Get Ready for The Phantom of the Opera this August!

Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s phenomenal musical success, The Phantom of the Opera, is coming to Winnipeg from August 23 – September 3 as part of a brand new North American Tour. The show that will take place at the Centennial Concert Hall has critics raving that this breathtaking production is bigger and better than ever before!

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There have been over 65,000 performances held worldwide that have been seen by well over 140 million people in 35 countries and in 15 languages! Not only that, the show has won more than 70 major theater awards, including seven 1988 Tony Awards.

Winnipeg’s performance of the Phantom of the Opera will feature a brilliant new scenic design by Paul Brown, Tony Award-winning original costume design by Maria Björnson, lighting design by Tony Award winner Paule Constable, new choreography by Scott Ambler, and a new staging by director Laurence Connor. The production, overseen by Matthew Bourne and Cameron Mackintosh boasts many exciting special effects including the show’s legendary chandelier. The beloved story and thrilling score – with songs like Music of the Night, All I Ask Of You, and Masquerade is performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this PHANTOM one of the largest productions now on tour.

Meet Eva and Derek – Principal Cast of The Phantom of the Opera

KATIE TRAVIS (Christine Daaé)
Eva Tavares (Christine Daaé)

EVA TAVARES (Christine Daaé) is thrilled to be fulfilling a life-long dream! She is a graduate of the UBC Opera Program and the Banff/Citadel Theatre Professional Training Program. Previous credits include: Maria in West Side Story, Anne in A Little Night Music and most recently, the world premiere Sousatzka starring Victoria Clark. Eva is active in the dance community, most recently choreographing Die Fledermaus for Vancouver Opera. Special thanks to all who have supported her along this journey, including Una, Ernest, Ian, Nana, countless amazing friends and “aunties,” the Talent House team, Merri & Tara Rubin Casting, Vicki, David, Seth, SJF, MBP, CT and KRM. Sociail Media: @eva.l.tavares

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Derrick Davis (The Phantom)

DERRICK DAVIS (The Phantom). Broadway: The Lion King (Mufasa/Scar cover), Tour/Regional: Dreamgirls (Curtis Taylor Jr.), The Lion King (Mufasa), Show Boat, You’re It!  Opera: Amahl and the Night Visitors, Die Fledermaus.  TV: Dangerous Liaisons, Dancing With the Stars, Live With Regis and Kelly, The View.  Film: Can a Song Save Your Life.  Concert: Las Vegas Philharmonic’s Rodgers & Hammerstein Concert (Featured Soloist), A Journey Through Love (solo concert), A Christmas Journey (solo concert). Derrick has two albums available online: A Christmas Journey & Life Music. Eternally grateful to God for this dream realized!  Social media: @dreamclimber, Website: www.therealderrickdavis.com

Make sure to check out this amazing show! Performances run: Week one – Wednesday through Saturday evenings at 8pm and Sunday evening 7:30 pm with 2 pm matinees Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Week two – Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8 pm, Sunday evening 7:30 pm with 2 pm matinees on Saturday and Sunday.

SHARE this post on Facebook or Twitter and you will be entered to win 1 of 2 pairs of tickets to this Wednesday’s (August 23rd) show!

See you downtown,

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Behind the Scenes of The Birds and the Bees

Get ready to laugh out loud at The Birds and the Bees, a hilarious new comedy at the Prairie Theatre Exchange! Playwright, Mark Crawford, tells a story we can all relate to, of love, chance encounters and fresh starts. The play which is closing the Prairie Theatre Exchange’s season is set on a bee farm owned by the character Gail.

Let’s set the scene: It’s nearly time for the last-ever annual Turkey Days Festival and the excitement in town is palpable. Sarah, a turkey farmer, has just left her husband and moved back home with her mother Gail who raises bees. Enter Ben, a 23-year-old virgin and an eager, athletic young grad student majoring in entomology, intent on studying the declines in the local bee population.

I recently got a behind the scenes look of the crew preparing to deliver this amazing show. When I first arrived I was introduced to the stage set up. The play is set on the top floor of Gail’s home where her daughter Sarah arrives after leaving her husband. Below is a miniature model of how the stage looks when you arrive.

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Birds and the Bees Stage Model

Set Designer Carole Klemm designed the set and gave the viewer the ability to really picture the events as if they were happening in real life. Below is the crew making a few final touches as they get ready for opening night.

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Crew making final touches to the stage design

The Birds and the Bees play wouldn’t be complete without an actual beekeeping suit! I got to take an up close look at the actual suit used in the play.

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Beekeeping Suit used in Birds and the Bees play

The all-local cast features some pretty remarkable actors including:

  • Mariam Bernstein as Gail
  • Tristan Carlucci as Ben
  • Robb Paterson as Earl and;
  • Paula Potosky as Sarah

The actors have rehearsed for countless hours, including some long twelve hour days, and are ready to give you a show that will definitely entertain you!

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Actors Tristan Carlucci and Mariam Bernstein – Photo Credit: Haanita Sevel
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Actors Robb Paterson & Paula Potosky, with stage management and director at tables – Photo Credit: Haanita Sevel

Robert Metcalfe, Artistic Director of Prairie Theatre Exchange says, While it’s obviously about “the birds and the bees and this thing called love”, I like the play because it’s set against the background of actual birds and bees (turkeys and bee colonies), and because it’s about several generations in the pursuit of love. People trying to negotiate their love life (and their sex life) are always hilarious because they’re always desperate to get it right – and there’s so much room for things to go oh-so-wrong!

The Birds and the Bees will be at the Prairie Theatre Exchange until April 16th and I want to send you and friend to check it out! Share this blog post on Facebook or Twitter and tag both @PrairieTheatre and @DowntownPeggy. You will be entered to win a pair of tickets to this hilarious show on Thursday, April 13th!

You can also visit their website at http://www.pte.mb.ca/ to learn more about their exciting new 2017-2018 season (their 45th!) and how to become a subscriber.

See you downtown,

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