Broadway north: the dream of a Canadian musical theatre by Mel Atkey

By Mel Atkey

Were you aware that the belief at the back of the Radio urban song corridor Rockettes was once first attempted out in Toronto? That Canada produced the world's longest-running annual revue? Few humans notice the Canadian impacts which are on the middle of yank and British culture.Author Mel Atkey's examine for Broadway North integrated interviews with Norman and Elaine Campbell and Don Harron, creators of Anne of eco-friendly Gables-The Musical; Mavor Moore, founding father of the Charlottetown pageant and of Spring Thaw; John grey, writer of Billy Bishop is going to warfare; Ray Jessel and Marian Grudeff, Spring Thaw writers who had luck on Broadway with Baker highway; Dolores Claman, composer of the Hockey evening In Canada subject matter, who additionally wrote the musicals Mr. Scrooge and Timber!!; and Galt MacDermot, the composer of Hair who began writing songs for the McGill collage revue My Fur girl. integrated is the outstanding good fortune of The Drowsy Chaperone. Atkey additionally attracts on his personal adventure as a author and composer of musicals, and tells the tale of why a exhibit that are meant to have starred James Doohan (Star Trek's Scotty) did not happen.Composer, lyricist and writer, Mel Atkey is at present established within the U.K. pleased with his Canadian cultural roots, he has lengthy been fascinated by the inspiration of a particular Canadian musical theatre.

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Sheet music, "I Know Where the Flies Go"(1921),"Flippity, Floppety Flappers" (1923) and "K-K-K Kiss Me Again" (1923), made popular by The Dumbells, a Canadian First World War entertainment troupe that went on to great success in New York and London. Courtesy of John Arpin. fldlNE 41 Shown is the sheet music for the Canadian National Exhibition grandstand show of 1953. A popular annual attraction for many years, the shows owed much of their success to the creative genius of Jack Arthur and Howard Cable Courtesy of John Arpin.

It would be a mistake to assume that the shows that went to New York were the best shows, or conversely, that the best shows went to New York. Rockabye Hamlet went, House of Martin Guerre didn't. Is it because of international arrogance toward Canada that our works are so readily dismissed? Or is it a sign of our vaunted inferiority complex that we cling to mediocrity just because it has our name on it? Or do we skirt the edges of success, lacking the gung-ho mentality to fix the problem and try again?

One could argue it was an "out-of-town" show that failed on transfer, but Old Nick, my advocate friend, will never see it that way. It would be a mistake to assume that the shows that went to New York were the best shows, or conversely, that the best shows went to New York. Rockabye Hamlet went, House of Martin Guerre didn't. Is it because of international arrogance toward Canada that our works are so readily dismissed? Or is it a sign of our vaunted inferiority complex that we cling to mediocrity just because it has our name on it?

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