Alice’s Restaurant – Hits of the 60s and 70s
October 19, 20, 21 (3 shows only) 7:30pm each night at The Historic Gayety Theatre
From Colin Stewart and Chris McHarge
Music and stories of the 60’s and 70’s
“You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant…” The classic Arlo Guthrie song, with its ‘60s references and musical flavour is just the right title-song for this show. In this musical revue we will focus on the years of the great story songs, those famous songs that told a tale and were totally lyrically driven. Full renditions of such classic and well-loved songs like American Pie and Piano Man will illustrate the concept, and woven throughout this performance will be great stories! Bringing this production to life will be an outstanding group of singers and musicians. Warning: toe tapping, clapping and singing may occur!
Chris has been directing for nearly 30 years and has served as Artistic Director at Lighthouse Festival Theatre in Port Dover, Artistic and Executive Director of Theatre on the Grand in Fergus, as well as former Artistic Associate at Theatre Aquarius in Hamilton. Working with partner Colin Stewart and their production company Stewart-McHarge Productions, Chris has created numerous theatrical tribute shows. In addition to Alice’s Restaurant, Later this month, Chris will be premiering Rockin’ All Night: Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, & The Big Bopper at Upper Canada Playhouse in Morrisburg. Other shows he has created include, Hallelujah: Remembering Leonard Cohen, Soul Sisters, Memories of Rock & Roll, Blue Suede Shoes, Johnny & June, Vegas Knights, Sweet Soul Music, Cowboys & Outlaws, Heaven’s Little Honky Tonk, Memories of the Summer of Love, Memories of the Rat Pack, DooWop to Motown, and Memories of Hank Williams & Patsy Cline. Chris maintains an active schedule as a freelance director and producer, and has worked throughout Canada, in Europe and in the United States. In his career he has directed over 100 productions including 31 world premieres, and has been nominated for a number of awards including the Eleanor and Lou Siminovitch Prize in Theatre (2001 & 2004), the Township of Centre Wellington Artist of the Year Award, the Canada Council John Hirsch Award and the Pauline McGibbon Award for directing. Chris is most proud of his role as dad to twenty-five-year-old Caitlyn, twenty-year-old Erin, and seventeen-year old Quinn.
Colin has worked as a professional musician for nearly 30 years, and has worked in professional theatre as a Musical Director, Band Leader and Musician for nearly 20 years. Having performed in clubs and theatres throughout Canada, and on Carnival Cruise Lines around the world, Colin has worked with such blues artists as John Ellison, The McAuley Boys, Dutch Mason, Chicago Pete, Ellen McIlwaine and Phil Guy. Colin’s musical theatre credits include West Side Story, Annie, The Pajama Game, Oliver, My Fair Lady, Guys and Dolls, Bye Bye Birdie, Anne of Green Gables, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. As Musical Director, Colin’s credits include Fire, A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline, 18 Wheels, Hank Williams: The Show He Never Gave, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, and the world premieres of Lovin’, Lyin’ and Leavin’ and Canadian Café. Colin has been touring extensively with his live musical tribute shows, Hallelujah, Memories of Rock & Roll, Soul Sisters, Memories of the Rat Pack, DooWop to Motown, Memories of Hank Williams & Patsy Cline, Blue Suede Shoes, Johnny & June, Vegas Knights, which he co-created with Chris McHarge, and which have played to capacity crowds throughout Canada and in Europe.
An “Ottawa Valley Girl,” Debbie was born in Chapeau, Quebec, She began singing and writing music at an early age, and has toured across Canada. She has recorded three albums, and is working on her fourth. She is the winner of the “Canadian Open Country Singing Contest,” and the “Look Out World…Here We Come” contest hosted by CBC television. Her television appearances include The Tommy Hunter Show (Toronto), Sun Country (Edmonton), and La Bastringue (Moncton) as well as Global Noon News. Over the years, Debbie has opened for Lee Greenwood, Eddie Rabbit, Garth Brooks, Doug Stone and Marty Stewart at Maple Leaf Gardens; she has also worked in theatre with Marie Bottrell, as well as with Mr. Gordie Tapp. Debbie has raised four lovely kids with her hubby, Peter Komisar. And they have the most wonderful grandson, Noah.
Matt has spent the last six seasons at the Charlottetown Festival as a performer and musician. A graduate of The Sheridan College Music Theatre program, he has performed in shows across Canada as a singer, actor and musician. Highlights include Dear Johnny Deere at Blyth Festival, as well as The Full Monty, The Wedding Singer and several instalments of The British Invasion. He released his debut album in 2007 and has shared the stage with Tom Cochrane, Sarah Harmer, among others. Film and television work include Warehouse 13, Forensic Factor, Cold Blood, and the YTV movie musical The King of the Camp.
British Invasion, California Dreaming, Rocky Horror, Footloose, Anne of Green Gables and Smokey Joe’s Cafe are some of Michelle’s previous theatre credits. The past 10 years have been full time touring the stages of the US and Canada as lead singer of Always Abba, the #1 Abba tribute show in North America and the highly successful Monster Rock Orchestra. Michelle can be heard singing harmony and backup vocals on recent albums with such bands as Skid Row, Alert The Medic, and Broken Sons. Her voice is also featured on jingles currently playing on E! Network and MTV. www.popcrushentertainment.com
Michael Ray has been playing music for over 50 years. At the age of 6, Michael performed on the Tommy Hunter Show, and recorded his third album by the age of 11. He has opened for headliners such as Johnny Cash, John Cougar, and more recently, The Roadhammers. MIchael has been doing musical theatre for over 10 years. He has played guitar in numerous C2 and Stewart-McHarge shows, including Summer of Love, Sweet Soul Music, Johnny & June, Memories of Rock & Roll, Hallelujah: Remembering Leonard Cohen, Soul Sisters and, of course, Alice’s Restaurant. When he is not doing theatre work, Michael performs in a variety of different musical acts and teaches a wide range of musical instruments and vocals at his home studio.
Chris’s 40 year career as a keyboard player includes a 3 year stint as house keyboardist at Lulu’s Roadhouse in Kitchener which saw him backing up various artists including Chuck Berry, Ben E. King, Peter Noone (of Herman’s Hermits), to name a few. For the last 10 years Chris has been involved in many musical theatre acts, including multiple European tours.