HASTINGS! A New Musical has officially premiered in Tweed, Ontario at the historic Tweed dance pavilion, and the audience response has been overwhelming!  We are overjoyed and ecstatic that the community has embraced this show as much as we hoped they would, and we wanted to take a quick moment to share what the audience was saying, as well as some of the newspaper reviews.  Read on below to see how much people are LOVING this show, then watch for future productions!



Amazing…awesome…astonishing…awe-struck…astounding….and I am just on the “A’s”….this a show you can’t afford to miss…loved it. Definitely going back…we are so lucky to have such talent come to our town!  Tim Porter…small town boy delivers big theatrical dividends….you can’t afford to miss this show! I am going back….Wow…oh-la-la….what a show. The Tweed & Company Theatre have created another original Canadian musical sensation. Last night’s performance was packed to the rafters. This history of Hastings production contains many interesting tidbits that are superbly portrayed by a cast that is both hilarious and dramatic. The musical score is absolutely breath taking….with hand clapping foot stomping tunes that had everyone in the audience moving with the beat and the harmonies were chilling. Don’t miss this amazing show. Catch it in Tweed before Broadway!! Congratulations!  Tim Porter…small town boy delivers big theatrical dividends….you can’t afford to miss this show! See you there…going again. This musical is magical!


Don DeGenova, Town Council


 “Excellent performance!!! Very entertaining!!! Loved it!!! Susanna Moodie stole the show!!!”

Sandor Johnson, Potter Settlement Wines


“Just saw this production. Wonderful upbeat, hilarious and completely original musical. Think I’ll go back for seconds with my sister!”

Beth Anne Power, Tweed, ON


You need to see this production. They are such a talented cast. An original musical history of our Hastings County. So enjoyed it! Get your tickets. A must see!!!

Joanne Albert, Mayor of Tweed


“The show was Absolutely amazing! I was blown away from the minute I walked in and saw the stage! Thank you for a night I will always remember” 


Ali James-Wilson, Lucky Clover Candles


“Wow….that was an incredible show…Blew us away with all the talent. So happy we are seeing it again x 2.  Fantastic show and a amazing cast…..So happy to be apart of the debut night. A must see.”

Cheryl Clark, Waterloo, ON


“The show is amazing! Great work and congratulations to all of you!”

Judy Mewett, Stirling, ON


“Thank you Tim and all the cast for a very enjoyable, fun, hand clapping evening!  I agree this is a must see. The show was amazing. The storyline, the music, the fun…such talent! Congrats to all!  Your opening night was nothing less than amazing. John and I thoroughly enjoyed the amazing Talent you presented to everyone that attended. So proud of all your accomplishments. Such an amazing show! The pavilion is transformed into another place and time by this talented crew. A performance to remember.  A MUST SEE show! The talent this cast presents is nothing short of awesome!”


-Kathy Scott, Belleville, ON


Best show/production ever!

Shelley Bateman, Bateman House Furniture


“Saw Hastings the Musical tonight – Tim Porter & his company brought MAGIC to the Kiwanis Pavilion. See it!”

Billy Piton, Central Hastings News


“Saw the performance tonight and they were amazing as always. So lucky to have all this talent coming to Tweed.”

Lynda Van Will, Tweed, ON


“So impressed with the show. Can’t say enough about the talent. See our history in music. Hastings the Musical. Come one come all. If you are looking for something to do on one of these rainy nights drop by and see “Hastings the Musical”. So impressed with the show. You are seeing big city quality right in our backyard.  You will not be disappointed. The history of Hastings written, produced and performed by this talented group of performers. Tickets are available at the Tweed News or at the door.  Bring a friend, spread the word.”

Linda D Yorke, The CarpentHer


“Loved it!  Deborah and I have a wonderful evening.  What talent!  What a great story! What an excellent venue!  Choreography, props, costumes, all so impressive!  You should be proud!  We all are proud to have you as part of Hastings County. Keep up the great work and please congratulate every member of the cast for providing us with a memorable evening of enjoyment. We need to promote this production on our Facebook and web pages – it is a “Must See!””

-Mark Hanley, Hastings County


“Does this rain have you in a crummy mood? Stuck indoors but want to get your summer started? Come to the Tweed Pavilion to see HASTINGS The Musical! It is a show you do NOT want to miss, a show that will instantly warm your heart and put a smile back on your face. This show is magic! Travel through the ghosts of Hastings past with the amazing cast and crew (for real the cast is AMAZING and the crew is as well). There may not be sunshine outside today but there will be an abundance of happiness in the Pavilion!”

