Stage Door News
Toronto: The Musical Stage Company announces another outdoor summer season of Porchside Songs
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
After a year of successful digital projects and inventive programming, The Musical Stage Company has planned a breathtaking summer season of outdoor activities, today announcing the first two programs. Following the sold-out inaugural year of the PORCHSIDE SONGS summer concert series in 2020, the company is reviving the program for another summer of live musical cabarets.
Physically distanced mini-concerts performed outdoors on the front porches and yards of Toronto, the 2021 line-up expands from three cabarets to four, featuring some of the most exhilarating musical theatre talent in the country. Additionally, the company is launching a new $25,000 granting initiative - MUSICAL MOMENTS- to bring more musical experiences to local communities by harnessing the imagination and creativity of artists.
The 2021 PORCHSIDE SONGS artists are Sara Farb (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child/Lyric Theatre, Fun Home/ Musical Stage Co) & Britta Johnson (Life After, Dr. Silver/Musical Stage Co.); Jewelle Blackman (Hadestown/Walter Kerr Theatre, The Lion King/Mirvish) & Evangelia Kambites (Little Shop of Horrors - Billy Elliot/Stratford Festival); Gabi (Little Shop of Horrors/ Stratford Festival) & Jake Epstein (Boy Falls from The Sky/Mirvish, The Carole King Musical/Stephen Sondheim Theatre); Saccha Dennis (Come From Away/Mirvish) & David Atkinson (Dear Evan Hansen/Mirvish) and the series will kick off on June 8th.
As we head into the second year of the pandemic and the closure of theatres, this celebrated series brings music into Toronto communities and right to your front door. Fostering joy and connection among families and neighbours while strictly adhering to Toronto Public Health guidelines, each 40-minute cabaret brings exceptional Canadian talent and incredible set-lists to neighbourhoods across the city and sometimes even beyond. In 2020, PORCHSIDE SONGS artists were able to safely perform over 80 physically distanced concerts and to bring joy to 1500 patrons throughout the city; one concert travelled all the way to the docks of Muskoka, with guests watching from their boats, kayaks and canoes.
“As we continue to navigate an incredibly challenging time in the performing arts, one decision that was easy to make was to bring PORCHSIDE SONGS back this summer,” says Musical Stage Company Artistic and Managing Director Mitchell Marcus. “Last summer, PORCHSIDE SONGS proved how music can foster connectedness and hope. After months of isolation and social distancing, PORCHSIDE SONGS brought families, friends and communities back together through the joy of live music. After a challenging year for Torontonians, we are thrilled to be supporting more artists this summer and offering more opportunities to safely and responsibly enjoy the transformative power of live music.”
To foster even more opportunities for Toronto communities to reconnect through the power of music this summer, and to encourage artists to dream of ways they can use their talents to become community-builders and creative placemakers, the company is also launching the new MUSICAL MOMENTS initiative.
Through a simple application process, the company will award $25,000 in grants to artists for the development, production and execution of dynamic projects across Toronto neighbourhoods that bring people together through music as viewers, participants and creators. Applying artists are encouraged to think beyond the traditional artist-audience relationship and imagine new ways to inspire public audiences through music-based programming. Funded ‘Musical Moments’ might include anything from the performance of a nightly song from a front porch or balcony, musical telegrams for seniors, a DIY musical kit for local children, a facilitated weekly jam session for amateur musicians or developing an ad hoc choir. This new initiative is made possible thanks to the generous support of William J.S. Boyle, C.M.
The Musical Stage Company looks forward to sharing additional plans for the summer and fall of 2021 in the coming weeks, and is committed to offering safe and responsive programming that serves artists and audiences.
PORCHSIDE SONGS concerts will be held throughout the spring and summer with performance dates beginning June 8, specific dates and tickets to be announced on May 12. PORCHSIDE SONGS will move forward once Toronto enters the 'Grey Zone' of Ontario's Framework for COVID-19, ensuring a minimum requirement of 10 people safely gathering outdoors. Should any concerts need to be canceled or rescheduled due to new or changes to the COVID-19 Toronto legislation, guests will be contacted and bookings will be honoured at a later date.
Applications for MUSICAL MOMENTS are now open and will pop up across the GTA, July 3 - July 25, 2021. For more information about MUSICAL MOMENTS and the application process, and for information about to PORCHSIDE SONGS visit musicalstagecompany.com.
Photo: Beau Dixon and Vanessa Sears. © 2020 Dahlia Katz.