19th Season

Take Two for Sara Crewe: The Talented Leading Ladies of Wavestage's A Little Princess

Every little girl dreams of being a princess. For Aurora's Rachel Sanderson and Stouffville's Gabrielle da Silva, this dream has become a reality! Both ladies will take the stage this May at Newmarket Theatre as Sara Crewe in A Little Princess. This production is the Mother's Day weekend event you don't want to miss. a-little-princess_0001Both girls bring their unique personalities and incredible talent to their portrayal of the girl that just wants to "live out loud". At ages 15 and 14, the young ladies are in fact veterans to the stage. Rachel Sanderson began her theatrical journey at Wavestage in grade six in the ensemble of Little Women. In addition to playing Sara Crewe, Rachel will also be seen next season as Pilar in Legally Blonde and as Peter in Peter Pan. Gabrielle da Silva's first leading role at Wavestage was six years ago, when she starred as Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden. Most recently, she performed as Hodel in Wavestage's Fiddler on the Roof  and will also be seen next season as Peter in Peter Pan.  

We had the chance to ask these girls a few questions as they prepare for opening night. Here's what they had to say:

a-little-princess_0003What part of being in the show are you most looking forward to? Rachel: The thing I'm most looking forward to in this show is working and interacting on stage with all different ages of people. Our cast ranges from children age 4 to adults at age 65. This is a huge cast which makes it so interesting and fun to perform. Gabrielle: So many things! This show is one of my favourites to date. One thing that I am definitely looking forward to is the dancing; there are a few full-cast dance numbers in the show that are coming along really well! Being a part of such a large cast and having everyone dancing together is incredible! I'm also really looking forward to the music. Andrew Lippa has written some beautiful songs for this show that I love to sing!

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What sparked your interest in musical theatre? Gabrielle: I became involved in theatre when I was 9 years old. My mom got me into it; I was always singing around the house and she thought it might be good for me. That year, I performed in my first show: Into the Woods. I started taking voice lessons with Sarah Langford, and began preparing for my first leading role as Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden. This show definitely got me interested in musical theatre; I loved the stage, I loved singing, and I had found something that I was good at!

Do you see any similarities between yourself and Sara? Rachel: I think Sara goes through a lot of very realistic experiences which makes her very relatable. She's outcasted because she likes telling stories and she's different. I can relate to Sara because I am very different than a lot of people and sometimes outcasted for that. Everyone is intimidated by her because she's rich, but once they get to know her they realize the real wealth is inside her heart and spirit.

a-little-princess_0024What's been the biggest challenge during the rehearsal process? Gabrielle: A big challenge for me is letting go of myself to become Sara Crew. She's a rich girl, which would mean she always have outstanding posture and a proper British accent. Sometimes I slip out of the accent while singing or speaking, just because it isn't natural. It's also difficult to consistently sit or stand with perfect posture all the time, so I constantly have to fix my posture.

If you could meet any Broadway star, who would you pick? Rachel: Lindsay Mendez because I am a HUGE fan of the shows shes done on Broadway and off Broadway. She also seems like such a down to earth and real person. Gabrielle: Sierra Boggess. She actually did the cast recording for A Little Princess as Sara. She has an amazing voice, and I think she's great because she can sing a variety of different roles. Her voice in Phantom of the Opera is gorgeous! Not only that, but she's also a really positive, happy person!

How do you think the message of A Little Princess will translate for children seeing the show? Rachel: "Let your heart be your compass" is one thing that I think everyone in the world needs to know. All those children in the audience need to know that it doesn't matter if people don't believe in you, you must believe in yourself and follow your heart. Gabrielle: I'm hoping that the children seeing the show really get Sara's main message throughout the story; that anyone can be a princess. It doesn't matter if you aren't super rich, or pretty, all that matters is that you behave like one. That you are always kind to others, and help them when they need it. That you can believe in magic, and that friendship is one of the most important things. I hope the children watching the show will connect with Sara and realize that they too can be princesses, if they use their imagination.

See Rachel perform on Saturday May 10 at 7pm and May 11 at 1pm. Gabrielle's performances are Thursday May 8th (7pm), Friday May 9th (7pm), and Saturday May 10 (2pm). Tickets are available for A Little Princess at www.newtix.ca or by calling the box office at 905.953.5122.

First look: In rehearsal for A Little Princess

A Little Princess is the Wavestage production you won't want to miss. This new musical features music by Andrew Lippa and the enchanting tale of one little girl with a big imagination. This production features two distinct casts, both with incredible talents and a vibrancy that tells the inspiring story of Sara Crewe. We are thrilled to be performing A Little Princess from May 8-11, 2014 at Newmarket Theatre. Tickets are available for this production at www.newtix.ca or 905-953-5122.

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Meet Our Tevye's

fiddler-rehearsal_0102 Our February 2014 production of Fiddler on the Roof is just around the corner. While you're waiting patiently for opening night, let us take a moment to introduce you to the two leading lads playing the role of Tevye: Joe Likuski and Doug Tranquada. These two actors bring their unique perspectives and expertise to this role, and we can't wait for you to see them on stage this February.

