Odds are, if you were in or near Hastings County last summer, you most likely heard about the incredible new Musical Production taking the region by storm. HASTINGS! A New Musical was largely praised as the entertainment highlight of the season in 2017, and spurned Tweed & Company (the inventive and exciting creator of the piece) on to winning the 2017 Hastings County Tourism Champion of the Year award.
With it’s sweeping soundtrack, beautiful set and costumes, and truly inventive staging, HASTINGS blew the audience away, selling out countless performances, and inspiring several other theatres across the region to pick up the production, and bring it to new audiences in the summer of 2018. And now, as the August performance dates approach, Tweed & Company has announced a cast of incredible Actor Musicians who are sure to blow the roof off of these tour venues, and present a production that is yet again not to be missed.
HASTINGS! The Musical is billed as an irreverent retelling of the history of Hastings County, and this foot stomping, laugh out loud musical with beautiful choreographic sequences, and a cast of 9 who all play the instruments (occasionally while dancing as well), does not disappoint. Covering everything from the initial founding of the region by John Meyers, to the area’s role in the rebellion of 1837, to the Pirate of the St. Lawrence, to a certain famous novelist who you have to see to believe, the show delivers on an award winning joy ride that will leave you speechless and coming back for more.
And with a cast like the one Tweed & Company has assembled for this summer’s production, we expect you may be lining up down the street for tickets. We’ll start with highlighting some of the returning favourites that Tweed audiences have come to know and love. Fresh off his SELL OUT concert at the pavilion this May, JAMES KING returns to Hastings in the role he originated last year. James is a talented multi instrumentalist who originally hails from Eastern Ontario, (North Augusta to be exact) and whose band JAMES KING & THE MIDNIGHT HOURS has been blowing up the Canadian Music scene. In 2018 alone, James has been in the top 100 of the CBC searchlight competition beating out over 3000 other artists, and also won the MyEntertainmentWorld award in Toronto for his portrayal of Hedwig in ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’ at Hart House Theatre. James has been a regular at the St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival in Prescott, at Festival Players in the County, and with Soulpepper theatre in Toronto, and in our opinion, James alone is worth the price of admission.
Returning for this summer’s production after a brief time away is crowd favourite DANIELLE LEGER! Danielle has been off in merry old England for the past two years, touring the music and comedy circuits, and has been much missed at all of our Tweed & Company Productions, so we are thrilled to welcome her back to Canada, and back to Tweed & Co! Our audience may recognize Danielle from the Tweed productions of The Times They Are A Changin, Aleck Bell: The Musical, Make Em Laugh, Godspell, and All You Need Is Love. We are so excited to have this hilarious and incredibly talented performer back in our midst, and can’t wait for you to see her in this show!
Tweed & Company is also ecstatic to announce a thrilling new addition to the company this year, award winning and much sought after musician, JESSICA WILSON will be joining the touring company of HASTINGS. Jessica is a singer/songwriter from Welland Ontario, who can be seen on stages across Canada this summer, having already performed with artists like Serena Ryder, Metric and City & Colour, and being selected by Ryan Seacrest as the international winner of his MARCH MUSIC MADNESS contest. Jessica is the winner of the 2017 Niagara Music People’s Choice award, and is a Honey Jam Canada Emerging Artist. She also appeared on the TV show OVER THE RAINBOW, and has a degree in Music Theatre from St. Clair College. With the recent release of her debut EP, and an escalating fan base and body of work, Tweed & Co are thrilled to have Jessica joining us for this production, and can’t wait for the audience to hear this unbelievable voice, and see this young talent play.
And of course, it wouldn’t be a celebrated Tweed & Company Musical without the stunning, soaring voice of MICHAEL COLIN JONES. Affectionately known as Colin, this multi talented high tenor has been seen in countless Tweed & Company productions including Hastings, The Times They Are A Changin’, I’ll Fly Away, Godspell, and Stalkyard Hurts. Colin is also a well known Toronto Theatre performer having appeared in Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, The Little Mermaid, The Rocky Horror Show, Next To Normal, Avenue Q, and RENT to name a few. Originally from Nova Scotia, and a graduate of the Canadian College of Performing Arts in BC, Tweed & Company is thrilled to have wrestled Colin away from his busy performance career in Toronto for another summer of Magic in Hastings County!
