper. For Soulpepper: Sound Designer and Composer: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Actor: True West, La Ronde, Angels in America, Alligator Pie, High Life, You Can’t Take It With You, The Crucible, Death of a Salesman, White Biting Dog, Oh What a Lovely War, Jitters, The Threepenny Opera, Three Sisters, As You Like It. Sound Designer/Music Director/Composer: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Time of Your Life, Under Milk Wood. Co-Creator: Alligator Pie, Civil Elegies, (re)Birth: E.E. Cummings in song. Other theatre credits include: Assassins (Talk is Free/Birdland); Fire, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Theatre Calgary); No Great Mischief, Molière (Tarragon).

Jordan Till, Performer

Jordan is thrilled to have been chosen for this year’s Syd and Shirley Banks prize! A past graduate of the music theatre program at Sheridan College, Jordan is excited to be working with Acting Up Stage for the first time, and truly appreciates the opportunities this experience will foster for growth both as an artist and as a person in this industry. Select theatre credits include Mr.Bumble in Oliver (Drayton Entertainment), Samuel in Pirates of Penzance and Ensemble in 42nd Street (Stratford Festival), Levi/Baker in Joseph (Stage West) and Friar Tuck in Robin Hood (Theatre Aquarius/Gadz) . TV and film credits include Close Encounter (New Road Media) and The Package (Independent/Mark Collins). Jordan would like to thank Acting Up Stage for this wonderful and invaluable opportunity! Thank you to Bruce Dean and the team at The Talent House, my teachers, mentors, peers and friends for your continued guidance and support, and thank you to my wonderful family!

Jamie Drake, Percussion

Jamie Drake is thrilled to be back with Acting Upstage and Reza Jacobs for the seventh UnCovered concert. Jamie maintains a busy performance schedule on both drumset and percussion across the GTA and beyond. Recent performances include collaborations with Sharron Matthews, the Bob Dylan Songbook (with Mike Ross) at the Global Cabaret Festival, the Big Sound, Soundstreams, Legally Blonde at Randolph Academy, and Sweeney Todd at Sheridan College. As a member of TorQ Percussion Quartet, he has performed in every province in Canada, and in the US and Europe. He is also the Artist-in-Residence for the award-winning Hamilton Children’s Choir, with whom he will travel to Asia next summer. His next major Toronto performance will be playing drums and percussion for the Canadian premiere of London Road with Canadian Stage in early 2014. Jamie is currently a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate at the University of Toronto.

Justin Gray, Musician

Justin Gray is an acoustic & electric bass player, composer, teacher and bandleader in the international music scene. His main influences include Jazz, North Indian Classical and Contemporary Music. Justin also performs Indian Classical and Indo-Jazz music on the Bass Veena, an instrument he invented and co-created in 2011. Justin has played with and worked with a number of internationally renowned artists including; Dave Liebman, Dave Douglas, Kurt Elling, Mike Stern, Cutis Fuller, Ingrid Jensen, Seamus Blake, Dan Weiss, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Greg Osby, Shantanu Bhattacharrya, Subankar Banerjee, Bikram Ghosh, Tejendra Mejendar, Henry Hey, John Riley, Quinsin Nachoff, Ravi Naimpally, George Koller and Chitraveena Ravikiran. Justin is also very grateful to have received awards for composition and studies in North Indian Classical Music from the Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts and The Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute.

Andrea Tyniec, Violin

Violinist Andréa Tyniec, who “plays with exceptional musicality and intensity” (La Presse), has moved audiences across Europe and North America. She has recently performed as a soloist with l’Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal lead by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Calgary Symphony lead by Eric Paetkau, l’Orchestre de la Francophonie Canadienne lead by Jean-Philippe Tremblay and the Niagara Symphony lead by Bradley Thatchuk. Andréa fostered an early passion for contemporary works, which has led to premiering numerous compositions, especially from Canadian composers. With conductor Véronique Lacroix and the Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal, Andréa recorded a work composed for her, the Violin Concerto by André Ristic, on the ATMA label. Among the many awards and honours she has received, Andréa performed at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam in 2009. She is a recipient of the European Prize for Culture by the European Cultural Foundation Pro Europa, and 1st Prize winner of Italy’s Andrea Postacchini International Violin Competition 2008. She has performed in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Italy, Holland, Germany, France, Poland, Turkey, the USA, and Canada, where she’s received numerous grants from the Quebec Arts Council and the Canada Arts Council.