Katherine Marlin, Tweed, ON


 “I saw it last night!! Fantastic! I mean FANTASTIC. The music was great, the stories heartwarming and funny, and the creativity in this production is just incredible!! Such a talented crew and what a wonderful story/tribute to the past!!”

Catherine Fergusson


“We saw Hastings tonight.  The music was amazing!” 

-Tristan Haynes Lindsay, TheMiddleAgedWomanWhoLivedInAShoe


“Incredible!!! What a beautiful show. Such a talented group of individuals, beautiful music, and the staging and direction was brilliant. So clever. Funny. And Touching. Such a special show.  Congratulations!!! My mom is going to try and get a bunch of friends out to the show next week. Thanks for such a special night at the theatre.  You definitely don’t want to miss this show. I had the opportunity to witness the magic last night.”

Jackie Mustakas, Drayton, ON


“Saw the performance opening night. It was amazing. Tim never lets the audience down. Every production is wonderful. I think I’ve seen them all. Just sayin’ like it is. Your talent and talented team of actors never fail to impress.

Denyse Marie Aimee Mouck, Stirling, ON


“Are you looking for an evening of unique local entertainment? Tweed and Company’s most recent original production ‘Hastings: The Musical’ will fit the bill.  Since 2009, the theatre company helmed by Artistic Director and Tweed native Tim Porter has produced original Canadian musical theatre, as well as quality professional grassroots regional shows.   I have seen many of Tweed and Company’s productions over the years, and this is the best yet, not to be missed.  ‘Hastings’ offers something for everyone: vignettes of local regional history, original music, and amazing choreography and costumes.  The cast of nine talented actors includes long-time favourites (Tricia Black, Joel MacMeekin, James King, Amy Marie Wallace, Mike Lee and Michael Colin Jones) as well as faces new to the Company (Rachel Clark, Becca Guilderson, and well-known Tweed actor and musician Mark Lesage). Behind the scenes, Tim Porter directs, and Emily Mewett from the Stirling area is the General Manager. This clever show is a collaborative effort, with several cast members contributing to the writing/composing.  The result includes a variety of musical genres, with moments both poignant and hilarious.  The venue – one of the few lakeside pavilions remaining in Ontario – has been transformed with a unique set design.  This musical takes you back by boat, train and coach to a Hastings that was still considered a new frontier – a journey taken with prominent historical figures and regular ‘Petes’. Much of the action centers around Mrs. Simpson’s Tavern, once an important gathering place that hosted political intrigue along with the drinking. This show is suitable for all ages. ‘Hastings’ opened on Wednesday June 28 to a sold-out crowd and runs daily at 7:30 p.m. until Friday July 7. Susanna (Moodie) says you must see this!” 

-Vicki McCulloch, for the Community Press


“I was lucky enough to see the show on Wednesday with our kids from TES. Very impressed with the musicianship and overall talent . Clever portrayal of historical events affecting our locale. I thoroughly enjoyed it and have recommended to others in the community.”

Vicki Louise, Tweed Elementary School


“I’ve seen many of your shows over the years – I think this is the best one yet! Well done, I highly recommend it…Enjoyed by all… Everybody was very engaged. Well done you and the team should be very proud.  My two cents worth: your best show yet! Highly recommended. Coming back for a second viewing this evening… I enjoyed it even more the second time around tonight! It is so good!”

-Vicki McCulloch, VMTweed


“I love, love, love, LOVE it all. Last night I didn’t fall asleep until 2:00 am because the songs and harmonies were playing OVER and OVER in my head. Everyone is just so lovely with so much to offer. I have been telling EVERYONE about the show. EVERYONE.  It actually hurts being back in Balderson. Like I’m not in the right place because I should be with all of you cheering you on.  Can I come back right now?….. I’m not kidding. OUTSTANDING.  Hastings the musical is a must see. The original music is an absolute hit! Toe- tapping fun and gorgeous ballads. Each actor plays multiple instruments while contributing breathtaking harmonies throughout the entire production. The performers are on stage the entire time! When the show starts it takes off with incredible energy. A Kitchen party flair and impeccable harmonies matching those of a family. The stamina of the artists is unstoppable. The quick scene changes, perfect costumes, quirky script, including the details, and the choreography is captivating and wonderfully unique. Hasting the musical is an experience. A perfect show reflecting the stories of special community. Tweed, it will make you proud! Saw it 7 times and love it more each time!” 

