Stage Door News
Toronto: The Musical Stage Company announces details of its 20th anniversary season
Tuesday, April 11, 2023
Following the recent casting announcement for their production of Britta Johnson and Sara Farb’s KELLY V. KELLY, The Musical Stage Company is thrilled to share details of their 20th anniversary programming. The acclaimed company’s 23.24 season is marked by the unveiling of an exhilarating NEW WORKS FESTIVAL, the 17th annual UNCOVERED concert series, and the hotly anticipated Canadian premiere of Tony-winner NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812.
The Musical Stage Company has grown exponentially since its launch in 2003 under the name Acting Up Stage Company: from a grassroots organization producing one show a year, to the most influential non-profit musical theatre producer in the country. The Musical Stage Company’s commitment to the continued development of new work and its long-term commitment to artist development, has made an everlasting impact on the Canadian arts landscape.
The 20th anniversary season is a celebration of The Musical Stage Company’s steadfast commitment to developing Canadian musical theatre artists, their illustrious history of bringing award-winning musical theatre to Toronto audiences, and of bringing audiences inside the company’s robust development programs - introducing them to new work and the artists who comprise the future of Canadian musical theatre.
In reflecting on the future of the company, Artistic Director, Ray Hogg notes “Twenty years ago we were born out of our founder's passion for contemporary musical theatre and his optimism that there could be space for a small upstart company in the mega-musical landscape of the early 2000’s. The pandemic forced us to innovate as we sought to reanimate the city of Toronto following three years of hibernation. Looking ahead to this next season, I am most excited to explore the lush romance and electrifying score of NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812, to uncover the influence that explosive relationships had on Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles’ musical ingenuity, and to shine an international spotlight on the ground-breaking new works we have been developing. I’m delighted to kick off our next 20 years by putting the passion, optimism, and innovation that we are known for once again at the forefront of each offering.”
The season begins this November with The Musical Stage Company’s beloved annual UNCOVERED concert series as it returns to spotlight the music of two of the most influential bands of the past 50 years, Fleetwood Mac & The Eagles. From the iconic harmonies, soaring vocals, and tumultuous relationships of Fleetwood Mac to the hard-hitting rhythm and country-rock sound of The Eagles, the music of these two legendary bands has left an indelible mark on the music industry. Hit songs like “Rhiannon”, “Desperado”, “Hotel California”, and “Landslide,” have become a cultural soundtrack to life’s most significant moments.
Kevin Wong will make his debut as the creative visionary behind UNCOVERED following the 2022 retirement of long-time Musical Director Reza Jacobs. Wong, a long-time collaborator and Artistic Associate of The Musical Stage Company, will helm his first UNCOVERED concert featuring award-winning Canadian artists who have graced international stages and screens.
The centrepiece of the season will be a co-production between Crow’s Theatre and The Musical Stage Company for the long-awaited Canadian Premiere of Dave Malloy’s Tony Award-winning NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812 in December 2023. The production will be directed by Crow’s Theatre Artistic Director Chris Abraham, with choreography by The Musical Stage Company’s Artistic Director Ray Hogg, and featuring Music Direction by The Shaw Festival’s Ryan deSouza. This sweeping musical adaptation inspired by a scandalous slice of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, will star a regular of The Musical Stage Company, Hailey Gillis, as the impressionable ingenue Natasha, who is seduced by a dashing stranger while her fiancé is away at war. Winner of two Tony Awards, three Lucille Lortel Awards, the Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best New Musical, a Special Obie citation, and the Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theatre, NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812 is “the most innovative and the best new musical to open on Broadway since Hamilton.” (The New York Times).
Concluding the season in May 2024, The Musical Stage Company re-affirms their deep commitment to new musical development, presenting a NEW WORKS FESTIVAL in association with Canadian Stage. Featuring excerpts of new work from some of the company’s most promising lyricists, composers, and writers, the NEW WORKS FESTIVAL is an electrifying showcase that will give audiences an exclusive sneak peek at new stories and the magic that happens when a script is lifted from the page to the stage for the very first time.
Tickets for UNCOVERED: FLEETWOOD MAC & THE EAGLES are available starting today exclusively to groups of 8 or more via THE Group Tix Company. Groups receive first-access to this limited 4 performance run and a 20% discount. Book now by calling THE Group Tix Company at 647-438-5559 or by visiting them online.
Tickets for NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812 are also available for purchase beginning today. Visit musicalstagecompany.com to secure your tickets now.
Ticket details for the NEW WORKS FESTIVAL will be announced at a later date.
For more information visit www.musicalstagecompany.com.