2023 THEATRE COLLINGWOOD PORCHSIDE FESTIVAL
JOIN US FOR A VERY SPECIAL JULY 2023!
THE THEATRE COLLINGWOOD PORCHSIDE FESTIVAL IS BACK AND TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW!
Purchase a single ticket for $30 (plus HST), or see all 12 performances when you purchase a Porchside Passport for just $300 (plus HST). That’s 12 porches/shows for the price of 10!
Porchside Passports include: tickets to each of the 12 shows, a VIP Pass on a lanyard to wear to shows, and a Porchside Festival Reusable Water Bottle…..plus a whole lot of great entertainment!
Festival performances are all outdoors, on or around porches in Collingwood. Please dress for the weather and bring your lawn chair.
If the weather becomes severe and the show must be cancelled you will receive the opportunity to see another performance or show.
There are no public washrooms on site. Performances are approximately one hour long. Please take any garbage home with you.
SHOW DESCRIPTIONS AND BIOS
THE HEART, THE MIND, THE SONG
July 1 – 7 pm.
July 2 – 2 pm. & 7 pm.
Location: 57 St. Lawrence Street, Collingwood
Porch Generously Sponsored by Kerry Mader and Dr. Brian McCrindle
Bruce Dow, Actor & Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)
with Accompanist Mark Selby, piano
Get ready to experience musical storytelling like never before! Bruce Dow has been captivating audiences from the Stratford Festival to Broadway, renowned for his ability to turn songs into emotional journeys that leave you breathless. With the help of his creative partner, Mark Selby, they have crafted unforgettable cabarets that explore the nuances of each song, inviting us to rediscover them in new and exciting ways. And now, as a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying), Bruce and Mark are taking things to the next level by delving into the depths of our shared humanity through these powerful melodies. You won’t want to miss this transformative experience!
Bruce Dow has been nominated for 4 Dora Awards and has won twice. Bruce is best known for his five featured roles on Broadway, having performed in leading roles for 12 seasons at the Stratford Festival, and lending his voice to popular animated series like Total Drama Island and Thomas & Friends. During the pandemic, Bruce went back to university to obtain his master’s degree in intercultural psychotherapy and multi-faith psychospiritual care. Now a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) in clinical practice, Bruce is passionate about using his research to help artists better engage with their lives and careers. To learn more about Bruce and his work, please visit his website at www.brucedow.com
Mark Selby is often found at the piano as a musical director and accompanist for cabarets, shows, auditions, and workshops, and is thrilled to be back playing for the incredible Bruce Dow. As a film and TV producer, Mark has produced a number of projects including Without Precedent: The Supreme Life of Rosalie Abella (which had its world premiere at Hot Docs 2023); Oscar Peterson: Black + White, a feature “docu-concert” that premiered at TIFF 2021, now streaming on Crave (Canada) and Hulu (USA); The Talented Mr. Rosenberg (a Hot Docs 2022 premiere now streaming on CBC Gem); and annual live broadcasts of the Scotiabank Giller Prize for CBC. More info at www.markselby.ca.
SONGS OF SATCHMO
July 3 – 7 pm.
July 4 – 2 pm. & 7 pm.
Location: 243 Birch Street, Collingwood
Porch Generously Sponsored by Collingwood Hyundai
Canada’s Sweetheart of Swing
With accompanists John MacLeod and Peter Hill
Born on July 4th 1901, Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong rose from extreme poverty to world fame, helping to shape jazz and popular music in the 20th Century.
In this hour, Alex will sing and bring to life hits like On the Sunnyside Of The Street, Someday You’ll Be Sorry, Old Rockin’ Chair, Kiss of Fire & Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans?
Alex Pangman is a JUNO-nominated vocalist and is known as Canada’s Sweetheart of Swing. She is joined by JUNO-winning cornet/trumpet player John Macleod, and Peter Hill (piano).
Check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXpkx_bpQik
JUNO Vocal Jazz Nominee
“Canada’s Sweetheart of Swing”
Host of Swing Set on JAZZ.FM91
Saturdays at 7pm ET 91.1fm www.jazz.fm
SONGS OF THE NORTH COUNTRY
July 7 – 7 pm.
