Stage Door News

Toronto: Musical theatre stars perform in support of young talent in the “Dream Big Cabaret” June 24

Sunday, June 9, 2019

You have seen them in huge current musical shows like Come From Away and Dear Evan Hansen or in the past in shows like Kinky Boots and Jersey Boys. Now you have an opportunity to see some of the city’s biggest musical theatre stars perform in the intimate setting of the Lula Lounge (Dundas Street W.), one night only, on Monday June 24. As Jeff Madden star of Jersey Boys and Come From Away puts it:

"The audience is going to see and hear some of this country's finest singing actors sharing their talent in a more intimate setting than usual. That in itself makes it worthwhile. You can add the extra joy of knowing that your money will be going towards top-notch musical theatre programming for youth. It's a huge win."

AJ Bridel (Lauren in Kinky Boots), Alessandro Costantini (Jared in Dear Evan Hansen), Saccha Dennis (Hannah in Come From Away), Jeff Madden (Kevin in Come From Away, Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys), Gabi Epstein (Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors, Stratford) and others will join Global News personality and the event host Jennifer Valentyne for "Dream Big: A Cabaret Fundraiser" in support of Mainstage Theatre Company. The musical actors are sharing their talent and their time to support the next generation of musical theatre performers. They will sing songs from roles that personally mean something special to them. As AJBridel, star of Kinky Boots among many other shows puts it, "We sing when speaking just doesn't say enough."

For the audience, this is a rare opportunity to experience the talents and passion of these professional performers in a different way. "Music is powerful. Theatre is magical. Alone, both can move you, but together they combine to somehow affect you deep into your mind, body and soul. Performing musical theatre brings me to my most serene and joyful moments and the feeling of bringing joy to others is simply wonderful,” says Madden.

Proceeds from ticket sales and a silent auction (featuring musical theatre tickets among other things) will go towards supporting Mainstage Theatre Company. The non-profit theatre company was founded in 2008 and is dedicated to developing young actors, from all backgrounds, aged 11-21. The company has a track record of finding, developing and nurturing the best young performers in the city who get to work on professional level productions with some of the city's finest artistic teams. The company recently finished a run of Disney's Newsies at Theatre PasseMuraille. It will perform a Newsies number at the Canadian Journalism Foundation Gala at the Royal York on June 13th.

This company is where Saccha Dennis, currently starring in Come From Away, made her debut as a director with Mainstage on a production of Rent. She frames her involvement in the Dream Big Cabaret this way, "Musical Theatre shaped who I am at a very young age, so to have our youth be interested and excited about theatre makes me happy that we can continue the story telling. I am so proud to see youth be creative in their work and be a new voice in the arts." AJ Bridel adds, "Theatre is a world where anyone can feel at home and I feel that is essential for the youth of today."

Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased through

Photo: Mainstage Theatre Company. © Gary  Toporoski.