News From Around the Barrio

June is already jumping with theatrical activity here in balmy Toronto, and across our glorious country, as we ready ourselves for a whole summer’s worth of festivals and frivolity. Here are two incredible opportunities that promise to be incredible, that you should absolutely take advantage of if you are at all able.
The first comes to all you musical theatre performers in Toronto, especially the young and eager to continue to learn and to develop their skills. Here is a terrific lab series brought to you by one of Toronto’s most accomplished performers Tracy Michailidis and accompanist James Smith. Here are the details!
tracy michailidis
songbook: the lab
The songbook lab is a six week session with a limited class size and a most excellent accompanist. Whether it’s a new piece you want to try out, an old piece that needs new life or direction, or material you’d like to prep for an upcoming audition, this is the place to work on it. Students choose new material to work on every class. By the third week, each student will be given five personalized suggestions for new songs to add to their repertoire. please note: Because of limited class space, there will be an interview for enrolment.
dates: monday nights: july 12, 19, 26, august 2, 16, 23rd. $360
songbook: the session.
We spend an initial half-hour together, where you’ll sing a few contrasting songs from your repertoire. I’ll look through your entire book, and ask you questions about the kinds of work you’ve done or been seen for, and the kinds of roles you’d like to play. Based on this information, and having gotten a sense of who you are and what you do, I’ll choose fifteen new songs to add to your book. Uptempos, ballads, pop, rock, light opera—whatever needs ‘filling.’ You will be provided with sheet music to all songs, and mp3’s of piano recordings for your rehearsals. $200
other important info:
deadline to submit for the lab: june 23rd interview dates: june 29-july 1st classes held at The Pia Bouman Dance Centre, 6 Noble Street. for more information, contact: (416) 885-8284
A bit about us:
TRACY MICHAILIDIS’ first theatre memory is of seeing Annie, at the O’Keefe Center with her mom. She bought the album and screamed her head off in her locked bedroom for months, much to the chagrin of her brothers and parents. But she persevered. She made her professional debut thanks to an audition she crashed for the Charlottetown Festival’s Anne of Green Gables. After three summers in P.E.I., she graduated Queen’s University, and traveled on the U.S. National Tour of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Other favourite credits include: Fiddler on the Roof and The Fellini Radio Plays(Stratford Festival), The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Shaw Festival), The Secret Garden (Globe Theatre), Into the Woods and Three Sisters (Atlantic Theatre Festival), Mary’s Wedding (Magnus Theatre), Anything that Moves (Belfry Theatre), Lost in Yonkers (Theatre Northwest), Aladdin (Petty Productions), The Mikado and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Weston Playhouse), The Princess and the Handmaiden (LKTYP), and The Light in the Piazza (Acting UpStage Theatre Company). While a student at Queen’s, Tracy co-founded Colour and Light Productions, where she produced and performed in Sondheim’s You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow, and Merrily We Roll Along. Colour and Light presented the Canadian Premiere of Jason Robert Brown’s Songs for a New World in Toronto in both 2000, and 2006. Tracy is spearheading a new initiative for the development and presentation of new Canadian musicals, which will premiere at Toronto’s Summerworks Festival this August.
JAMES SMITH’s first interaction with a piano took place when he was 3 years old, on his aunt’s tiny Casio keyboard that had a killer Bossa Nova beat. He immediately took a 4 year hiatus from the instrument to meditate and reflect, and at the ripe age of 7, he felt ready to dive into his musical studies. He is a graduate of the Queen’s University’s Bachelor of Music program, where he specialized in piano and composition. He now makes his living in Toronto as a musical director, accompanist, and piano/vocal coach. Recent Toronto credits include: co-musical director/guitarist/accordionist/pianist/singer for Jaques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris (Open Corps), assistant musical director/bass/synth in The Wizard of Oz (Fallen Rock), second keys and accordion in Assassins (Talk is Free Theatre/Birdland Productions), Musical Director for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Fallen Rock) and can next be seen acting in Open Corps production of The Soldier’s Tale. He can also be seen musical directing cabarets around the city, and performing sketch comedy in venues such as the Rivoli, The Comedy Bar and the Hard Rock Lounge.
When you come into the theater, you have to be willing to say, “We’re all here to undergo a communion, to find out what the hell is going on in this world.” If you’re not willing to say that, what you get is entertainment instead of art, and poor entertainment at that- DAVID MAMET
Also- for my dear Edmontonian readers, you are in for much delight and a supreme treat with Rapid Fire Theatre’s 10th Anniversary Edition of IMPROVAGANZA, the yearly comedy festival at the Varscona Theatre! It is June 16-26, 2010 and holy Hannah, check out this sweet sweet lineup!!



4TRACK (New York)

TEATRIBU (Milan, Italy)

DAD’s GARAGE (Atlanta)



MANTOWN (Toronto)

HIP.BANG! (Vancouver)





KEN LAWSON (VTSL, Vancouver)

LEE WHITE (Crumbs, Winnipeg)

ROBYN SLADE (Outside Joke, Winnipeg)

SUSIE YOUSSEF (Impro Melbourne, Melbourne)

TAYLOR WHITE (Dunk, New York)

TOBY HUGHES (Outside Joke, Winnipeg)

KORY MATHEWSON (Rapid Fire Theatre, Edmonton)

MIKE ROBERTSON (Rapid Fire Theatre, Edmonton)








Public Workshops!

Kids’ Shows!

Video Sketches!

Free Concerts!

Volunteer Opportunities!

Tickets available right now at! Go! Go! Go!! IMPROVAGANZA! RAH! RAH! RAH!

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