Now, it does not go unnoticed that I am somewhat partial to a good musical now-and-again…wait, who am I kidding…I live for these theatrical delights.
We’ve attended musicals about Disney characters, movie adaptions and even childhood book-to-stage creations…but what we are missing is something gritty, raw and touching, as well as giving us a sense of reality mixed with much needed humour. And this is where The Life comes in.
It first burst onto the Broadway stage in 1997, where it was an immediate hit; winning itself three Tony Awards for Best Musical, as well as an Outer Critics Awards and Drama League Award, during its run.
But I already know the 3 major questions that you are dying to ask. What is the musical about? What makes it so enjoyable? And what have the Toronto-based cast of the show got in store for us, with their revived re-telling of this Broadway classic?
Based on the book by David Newman, Ira Gasman and Cy Coleman, Toronto theatre company, Call It A Day Productions, have decided to treat audiences to the life of Queen, a New York female prostitute, working on the city’s infamous 42nd Street.
Under the guidance of well-known Toronto director Danik McAfee, the show opens with Queen, whose dreams, aspirations and hopes for the future have been dashed, due to the destitute life she has been living. With no way to support herself and her partner, Fleetwood, she turns to the dark and dangerous world of prostitution, to make ends meet.
But as an employee of the world’s oldest profession, she quickly comes to realise that it may not be as easy to escape it, as it was to enter this seedy world in the beginning. Set in the 1980’s, the show gives us a glimpse into what the much loved city was like during this time, before the present era of glitz and glamour.
With both a strong female and male cast, headed by the fabulous Jacquie Martin (Queen), this show will undoubtedly please Toronto theatre-lovers, across the city.
With fantastic, catchy musical numbers and addictive lyrics by Ira Gasman, you will be sucked in by not only the honest storyline, but by how each empowering, passionate song connects each moving scene. Numbers like “My Body” will have you singing along with the cast, “The Oldest Profession” aims to inform the audience, and the musical addition, “We Had A Dream” will pull at the heart-strings of everyone there. With each breathtaking scene and performance, we get to know each character; their hopes, their passions, their strengths and their weaknesses.
The Life has already proved to be a MUST SEE show, based on its past popularity on Broadway and now with its much anticipated arrival on a Toronto stage, but it’s also undeniably a musical that offers deep, challenging roles that many actors yearn to portray.
The characters are so loveable and mesmerising that even actress and co-founder of Call It A Day Productions, Lauren Mayer, has jumped at the chance to not only choreograph the production but also star as one of these mysterious ladies-of-the-night, Frenchie. With her recent performance as Vanessa; a sassy, edgy and seductive love-rival in Love You To Death: A Murder Mystery Cabaret, this new challenging role will reveal to theatre-goers how talented and diverse this lady truly is.
This show takes us deep into the lives of those who seek to find their so-called “fix,” those who wish to exploit the less fortunate, and the innocent human beings who work with the aim to not just survive this ordeal, but to inevitably escape this profession…to escape their exploitation…and to escape THE LIFE.
The Life plays at the ALUMNAE THEATRE at 70 Berkley Street, Toronto from:
Thursday 8th December until Sunday 11th December 2016.
Tickets can be purchased at the theatre, but to avoid disappointment I would encourage online purchasing in advance, by clicking HERE.
Performances commence at 8pm. This show is surely NOT TO BE MISSED.