No Hibernnation This Winter. Backstage Missive.

Top L, Jingle Cats Tribute with Matt Hines; Top R, View from my hotel in Winnipeg; Bottom L, Note from my neighbour after Ginger Nation in YYZ; Bottom R, Kingston Grand Theatre.
Top L, Jingle Cats Tribute with Matt Hines; Top R, View from my hotel in Winnipeg; Bottom L, Note from my neighbour after Ginger Nation in YYZ; Bottom R, Kingston Grand Theatre.

What a winter this has been with back to back gigs running the gamut from hosting, to guest appearances, to a really successful run of Ginger Nation at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. I’m finally able to sit down and relax (drink some bourbon).

Here are the highlights:

It was all about the singalong. The Sing-a-Long-a Sound of Music & Grease brought me to Belleville, Winnipeg, Kingston and to TIFF Bell Lightbox (where we celebrated our fourth year in a row of the Sound Of Music – I’m declaring it a tradition now). My favourite guesting spot was a set on Sharron and George’s Chirstmas Singalong, where Matthew Hines and I performed a tribute to the Jingle Cats. It was obtuse and everything you’d expect from materials sourced from the Dollarama and a hot glue gun.

January was all about painting the city orange for the Toronto premiere of Ginger Nation. My show had been tied up in development since returning from Edinburgh, which prevented me from performing in Toronto. It was a quite a limbo to endure and my biggest fear was that the show had atrophied. It was a good reminder of how difficult it is to produce in Toronto and how much work goes into getting bums in seats. Well, it worked! Buddies’ cabaret was packed with new and familiar faces. So many incredible notes, flowers and messages from everyone… what a fantastic experience!

Finally, Valentines Day I spent in Peterborough hosting a fundraiser for Randy Read’s New Stages Theatre. From the venue to the talent to the sold-out audience, it was the perfect way to spend V-day. I met the fantastic Scott Christian (who is the perfect Paul Schaffer and killed it on the keys), Linda Kash, and Steve Ross. Super awesome evening!

So much is in store for the rest of the year. (Unfortunately this will not include a return to Edinburgh, I’ll write more about that later). But so 2015, so far, so good.