Joe Likuski

Hometown: Edmonton One song that always puts you in a good mood: Froggy went a courtin'; Beautiful City Favourite winter activity: Sitting by a fireplace Biggest 'tradition': Coming down the stairs for Christmas Favourite Broadway composer: Stephen Schwartz. He makes magic for us to share. Favourite musical: Children of Eden or Secret Garden

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What's your favourite memory from your performing arts experiences? Joe: "Many. You know when the audience is connected... and when that happens all their energy fuels the cast and everybody becomes part of a one-time-only experience. I have also been lucky to work with Wavestage for many years and it has been wonderful to watch young people grow into hugely talented performers who now command their own space on stage, both with us and abroad."

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Has your preparation for this role taught you anything? Joe: "Traditions are important to help guide us as we learn about life, but in reality we often have to make allowances to make room for growth. In the end, who we are is less about the practices we follow and more about how we help support others."

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Doug Tranquada

Hometown: Toronto One song that always puts you in a good mood: "It's a tossup between two Neapoliton songs by Francesco Paulo Tosti - L'alba separa dalla luce l'ombra, which tells the story of a man who reluctantly accepts his mortality knowing that his dreams will live on. The other is Ideale, which speaks very metaphorically of the return of perfect love and with it, the rise of a new dawn. Both beautiful and both so pleasurable to sing" Favourite winter activity: For pure peace, serenity and calmness of self, I love to walk alone through snowy woods up north. Biggest 'tradition': "Without a doubt, it’s Christmas morning. In particular, breakfast. All the gifts aside, having our traditional morning meal means more than any other tradition to me. It’s known as Garlic Pork and it is simply chunks of pork seasoned and marinated for a week and then baked or fried. The house stinks. Your clothes stink. Your breath stinks. You stink. But it is the most delicious meal I eat all year long. And it is only ever done at Christmas. My late father tried it once at Easter but we decided it just wasn’t the same – we never did that again. Anyone who eats it is immediately converted." Favourite Broadway composer: Rodgers & Hammerstein Favourite musical: My Fair Lady

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What has been your biggest challenge thus far in developing your portrayal of Tevye? Doug: "Tevye is so well identified with Topol’s masterful portrayal, it is very difficult to not become a mimic. Having said that, however,  Tevye has many sides to him and the real challenge is allowing all of the sides to show through. He is true to his traditions, his faith and his family. He is an honest man trying to survive in a changing world."

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Has your preparation for this role taught you anything? Doug: "It has taught me to cherish the times that you have with your loved ones because only the memories last forever. Being a father to 2 pleasant boys as opposed to 5 pleasant girls, I  understand Tevye’s dreams for his children and their futures. I understand his disappointment when they choose differently than he thinks they should. I understand his acceptance of things that cannot be changed.  I think you could easily transplant Tevye into any normal family in any given time period."

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Grab your tickets for Fiddler on the Roof here! See it from February 6-9 at the Newmarket Theatre.

A peek inside rehearsals for Hello, Dolly!

At the mention of Hello, Dolly! many people first think of Barbra Streisand and Walter Matthau playing opposite one another in the 1969 film. However, it was the legendary Carol Channing in 1964 who originated the role of Dolly Levi on Broadway. Since that time, Hello, Dolly! has become a staple of the musical theatre genre and it's leading lady has inspired a multitude of fans with her kindness, can-do attitude, and ability to make her own luck. Hello, Dolly! is a celebration of life lived to the fullest, opening your arms to strangers, adventures and love! Come see this wonderful production from November 1-3, 2013 at Newmarket Theatre.

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Rave reviews of HAIR!

Our July 25-28 production of HAIR at Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts was a hit with our audiences! Four nights of standing ovations, crows cheering, and - of course - groovy dancing. What an incredible run! BroadwayWorld Toronto also took a liking to this production. Read their review here.

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Missed this production? Our 19th Season has three more incredible productions: Hello, Dolly (November 2013), Fiddler on the Roof (February 2014), and A Little Princess (May 2014)!

In the meantime, here are some rave reviews from our audience members of HAIR!

[testimonial authorposition="Elaine Ross" ]Great production of HAIR. A really talented bunch of young people.[/testimonial]

[testimonial authorposition="Erin Cartwright" ]What a fantastic show! Blown away! Wow! Loved every minute of it! Bravo!![/testimonial]

[testimonial authorposition="Brittany Rodrigues, BroadwayWorld.com" ]The young, fresh faced cast put an incredible spin on the iconic characters of HAIR, and director Sarah Kyle clearly understood the essence of the much beloved show. Every move was in unison, lighting was appropriately "far out," and everything was done on cue. There was no dull moment in the Wavestage production of HAIR.[/testimonial]

Did you come to see HAIR? Let us know what you thought of our production in the comments below.

19th Season Mixtape

mixtape Enjoy a taste of some of the incredible musical productions coming your way this season at Wavestage. We can't wait to bring these productions to a theatre near you. In the meantime, enjoy this mixtape on 8tracks Radio!

Tickets for these productions available at www.wavestagetheatre.com