We all need musicals in our lives.
Why? Because stories conveyed through song have emotional resonance. Their message is not just told, it’s felt.
BY ADAM WAXMAN
THIS IS THE SEASON OF MUSICALS, from the old to the new. I remember watching Les Misérables as a child with my family, observing my parents riveted by the performance, each one of us in tears for the plight of Jean Valjean, Fantine and Cosette, and grateful for the power of the performance. We discussed the ethical conflict between Valjean and Javert, and what circumstances would cause a man to steal some bread. This is a story that offers relevance and reflection to engage all ages.
Love has everything to do with it. Tina Turner’s on-stage energy was electrifying. When she appeared in Toronto at the Imperial Room in the Fairmont Royal York, she literally made the room rock with the musical charge pouring off the stage. TINA – THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL, is a story of resilience, female empowerment, a journey to overcome oppressive odds to become the Queen of Rock n’ Roll. It is a feel-good story to delight and inspire!
Who among us hasn’t wished we could rub a lamp and summon our very own genie? Aladdin is a story that has stood the test of time, revived to the excitement of each new generation. It is a story of comedy, romance and magic that sets our dreams on a thrilling magic carpet ride. This new staging amazes us with beauty and colour, and engages our laughter and our hearts.
In the Pantheon of great musicals, 42nd Street is revered as an essential classic. Dazzled by exciting chorus lines, we follow the journey of a small-town girl from Middle America who tries to make it on Broadway, and all the pressures of the backstage rehearsal process that she encounters along the way. Set in the Great Depression, we’re reminded that there’s a Sunny Side to Every Situation.
- Adam Waxman
When Alanis Morissette launched Jagged Little Pill, her meteoric rise shattered barriers. Her album became a worldwide phenomenon, as it charted the emotional wreckage of broken relationships with such honesty and sagacity that almost overnight, Alanis Morissette became one of the most important voices of her generation, influencing countless singers that followed. The music and the story, to which we can all sing along, and to which we can all relate, is both nostalgic and rejuvenating.
King Henry VIII is known to history for propounding the divine right of kings to justify his six marriages in opposition to the papal supremacy that forbade divorce. Now, five hundred years later, his wives finally have their say. SIX, the new original musical, is a brilliant retelling of history from the perspective of the women who were subject to it.
How do you want to be remembered? In Dreams is a comedic exploration about legacy that is set to the jukebox hits of Roy Orbison. This North American debut is the poignant story of a country-rock singer that is as relatable as it is endearing, with laughs and music that touch us all.
These are all stories of hope and the strength of the human spirit, perseverance overcoming adversity, and reflections on life, all set to music that speaks to our hearts with empathy and inspiration. These are what make “theatre” the powerful source of entertainment and enrichment that sustains us, our culture and our aspirations, and through some of the greatest music of the last century, reminds us to dream.
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