July 8 – 2 pm. & 7 pm.
Location: 2 Townley Street, Nottawa
Porch Generously Sponsored by CMR Insurance
Deb Fitzsimmons & Friends
With Hugh Barnett, Rocco Castrucci, and Dan Longmire
Before there were Drake, Alessia and The Biebs, there were Gordon, Joni and The Guess Who…and so many more!
Canada has been gifted with more than our fair share of singers, songwriters, producers, and icons. Some have soared to the heights of global stardom, while others have remained our cherished hidden gems. Join us as we celebrate some of the musicians we’re so proud to say come from The North Country.
A tribute to Canadian greats…Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Gordon Lightfoot, The Band, etc.
Deb Fitzsimmons is well known in Collingwood and truly has the voice of an angel. Hugh, Dan and Deb went to high school together in Collingwood, so there is a nice local connection with this group of talented artists.
SONGS OF THE EAST WIND
July 10 – 7 pm.
July 11 – 2 pm. & 7 pm.
Location: 17 Georgian Manor Drive, Collingwood
Porch Generously Sponsored by Baker Tilly
With accompanist Tom Leighton
One does not exactly know how much to believe of what she (the East Wind) says, for she is very naughty sometimes…mischievous . . .
So says George MacDonald in At the Back of the North Wind – we had no idea he’d spent time on Canada’s east coast – he knows us so well!
Mary and Tom both hail from the Maritimes and are firmly rooted in the tradition of loving a good story in whatever form it comes. Songs on the East Wind has traditional folk, musical theatre, singer songwriter, acoustic pop, and jazz flavoured tunes. We call it folk cabaret and it’s an entertaining, eclectic show!
Mary is a story teller – born and bred – spinning stories anywhere she can, believing that they are crucially important in life and should express the spirit of life’s truth, if not always its facts!
Tom is a seasoned entertainer and musician, and has worked extensively as musical director, arranger, session player and all round wonderful performer. His impressive musical abilities add sophisticated colours and novel arrangements to every story he tells.
Mary Kelly spent five seasons as a Jazzagal on Schitt’s Creek (SO fun), appeared in The Handmaid’s Tale, played Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest, Mrs. Higgins in My Fair Lady, and appeared in Mrs. America, The Handmaid’s Tale, Orphan Black, Good Sam, The Hot Zone, In The Dark, Reign and Saving Hope. She made her New York theatrical debut in Living With Henry, originated roles in When All the Slaves Are Free (original musical based on music of Joni Mitchell); Sincerely, a Friend (original musical based on the music of Leonard Cohen); and was Sophie in Sophie Tucker, the Last of the Red Hot Lovers. www.mkdivamusic.com
Tom Leighton is a multi-instrumentalist who plays piano, organ, accordion and accordion bass, whistles, bodhran, bones and Irish bouzouki. Sometime he plays three at the same time! He was musical director and performer in productions of Just a Closer Walk with Patsy Cline, Hank Williams-the Show He Never Gave, Minerva, Ship of Fire, and Picton Papers. He has three solo instrumental albums: “Better Leighton than Never”, “Leighton Tendencies” and “Leighton Life” and as an accompanist he has performed on over 70 recordings.
ROY LEBLANC – ELVIS & MORE
July 12 – 7 pm.
July 13 – 2 pm. & 7 pm.
Location: 277 Pine Street, Collingwood.
Porch Generously Sponsored by Collingwood Toyota & Nissan
Roy LeBlanc – vocals
Sandy Mackay – drums
Dean Harrison – keys
John Kenney – guitar
Roy LeBlanc was a two time champion at the Collingwood Elvis Festival and then became the host of the event for its last 16 years.
He has travelled the world entertaining fans not just as Elvis but also portrays Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison in “The Sun Records Allstars”, and even took on the role of country legend Conway Twitty for a fundraising tour of Texas. Currently he plays the role of Roy Orbison in his newest project “The Traveling Milburys” the world’s greatest and most authentic tribute to The Traveling Wilburys.
His band has been with him for 15 years now and they look forward to entertaining at the Porchside Festival.
LILT OF LAUGHTER, TRACE OF TEARS
July 14 – 7 pm.
