I met up with Sara Farb, one of the stars of Acting Up Stage’s production of Pasek and Paul’s musical Edges, on a particularly wet, dreary, day at Sushi Sky on Yonge Street. It’s been over a year since Sara and I first met and sat down to talk about Edges and I was excited to hear about all the new developments for the expanded production that will open at Revival Bar on October 20th. We briefly got caught up, ordered supper, agreed that I was inept with chopsticks, and then I pulled out the notebook and let Sara take it away!Amanda Campbell (AC): So, first question—why did you and Eric, Jordan and Gabi decide that Edges needed to be remounted?
Sara Farb (SF): Well, I mean, it was kind of the intention all along. Last year, we wanted to see how people would respond and that was the hope, that we would be able to do a full production. It was also met with the support of Acting Upstage Theatre Company, which, they are really the ideal company to produce the show. And we all knew that there was a little more that we could do with the show. Last year was so fulfilling for us, but it was also limiting. We had time limitations and we were trying to work within people’s schedules. And the fact that we could put the show on again—we seized the opportunity!
AC: What is even better and cooler about Edges this time around?
SF: The venue… there is so much… so much has been expanded. That’s not to say that the first production was bad, but there was really more to expand. And also we have an awesome venue. Revival… it’s a place where you can sit down and have a drink but not forget that you’re at a show. There are also new songs because Pasek and Paul have been making some improvements on Edges to turn it into more of a full-length show rather than a one act. We have the means to publicize way better and to a much larger audience this year. That’s mostly because we have a production company proper and not just a little co-op. We’re all being paid professional rates and we all feel like we’re working on a “real show”- and that we’re getting the chance to break some of the traditional rules. It’s great.
AC: You did the reading of Edges around this time last year-
SF: Yeah! Monday was our anniversary.
AC: Oh cool! Did you do anything special for it?
SF: No. Well, Gabi met with Benj Pasek and we had our preview (at Curtains Down Cabaret). It was just a coincidence that all the Edges stuff happened on that day.
AC: So, what makes fall an Edgy time of year?
SF: Oooh. Good question. There are lots of reasons. I think the attraction that the show has to a younger audience connects really well with the beginning of school. It is easier to get young people excited about something at this time of year because they don’t have too many responsibilities yet. It also ties into the idea of change-, which is an important theme in the show. It was also practical for us because all four of us were free again with four busy careers that had been going on and us all not being in the same city. Umm… also the freshness of the show mixed with the freshness of the new school year and the themes of change in the show are intermingling. It doesn’t seem like it would be as natural to do the show in the winter or even in the spring. But mostly it has to do with schedules.
AC: You mentioned that you guys have four busy careers… what have you been up to since we last saw you in Edges?
SF: Going back to October… in October-November I did The Wizard of Oz at LKTYP (Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People), At the beginning of this year I did some cabarets and the Paprika Festival developing my play (R-E-B-E-C-C-A). Then I did [The] Sisters Rosenweig at Harold Green [Jewish Theatre] and continued developing my play. I did it at the Luminato and workshopped it at SummerWorks [Theatre Festival]… and then I did a Cabaret with Patricia [Zentilli]. And that brought me to August and I started on Edges. Full circle!
AC: Why should everyone make sure that they catch Edges? Even the people who saw Cats once when they were eight and hated it?
SF: This is not your standard musical! It’s a song cycle, which means that it’s technically a musical, but there is no clear through line, no dialogue or characters. It’s a bunch of songs and character types on the brink of change singing about trying to find connections in a world where that can be really hard. The music is current and infectious—they are really like musical monologues and the stories are so clear. It’s like anybody can really relate to what the people are singing about on a real level not just on a “come see my show” level. That’s why the cast is so connected to what we’re singing and saying. It’s a little different than trying to relate to a bunch of cats. The venue also isn’t intimidating. You don’t feel like you have to put on your theatre face or your theatre dress. It’s almost like on par with going to a movie. There’s no pressure. You don’t have to plan your whole week around going to see Edges.
AC: Since it’s been a year, have you had any new insights into the show? Has it changed how you see the songs and the different characters?
SF: Part of what was so great was that we got more time with our director and so we were able to discover new things. It’s not a character driven show, but there are connections in the songs even if there isn’t a clear-cut story. Also, the addition of some other songs helps the development of the songs that were already there.
AC: You have been using Facebook a lot to promote the show. Why is that and how can more people find you on the Internet and jump on the Edges bandwagon?
SF: We have a song in the show “Be My Friend” that is all to do with Facebook. So Facebook obviously is a pretty great tool to use to promote a show that has a song about Facebook in it. (laughs). It’s also just logical. Facebook is the most effective tool out there where you can promote shows and reach out to that kind of audience for free. Each of the performers has a profile, so Sara Edges, Gabi Edges, Eric Edges and Jordan Edges, and you can add us as friends on Facebook to get insider information about the show. We also have a Facebook Group which is called… “Edges: A Song Cycle by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.” You can also visit our website (http://www.edgestoronto.com/), and part of what you’ll be privy to is promotional videos on youtube where we showcase songs and answer “Edgy Questions” and you can read blogs from each of the cast members there too.
AC: My last question is, beyond Edges, what show are you most excited to see coming up in Toronto?
SF: Scratch because it is so inspiring. The playwright (Charlotte Corbeil-Coleman) is the good friend of my best friend- they both went to NTS- and the fact that she’s a successful playwright and she’s only 23 and she’s opening the Factory Theatre’s season. That is such an accomplishment and as a young playwright myself, I feel like I owe it to myself to go and support such an unbelievable talent- the playwright and the star of the show, Charlotte. Also I can’t wait to see my friend Jake (Epstein) in Ross Petty’s pantomime. He’s playing Prince Charming in Cinderella. (laugh). And A New Brain. And Spring Awakening…
Sara Farb’s enthusiasm, passion for contemporary musical theatre, and the light that radiates from her heart brightened my gloomy, rainy Wednesday. I’m counting the days until Edges plays from October 20th, 2008 to November 10th on Sundays at 7pm and Mondays at 8pm at Revival Bar, 783 College Street (at Shaw). For more information visit their website http://www.edgestoronto.com/
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