-Julie Kevan, Perth, ON


“Your performance at Moira Place was great. The residents really enjoyed it. The people performing are just amazing with lots of talent.  Please pass this on the them.  Thanks!”  

-Karen Arnold-Magee, Moira Place/AONinc


“Such a wonderful show!” 

Claire LeSage, Tweed, ON


“Irene and I can’t wait to see Hastings The Musical this Friday by the Tweed & Company Theatre in Municipality of Tweed!”

-Mike Bossio, MP


“It was fantastic we will definitely see it again. You were all amazing.Great show. Very talented group. Amazing Loved the whole thing


Will Austin, Newton House Bed & Breakfast


“I was lucky enough to see the show on Wednesday with our kids from TES. Very impressed with the musicianship and overall talent . Clever portrayal of historical events affecting our locale. I thoroughly enjoyed it and have recommended to others in the community.”

-Vicki Louise, Tweed Elementary School


EXERT FROM INSIDE BELLEVILLE & CENTRAL HASTINGS NEWS: “Hastings the Musical – an extraordinary panorama of song, dance and Hastings County history. James King, cast and composer and Rachel Clark, cast, composer and choreographer of Hastings the Musical held the opening night audience spell bound. The cast recieved a resounding standing ovation and many vowed to return for a second performance. Hastings the Musical, a celebration of Canada’s birthday, is an energetic explosion of young talent that you dare not miss. The Tweed and Co. opening night, June 28 at the Tweed pavilion, was full throttle energy, soulful harmonies, original opera and camp songs, that all went straight to the heart of their theme of Hastings County history. The cast of nine bombarded their handmade stage swirling to the well-constructed songs. Throughout the evening, cast members played and exchanged a large collection of instruments.  The staging, compositions, high-octane choreography, and sweet harmonies captivated the audience. After the two-hour extravaganza, and a standing ovation, comments included “Fantastic!” “You can tell it is good – everyone is glued.” “Incredible local talent.” “We are so lucky to have Tweed & Co in our community.” “The harmonies!” “Incredible, it deserves to be re-staged throughout Hastings County.” The characters burst into living colour. Tweed’s Merrill Denison, 1955 dances in pavilion, 1960s all-woman council, and the midnight train in Kaladar met with applause. Rachelle Clark (Babor) choreographed the production, while sharing her clear, smooth tones – of silk.”



The script was excellent, well written and great review of the history of Hastings County. The songs (I assume original) were wonderful, catchy and a pleasure to listen to both the tune and lyrics. The performance, acting, singing and instrumental were top notch. A thoroughly enjoyable, quality evening. Kudos to all. Good show for the Empire theatre in Belleville.”

John M Dorion, Belleville, ON


Please! Play in Kingston!

Jason Tilley, Kingston, ON


“A fantastic production. Charming, intriguing, beguiling…and oh so fun! In the beautiful and historic Tweed pavilion….a great venue for an incredible show. See it! Take a friend, or seven!”

-Clare Lesage, Tweed, ON


“Everyone is just lovin this show…don’t miss it…going back on Friday…definitely need a Hastings the Musical fix!!

-Don DeGenova, Town Council


The cast of Tweed & Company Theatre‘s ‘HASTINGS A New Musical’ were nothing short of amazing! I still can’t tell if I was more impressed with the vocal harmonies, that they interchanged playing different instruments, or the acting that transported me back in time. Overall, I’m still just in awe. It was absolutely incredible! I was blown away by the talent of the cast and the seamless execution of the entire performance. Would recommend it in a heartbeat!Congrats on an amazing achievement – great to see and hear the musical talents, from songwriters to performers. A truly remarkable show! I would see it ten times over if I could.”

-The Wanderer, Ontario’s Highlands Tourism


“We went to the play last night and I just wanted to say a fabulous job was done by all.  My daughters loved the music and were curious if you will be putting out a recording of it.”

-Julie Wendland, Tweed, ON


“WOW!!! What an amazing and incredible show. I had the opportunity to attend last nights performance and was blown away! The cast members did a fantastic job intriguing the audience to laugh, cry, and stomp their feet. This is definitely an award-winning musical. Congratulations Tweed & Company Theatre!”

