WAY OFF BROADWAY: ALL NEW ORIGINAL SERIES PREMIERES MARCH 2nd ON BRAVO!
December. 13, '11
Opening Soon: WAY OFF BROADWAY!
All-New Original Series Premieres March 2nd on Bravo!
- What do a dentist, real estate developer and psychiatry resident have in common? The dream of performing Off Broadway! -
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Toronto, ON (December 8, 2011) - Bravo! announced today that its all-new original showstopper WAY OFF BROADWAY premieres Friday, Feb. 10 at 8 p.m. ET (visit bravo.ca to confirm local broadcast times), just in time for the premiere of new mid-season series SMASH. Juggling real-life careers, families and hectic schedules, WAY OFF BROADWAY turns amateur community theatre enthusiasts into musical entertainers in just eight weeks. The announcement comes just days after these everyday individuals presented their final performance in front of a sold-out crowd of over 1,100 at Toronto's Danforth Music Hall. Meet the non-star cast of WAY OFF BROADWAY below.
WAY OFF BROADWAY details the behind-the-scenes action from the intense auditions, the gruelling rehearsals, and the drive necessary to become a united, ensemble cast performing the famous musical classic, The Wizard of Oz. With the assistance of musical director, Sheila Philcox, acclaimed director, dancer and performance coach Sarina Condello puts these musical newbies through their paces over eight weeks, documented in 13, one-hour episodes, before their one-and-only public performance in front of 1,100 people. Proceeds from tickets sales to the show raised $25,000 for Sarina's charity The Big Little Caravan of Joy.
"A docu-series that is full of heart, WAY OFF BROADWAY tells a unique story about each of the cast members as they propel themselves to get past their biggest fears and unite together on and off the stage," said Catherine MacLeod, Vice-President, Specialty Channels, Bell Media. "This entertaining series will have Canadians of all ages rooting for the success of the cast and their theatre debut."
Director Condello pushes each of the 21-member cast to their limits, taking them from their daily routines to centre stage. The cast of WAY OFF BROADWAY includes
Shuyuan Chien - retiree and proud grandmother of two who loves cooking, singing, drawing and travelling abroad.
Harvey Cooperberg - dentist, husband of 30 years and father of two who never abandoned his passion for the stage.
Clare Davenport - former finance and nonprofit consultant turned holistic nutritionist.
Matthew Davis - Australian native who loves bike riding, snowboarding and his new city, Toronto.
David Gibson - high-energy individual who enjoys biking, running and camping.
Debi Haryett - Saskatchewan cattle/horse farmer who switched from a career in investment banking to naturopathy.
Kathleen Henry - yoga teacher who loves the great Ontario outdoors and sports including tennis, running, snowboarding, kite-surfing and biking.
Tazyia Lakkotrypis - hotel/food and beverage/culinary management student who hopes to one day open a Cypriot restaurant in Toronto.
Jon Lee - psychiatry resident at the University of Toronto who does research in transcranial magnetic stimulation atthe Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
Sean Listro - business management student at Ryerson University whose mind constantly wanders from his books to the stage.
Michael McCarthy - freelance photographer and facilitator of men's groups which help men tap into their own inner wisdom, divine spark and higher guidance.
Sandra McKinnon - undergraduate degree student who works in maintenance technical support at IBM.
Frank Nelson - high school teacher who enjoys setting a good example for his students.
Michael O'Morrow - communications degree student at Toronto's York University and active fundraiser for Greenpeace Canada.
Rick Poetker - software sales executive who enjoys working with forward-thinking technologies.
Jodi Richards - daycare teacher who shares her talent for painting and design with her young students.
Aku Richter - greenhouse manager and native of Dagbamete, Ghana, a happily married mother of three who loves cooking and entertaining.
LeeAnne Rorabeck - an arts lover who studied fundraising and marketing.
Rebecca Sutin - glee club program director and owner of children's performance group, RollCall Theatre Company.
Siobhan Sweeny - architectural studies and art history student at the University of Toronto who aspires to attend graduate school in architecture.
Bernie Tanz - municipal, provincial and federal elections candidate for the PC Party who is happily married with three children and works in real estate development.
About Sarina Condello
As a coach on television series such as BIG VOICE, POP STARS and BATTLE OF THE BLADES, Toronto native Sarina has helped performers use movement to increase confidence, open their voices, and convey emotion. As a highly qualified educator, Sarina trains teachers how to use the arts to improve learning. As a motivational director, she has given hundreds of amateurs, adults and children what many say is the experience of a lifetime, performing publicly for the first time in a Broadway musical.
About Sheila Philcox
Sheila has enjoyed the past 13 years as musical director for over 20 musicals for Learning By Heart Studio in Toronto. She has also served as musical director for several adult community theatre productions, particularly those involved with charity work, including the Big Little Caravan of Joy and Toronto People With AIDS. In addition to performing for various private and public functions, Sheila has also worked as musical consultant, arranger and transcriber for new musical theatre projects. She has coached and performed with many vocalists and instrumentalists in a variety of music genres. Sheila has spent many summers teaching at musical theatre camps in Toronto and Vancouver while maintaining her own studio guiding pianists and singers for practical/theory/history lessons for more than 20 years. Her own credentials include a Bachelor of Music and a Bachelor of Education from the University of British Columbia and an ARCT in Piano Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music.
WAY OFF BROADWAY is produced by Montreal-based Apartment 11 Productions in association with Bravo!. The series was developed by Alberta Nokes, Carol Hay and Sarina Condello. Executive Producer is Jonathan Finkelstein, and Series Producer is Leslie Fruman. Robin Johnston is Production Executive for Bell Media. Corrie Coe is Senior Vice-President, Independent Production, Bell Media.
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From high-profile dramas to blockbuster feature films, Bravo! delivers compelling stories through clever, entertaining programming to viewers across Canada. In addition to award-winning performance series, Bravo! is home to the Gemini-nominated original hit drama, THE BORGIAS. Bravo! is a division of Bell Media, which is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada's largest communications company. More information about Bravo! is available at www.bravo.ca.