July 15 – 2 pm. & 7 pm.
Location: 142 Cedar Street, Collingwood
Porch Generously Sponsored by J&R Cycle
Written by Charlene Herrold
Performed by Jay Wilson
Meet Fiddler O’Flaherty, The Widow O’Donnell, The Big and Little Jimmies, The O’Hares, O’Haras, O’Sullivans and even the cat, Francis O’Feline. These charming characters find themselves in outlandish situations that will amuse and delight you. Thank you Charlene for these wonderful stories.
“Sure is well known the whole of the world would be Irish if it could.” — Fiddler O’Flaherty
Jay is no stranger to Theatre Collingwood. His favourite roles at Theatre Collingwood include The Witch, Hansel & Gretel; Freida Heitz, The Last Resort (by Norm Foster & Leslie Arden); and Bert McNabb, Fair Play (by Dan Needles). A project with Guelph Museum’s Backyard Theatre program led to “JayWalking Guelph”, storytelling walking tours featuring true tales of murder, scandal and unusual history. Guests visit local limestone architecture and unique locations while Jay recites newspaper accounts, journal entries and 19th century poetry.
Jay is pleased to premiere Lilt of Laughter, Trace of Tears at Theatre Collingwood’s Porchside Festival. Thanks Erica and team!
July 17 – 7 pm.
July 18 – 2 pm. & 7 pm.
Location: 297 Beech Street, Collingwood
Porch Generously Sponsored by Collingwood Celebrancy
Written & performed by Maja Ardal
Directed by Jeff Braunstein
Songs composed by Maja Ardal
Original music and song design by Matt Dawson
Set designer, Diane Frederick
Inspired by ‘Der Besuch der Alten Dame’ by Friedrich Dürrenmatt
She Visits is set in a small town suffering the economic impact of an unspoken world event. A terrible temptation arrives in the form of a rich old woman who once lived there. Maja Ardal’s version of this story pinpoints the inequality of women in the legal system. It addresses how easily an impoverished community craves monetary wealth, and scrambles to re-invent truth to achieve it.
Maja Ardal’s adaptation of Friedrich Dűrrenmatt’s masterpiece (Der Besuch Der Alten Dame)—“The Visit of the Old Lady”—is as relevant now as it was when he wrote it in 1956. Lynn Slotkin – The Slotkin Letter
Maja, an Icelandic-Canadian, makes her home in Muskoka, Ontario. She acts, directs and writes plays. She has performed across Canada, the U.S and the U.K. with her award-winning solo shows You Fancy Yourself and The Cure for Everything (which was performed in The Porchside Festival in 2021). Her play The Hero of Hunter Street, directed by Kim Blackwell, was produced by 4th Line Theatre in 2016. In November 2021, she performed She Visits for Talk is Free Theatre. Her play HER2 was produced in 2015 by Nightwood Theatre, directed by Kim Blackwell.
Maja was Artistic Director of Young People’s Theatre in Toronto. Her award-winning One Thing Leads to Another, Theatre for Babies toured across Canada. It was followed by a tour of You and I, Theatre for Walking Babies, produced by YPT in February 2022. She performed in Talk is Free Theatre’s production of For Resting and Breeding, which toured to Australia in 2020.
Maja’s TV appearances include Clara Potts in CBC/Disney’s “The Road to Avonlea.” She gives workshops in playwriting and performance. Last summer she performed for Canadian Stage in Dream in High Park. Maja has received multiple Dora Awards and received the 2002 George Luscombe Award for Mentorship in the Theatre.
SUMMER SONGS: CHILL GROOVES & SWEET SUMMER JAMS
July 19 – 7 pm.
July 20 – 2 pm. & 7 pm.
275 Third Street, Collingwood
Porch Generously Sponsored by Vandermarck Boutique Hotel
Adrian Marchuk & Chris Tsujiuchi
Take a break from the sweltering summer, and kick back with a tour through decades of summertime pop hits. From California Girls to Watermelon Sugar, we’ve got a chilled-out way to beat the heat.