Municipality of Tweed


EXERT FROM THE TWEED NEWS: “Hastings, The Musical a huge success. The Kiwanis Pavilion in Tweed Memorial Park has been a hot spot of activity over the last two weeks thanks to multiple performances of Hastings The Musical, presented by Tweed and Company Theatre. A steady stream of fans have made their way to the live musical, which boasted a sold out crowd on opening night, and has welcomed large attendance at every performance since. Tim Porter, once again put his talent to the test, creating an incredible stage for the pavilion that thoroughly impressed ticket holders before the show even began. The original design added to the unique atmosphere of the pavilion, making for a memorable production. The show itself incorporated a blend of toe taping music with clever choreography, and a beautiful, yet well informed story line. Inspired by the rich history of Hastings County, the show mentioned Billa Flint, Susanna Moodie and Mrs Simpson’s tavern, among several others. And of course the County’s history of gold and cheese were also prominently featured, along with insights into the United Empire Loyalists and the Rebels who opposed them. In many ways the show was a living history lesson, with as many laughs as heartwarming moments. In short the show was simply fantastic, but it was the talent of the all-star-cast that brought the story and the music to life. As with past productions, Tricia Black was once again a shining star, earning herself an even larger fan base with her humour and powerfully unique voice. Amy Marie Wallace proved a talent with both her fiddle and her accents. While local thespian Mark LeSage was a surprising delight, adding an extra depth to the production and teaming up well with his cast mates. Emily Mewett, production stage manager noted how pleased she and Porter were with the response to the show. She attributed the extra buzz surrounding the show to the increased marketing and the growing fan base. “The reputation of the company is growing,” said Mewett, referencing the company’s two sold out shows of Songbuster earlier this year which she believes helped to earn a positive standing for the company. “This is certainly one of our favourite shows yet,” said Mewett. Over the last several years Tweed and Company Theatre has made great strides in earning a loyal fan base in the immediate Tweed area. Productions could count on a great deal of local support, thanks in part to the top notch productions brought forth time and again. As the company has continued to grow, so has the fan base. A combination of talent and heart have proven this small theatre company to be one worth travelling for, which is why live theatre enthusiasts from all around the region are happily making their way to Tweed for these spectacular shows.”

-Lacy Meeks, The Tweed News


“What a show! Go see it while you can! Incredible cast, amazing music and the Tweed pavilion was completely transformed. Bravo! Keep doing amazing things!”

-Alyssa Ross, Trenton, ON


“Went again tonight (Thursday) with my sister, Cathy. She and I both agreed that we were blown away. And the history, comedy and original music – spectacular! Cathy says better than any Mirvish production this year!

Beth Anne Power, Tweed, ON


“Congratulations on an excellent production! The stage in the centre of the Pavilion, and the professional way in which all the participants worked that stage to involve the audience was impressive.The standing ovation was well earned. How that troupe maintained their high-energy performance throughout the evening is a tribute to their determination and stamina! Again, to all involved, congratulations and thanks!”

-Evan Morton, Tweed Historical Society


“Leslie and I were blown away. It was awesome . I will be sure to be at your next production.”