Local performer MARK LESAGE will also be rejoining the production on tour this summer, with a considerable amount of added local acclaim, and a passion for performance that is unmatched. Since making his Tweed & Co debut in Hastings last summer, Mark went on to write his own one man show THE REBEL OF HUNGERFORD, that packed houses in it’s premiere presentation at the Tweed Harvest festival, and was then picked up for successful runs at The Old Church Theatre in Trenton, The Royal Theatre in Gananoque, and at the Marble Arts Centre in Tweed. Mark is an incredibly accomplished instrumentalist, and with several hilarious star turns inthis production, you won’t want to miss seeing this local legend shine.
Also returning to the show is costume designer and violinist extraordinaire, AMY MARIE WALLACE. Amy has had a very busy few seasons with Tweed & Co, first performing in Salt Water Moon, then returning for Hastings, and Living History: A Walking Tour, along with designing the costumes for all of these productions. Not only is Amy a remarkable violinist and a beautiful designer, but her talents spread far and wide with everything from assisting celebrated illusionist Nick Wallace at his performances in Toronto and Niagara, to her film and television appearances, and owning and operating her own handbag company, Wallace-Read. You can catch Amy’s design work at a Tweed & Company Production this season, or downtown Toronto this winter in the celebrated revival of Peter Pan at Soulpepper. Her incredible costumes and unmatched skill on the violin also add to HASTINGS! being a production you won’t want to miss.
Another major collaborator on this project also returns for year two, the beautiful and talented RACHEL BABOR will once again bring life to the role of Christie, as well as choreographing the show (for which she received high high praise last season), and as the composer of audience favourite, THE NEWSPAPER SONG. Few people can claim performance, instrumentalist, choreography, and composing credits on a single production, but Rachel is truly one of a kind. Her stunning dancing and choreography brought audiences to their feet last season, and we can’t wait to see what she has in store for this revival production. Besides being a favourite here in Tweed, Rachel also works regularly across the country as a triple threat performer, most recently in Mamma Mia with Theatre Aquarius and Western Canada Theatre, and in countless productions with Drayton Entertainment, Canada’s largest theatre company, in Honk The Musical, Joseph, Aladdin: The Panto, Anne of Green Gables, The Music Man, Monty Python’s Spamalot, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan: The Panto, Annie, 9 to 5 The Musical, and Hairspray, to name a few. Rachel is also a Yoga instructor, and active volunteer, having travelled to Kenya on five occasions. You won’t want to miss this truly special performance by a gifted and caring artist.
Associate Artistic Director JOEL MACMEEKIN also reprises his role in HASTINGS, much to the delight of all. Joel is well known in Tweed for his incredible comedic ability and beautiful visual artistry. An accomplished and respected Visual Artist (with so many commissions currently he can barely keep up), Joel is also responsible for all of Tweed & Company’s beautiful original Season Graphics, including his 2016 work for SALT WATER MOON, which is now the cover of the printed play version. As the pouty prince, Joel steals the show, and can also take credit as a co-writer of the script for HASTINGS, and the lead writer on ALECK BELL. People may also recognize Joel from past productions such as I’ll Fly Away, All You Need is Love, The Times They Are A Changin, and many more.
And last but certainly not least is everyone’s favourite wizard on the drum kit, MIKE LEE! One of the most musically gifted performers in the country, Mike is a magician on countless instruments, and his switching from skill to skill during this performance has to be seen to be believed. Mike is also an active member of the Toronto Comedy Community, having performed with the Second City Conservatory, Claude Watson, Bad Dog Theatre, and more. When he is not performing with Tweed & Company, Mike can be seen with a number of up and coming and successful bands as one of the most exciting drummers in Toronto, including James King & The Midnight Hours, The Haunted Lovers, The StarGazers and more.
HASTINGS! A New Musical will play three cities in Eastern Ontario this August, at the Village Playhouse in Bancroft from August 7th to 11th, The Studio Theatre in Perth August 14th & 15th, and the Empire Theatre in Belleville August 17th & 18th. Tickets range from $20-$30, and can be booked by visiting www.tweedandcompany.com. Don’t miss the show that the Central Hastings News calls “MAGIC. An extraordinary panorama of song, dance and Hastings County history”, or that Ontario’s Highlands says “Hands down the most memorable theatre performance I have seen to date. A truly remarkable show. I would see it ten times over if I could.” Book your tickets today, and join this incredible cast for the encore production of HASTINGS! The Musical! See you at the show!
To view headshots and read full cast, crew and creative bios, click here: https://tweedandcompany.com/hastings-the-musical-on-tour/