Adrian was born and raised in Thunder Bay, ON. From an early age his musical talent was evident as he spent hours singing as well as playing the piano and guitar. After starring in high school productions Adrian went on to become a Gold Medal Scholar at the University of Windsor, graduating with a BFA in Musical Theatre. He then worked across the country at various regional theatres and festivals before spending three years playing Frankie Valli in the Toronto and Las Vegas productions of the smash hit Jersey Boys. It was on this production that he met his teacher, world renowned master vocal instructor Katie Agresta, and began his journey toward becoming not only a performer but also a voice teacher. He is on faculty at Sheridan College, St. Clair College, Randolph Academy, and teaches out of his home in Toronto. Adrian continues to perform across Canada, in such roles as Fabrizio in The Light In The Piazza, Edgar in Bat Boy, Dr. Madden in the Canadian Premiere of Next To Normal, and starring in recent Toronto productions of Marry Me A Little and The Musical of Musicals. He has sung the national anthem for the Toronto Blue Jays and the Toronto Raptors, and regularly performs for benefits and fundraisers around the province.
Chris is a graduate of Sheridan College’s Musical Theatre Performance program. Performance credits include Fulgens and Lucres (PLS), Recurring John, Paradises Lost (SummerWorks Festival), and Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors (Lower Ossington Theatre and T3 productions). Musical Direction credits include A Misfortune (Next Stage Festival), HAIR (FirstAct Productions), One Song Glory ’10 ’11 & ’12 (ActingUp Stage), A Joyful Noise (co-composer/lyricist, Smile Theatre), Mickey & Judy (Toronto Fringe), and bare: the Canadian Premiere (WatersEdge Productions). Chris has also worked as an accompanist and teacher at Sheridan College, Randolph Academy and George Brown College. He has toured extensively with the Nathaniel Dett Chorale as a singer and with Sharron Matthews as her accompanist/arranger (Sharron’s Big Broadway Show, Jesus Thinks I’m Funny, GOLD, Full Dark). He can also be seen in his biannual “Chris-terical” series of cabarets at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.
THE WONDER OF IT ALL
July 22 – 7 pm.
July 23 – 2 pm. & 7 pm.
Location: 66 Georgian Manor Dr. Collingwood
Porch Generously Sponsored by King Stonecraft & Masonry
Monique Lund & Mark Weatherley
If marriage is the right to annoy one special person for the rest of your life, then Charmaine and Kingsley have the perfect marriage. That is until a surprise from their past meddles with the certainty of their future. But after 25 years, is it too late for them to discover the redemptive power of love?
Playwright Mark Weatherley cleverly explores how a strained relationship arrived at a possible point of no return. This funny, sweet play about communication, the rocky road to love and marriage features Weatherley and his real-life wife Monique Lund as married couple Charmaine and Kingsley.
Monique Lund has been a professional actor, singer and dancer for over thirty years and has worked from coast to coast in Canada and the U.S. Some career highlights include the Broadway Tour of Mamma Mia in which she played the role of Donna, the original Toronto companies of The Lord of the Rings, Joseph, The Who’s Tommy, and Crazy For You. She has also spent 11 seasons at the Stratford Festival in a variety of plays and musicals, workshops and recordings including The House of Martin Guerre, Kiss Me Kate, The Music Man, Julius Caesar, Crazy For You, Elektra, The Sound of Music, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Camelot, Evita, The Bacchae, and Cabaret. In 2017 she won the Brian Macdonald award for emerging directors at the Stratford Festival Guthrie Awards. She is delighted to be presenting her most favourite show to date- The Wonder Of It All here in beautiful Collingwood!
Mark Weatherley bio Playwright Also plays Kingsley. Mark Weatherley is a playwright, actor, director, musician, composer, lyricist, wine lover, beer brewer, decent cook, reasonable raconteur, and a fiercly passionate live theatre lover. Originally from Vancouver he now lives in Stratford, Ontario with his family. As an actor he has performed on stages throughout North America, the United Kingdom and Israel. Last year he wrote and performed in The Wonder of it All with his wife Monique for the Here For Now Festival which then went on to have a successful run at the Lighthouse Festival, and we are thrilled to bring it here to beautiful Prince Edward Island. He also wrote the book for Where the Heart Is which premiered at the Victoria Playhouse in Ontario. Other plays are Whack! (Lighthouse Festival and Here for Now Festival); his one person show Infinite Possibilities which he tours and also performs; Fitz Happens! for which he wrote the book, music and lyrics and has had several productions across Canada; Ale Wives, which premiered last summer, Framed! (Lighthouse and Here for Now); and Mozart and her Brother which premiered in Vancouver in May. He is thrilled to be here in this lovely place and wishes to thank everyone attending this show.