-Chris Rashotte, Rashotte Home Hardware


“It’s opening night, and the show – a musical based on local history – is sold out. There’s a buzz inside the building that may have something to do with the well-attended, operational bar which rests at the far end of a very long, wooden plank stage. There’s something quite lovely about the open-aired ambience of the place that is difficult to articulate – it possesses a kind of old-fashioned grandeur. The show begins with a reference to Mrs. Simpson’s tavern – which in fact, was the first watering hole in Belleville in the late 18th century. We are to imagine the door of her tavern as a “passageway to the past”, and for much of this performance, this concept seems apt because the play itself is a “doorway” to the “incredible people and events which give Hastings County its identity”. Events like: the hardships of pioneer life, the War of 1812, the first Hastings County Fair, the Rebellion of 1837, the Farmers’ Revolt, Irish immigration due to the Potato Famine, the Eldorado Gold Rush, and the Suffrage Movement. Again, to name a few. The content of the musical resonates with me, too. I grew up in this place, and have lived here much of my life. A copy of Historic Hastings, by Gerald Boyce, has sat on my parents’ bookshelf since 1967, Centennial year. The performance of Hastings. The Musical runs for ten days and coincides with Canada’s 150 celebrations. Fitting, indeed. As the play progresses, I recognize the tremendous energy and creativity of this theatre group; the play moves from burlesque to serious, in keeping with the songs which move seamlessly from upbeat foot-stompers with lots of drums, piano, guitar, mandolin, and bass to elegies fuelled by violin and flute. Throughout the evening, the voices of the performers capture and captivate. It’s a play that uses two large wood trunks, stamped with “Ship to Hastings County”, and a few wooden chairs as props to create a tavern table, a newspress, a stage coach, a sawmill, a grave, a train, a boat . . . the simplicity of this is echoed with the homespun attire of the men and the simplicity of the women’s dresses. And as with good theatre, we are pulled into the past. These young people truly like being here – in Hastings County – giving back history to the community in a place that holds so much history. They are having fun – just as the founders of the Pavilion intended. I’m impressed with the artistic enthusiasm of the performers – they are passionate, excited, and happy. Hastings County is a place that draws dynamic artists and talented young people from all over Canada. Like those early pioneers, these young people are resilient and creative.  Places and histories can loop back and forth. Watching this musical is a double hook: the play is about local historical events, set in a venue that is historical, in a county that continues to inspire.  It’s history inside history. Hastings County is both old and new, a home and a destination with lots more history in the making.”

-Ardith Racey, Hastings County


“What a show! I really enjoyed Tweed & Company Theatre’s Hastings the Musical last night in Municipality of Tweed! Great job, everyone! It was a fabulous show, best musical I have seen.  Really well done.”

Mike Bossio, MP Hastings-Lennox & Addington


“Intermission! So far we’ve laughed, we’ve gasped, we’ve stomped our feet and we’ve gotten goosebumps. Mom even teared up!”

Ontario’s Highlands


“Rebel Anthem, Newpaper Song, Suzanna Says, A New Home, Gold Rush, Not Getting off the Boat, Misguided Sisters, Christie keeps playing over and over in my head. The entire show keeps playing OVER and OVER in my head!

Julie Kevan, Perth, ON


 “I wish there was a CD of the music from the play….I probably would wear the CD out from over use.”

Tammy Austin, Tweed, ON

“Thanks to all for bring this show to our town. Great music, wonderful acting, love you guys. Til next time.”

Linda D Yorke, Tweed, ON


 “Loved the show. WOW!

Diana Cassidy-Bush, Tweed Realtor


“Fantastic evening taking in ‘Hastings The Musical’ with Tweed & Company Theatre! Congrats! Fantastic show!”

-Megan Burnside, Stirling, ON


EXERT FROM THE WANDERED BLOG: “The moment we entered the Tweed Pavilion you could feel It, the sense of anticipation. It was visible on the faces of the audience and seemed to hang in the air, floating in and around the vintage Edison lights hanging from the rafters. As we found our seats, excited chatter and authentic fiddle music filled the warm, summer air. By the second verse of the first song, my right foot couldn’t control itself for another bar. That’s where the toe tapping, knee slapping and shoulder swaying began, and it didn’t stop until the final note rang out into the night. It was lively, fresh, sweet, funny and oh so impressive; it was hands down the most memorable theatre performance I have seen to date. Not that you should need any –  the raving reviews really speak for themselves –  but here are three reasons why you should scoop up the last tickets for the final performance:

1. The Storytelling: Each character, each set, each line and each song was meticulously crafted to weave together the rich and interesting history of beautiful Hastings County, which I am lucky to call home. From the Loyalist and Rebel feud to Irish immigration, and from the first discovery of gold to the first agriculture fair, the script references the unique events that have shaped the evolution of Hastings County.

2. The Musicianship: Each of the cast members played one, if not multiple, instruments and together they performed the score to all of the pieces. Live! Not only did they perform the pieces, but cast members also composed them. The lyrics were raw and the harmonies were layered making for a very powerful delivery of the story.

3. The Humour: I honestly have not laughed that hard in quite some time. While the entire play is comical and light, there is one character in particular (I won’t give anything away) that is beyond hilarious. The facial expressions, the gestures, the persona; all of it is executed with absolute perfection!

So go, now, quickly. The last tickets for tonight’s closing show have your name on it.”

-The Wanderer, Ontario’s Highlands Tourism


We can’t thank the community enough for getting behind this project, and we are so excited for it’s future!!!  Don’t miss this incredible, all original Canadian Musical, celebrating the stories, legends and fables of Hastings County.  See you at the show!