THE AFRICAN RESISTANCE SOUNDTRACK
July 24 – 7 pm.
July 25 – 2 pm. & 7 pm.
Location: 492 Hurontario Street, Collingwood
Quammie Williams & Friends
Back by popular demand! A different show but the same great talent!
Rudi Quammie Williams is a mentor to youth, community businesses, organizations and individuals. He is a business consultant and facilitator with a passion for non-profits, entrepreneurship and small business. In addition to his dedication to creating strong qualified leadership, Quammie is a multi-disciplinary artist who specializes in the use of arts and culture in African centred learning opportunities. In addition to his study of African and Caribbean drumming traditions, Quammie is a graduate of York University’s Fine Arts and MBA Programs and has contributed his skills and knowledge of the percussive arts to the music of Joe Sealy, Judy Mowatt, The Parachute Club, Martha and the Muffins, Dr. John and many others. He is a co-founder of Usafiri, Sankofa, and Baro Dununba, three ensembles dedicated to educating and entertaining through the presentation of African and African Diasporic Music and Dance.
SONGS MY SISTER PLAYED
July 27 – 7 pm.
July 28 – 2 pm. & 7 pm.
Location: 282 Birch Street, Collingwood
Written and performed by Virgil Scott with keyboard accompanist Robert Gasidlo.
Songs My Sister Played is a curated performance chronicling one song a year from 1949-1965 and the stories that went with them. This was the music (and tv shows) Virgil’s older sister brought home and introduced him to that he says are “basically the reason I became an entertainer.” This is a walk down memory lane. A nostalgic journey of the 1950s and early 60s, reminiscences of North American culture and the influences of the time. This show is comical, uplifting, and may include impromptu group participation, invitations to sing, twist or Hula Hoop. Yes, it’s just that much fun!
Virgil Scott’s entertainment career began in 1968 with his neighbourhood band, “The Innocence of Virgil Scott”. His natural talent soon found recognition, and Virgil was opening for major Canadian recording acts across Southern Ontario. During the same period, he spent two years in the Music Program at Humber College, as well as private vocal lessons under the mentorship of the world renowned Rosemary Burns.
The resurgence of Motown and Rhythm & Blues in the 80’s propelled Virgil’s career. He became a mainstay headliner at nightclubs and casinos across Canada and the United States, and to this day enjoys an extensive following.
Virgil has also enjoyed an impressive theatrical career, appearing in such productions as Bye Bye Birdie, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, and the Toronto production of Hair.
You may recognize his voice from various jingles throughout the years, such as Hostess Chips, Diamond Cheese, Molson, Labatt’s, The Bay, and Sears.
MARIA BRANJE & FRIENDS
July 29 – 7 pm.
July 30 – 2 pm. & 7 pm.
Location: 24 Surfside Cres. Collingwood
Genre: Jazz Music
Local jazz singer Maria Branje and her friends love to perform great jazz music! Smooth sounds to sooth the soul! Sit back and enjoy the music of such greats as Ella Fitzgerald, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern and Henry Mancini, plus songs from famous Broadway musicals such as The King and I, Showboat, and Lullaby of Broadway, and those beautiful lyrics of Johnny Mercer. Such songs influenced by Canadian jazz vocalists and artists such as Emilie-Claire Barlow and Jane Monheit. Included will also be songs by icons like Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Dylan and the Beatles……. with a jazz flavour!
Maria Branje Vocalist
Maria studied vocal music and theory through the Toronto Conservatory of Music Program and has worked with children’s choirs and music therapy for children with special needs. She began her musical theatre experiences when she moved to Barrie and became a member of the Kempenfelt Community Theatre, with lead roles in HMS Pinafore, Music Man, Smokey Joe’s Café, and as the wicked stepmother in Cinderella. She was a member of the Madcap Cabaret Players in Barrie for 10 years. Maria’s love of Jazz began when she became the vocalist for The Skyliner’s Big Band in Barrie. She is a guest vocalist with Huronia Symphony Orchestra (Jazz Meets Classical) and the Barrie Concert Band. Maria is currently performing with a variety of amazing Jazz musicans throughout South Georgian Bay.
Bruce Rumble String Bass
Bruce has been playing music in the Barrie area for many years, beginning with the
Barrie Central Collegiate Concert Band. Since then he has performed in various concert bands, musical theatre shows, symphonic orchestras, big band swing groups and jazz combos including the Fig Leaf Jazz Band. Bruce has been fortunate to play with such luminaries as: Henry Cuesta, Peter Appleyard, Richard Whiteman, Danny McErlain, Doug Riley, Art Ellefson, Raphael Mendez, Paul Brodie, Bob Livingston, Norm Amadio, Mike Lewis and many other great jazz players.
Danny McErlain Keyboard
Performing at local clubs including the Home Smith Bar and The Rex, and guesting with the Canadian Jazz Quartet at Kama Club, pianist Danny McErlain joins such stellar sidemen as Don Thompson, Reg Schwager, Neil Swainson and Terry Clark. With 20 years experience alongside the late Henry Cuesta (clarinet), Danny’s interest in traditional swing led him to the piano chair with Bob DeAngelis’s symphony orchestra tribute to Benny Goodman. Concerts throughout Canada and the U.S. include the 70th anniversary tribute to Goodman at Carnegie Hall, appearances with Ross Wooldridge and his salute to the Goodman Sextet at clubs and jazz festivals across the GTA and Southern Ontario, as well as the Jazz FM Goodman Tribute broadcast, and a live Jazz FM tribute to the late Jim Galloway with the Don Vickery Quintet. His jazz festival appearances include the Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival, the Festival Of The Sound (Parry Sound), as well as festivals throughout Southern Ontario. Summers of 2014 – 2019 saw Danny in a concert series at Toronto’s Casa Loma with the Toronto Concert Orchestra where sold-out performances included tributes to Billie Holiday, Edith Piaf and Frank Sinatra. Danny stepped up as conductor/pianist for the ailing Maestro Kerry Stratton (Casa Loma Summer Series) for “Piaf Encore” with vocalist Pandora Topp. Danny has worked with numerous vocalists including Jackie Richardson, Matt Dusk, John Alcorn, Ori Dagan, Barbara Lica and Molly Johnson.
Since 2017 Danny divides his time between Toronto and Orillia. A regular performer at the annual Orillia Jazz Festival, working with his own groups and with Brassworks, anm11 piece Big Band lead by Curtis Metcalf.
Russ Strathdee Saxaphone
Gifted with a quick ear, Russ feels quite comfortable improvising on the tenor, alto, soprano and bari sax in many genres, including Blues, Jazz, R&B, Rock and Country. Having studied music at Humber College, he has taught privately the saxophone to a select number of serious students. In the early 1960s Russ played popular music of the day on Toronto 39’s Yonge Street Strip. He headed a group called The Ramblers at Toronto 39’s Zanzibar Tavern and was seen by Ronnie Hawkins, who offered him a full time position in his band, The Hawks. But during that time Russ was studying Electronics at Ryerson and he made the decision to turn down that offer because he wanted to stay in college and not become a full-time musician! Russ played with some of the finest Toronto groups of that era such as The Regents with Dunc Judi and The Majestics featuring Shawn and Jay Jackson. He worked with the Majestics on a regular television series of CBC called Where It At. Relocating in the early 1980s from Toronto to Barrie, Ontario, Russ continued to perform with the Martels Rock and Roll Show, the Figleaf Jazz Band. Wayne Buttery band, The Groove Project, Little Caesar and The Consuls, James Anthony plus many others. Some of his ability to compose music is reflected in his 2003 recording of the album Reflections. As a recording session artist since the late 1950s, Russ has over 60 credits in the industry. One special project in 2010 was working extensively with the late, great pianist, Mark Rutherford, and producing their album, Steppin Back.