I’LL FLY AWAY A Huge Success!

Well, we’re a little late on this post, but now that 2015 has wound down, we’ve finally found some time to get caught up, and share the success of our most recent production I’LL FLY AWAY!  This was one of our most successful productions to date, and we were so thrilled that the community and our patrons took to this show as much as we did.  This was definitely a project that we were passionate about, and we were so happy to see it get off the ground.  Thank you to everyone who came out and saw the show, and we hope to see you again in 2016 for one of our fantastic performances!  Lots coming up this year, so stay tuned!  And in the meantime, check out all these great reviews!

“If you don’t already have your tickets, you need to buy them for I’ll Fly away. Honestly it is easily as good as something you would see at Mirvish.”

-TRISTAN HAYNES LINDSAY, The Middle Aged Woman Who Lived In A Shoe

“I hope people take advantage of this opportunity – a great night of entertainment something for everyone. Definitely a must see- it was amazing.”

-VICKI MCCULLOCH, VMTweed

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“5 Stars. I’ve been to a few shows and they are all incredible. Keep up the good work!”

-GREG LEWIS, Gaylord Hardwood Flooring

“So amazing. Such talented people.. everyone should go”

-NICOLE BLACK

“Great show! We loved every minute! Congrats on a great opening!”

-MELISSA MACDONALD

“Loved it…loved it…loved it! Still talking about it! The cast from I’ll Fly Away…what a truly awesome production. Bring lots of Kleenex ….definitely some of the best singing and harmonizing you are ever going to hear. The three Sarahs blew me away…and Joel you continue to shine brighter and brighter with each new show. Congratulations to Tim Porter , Joel MacMeekin and Tricia Black on another Canadian original play. Please come out and support the cast by filling those seats. The show starts at 7:30 tomorrow and runs until Sunday. A Five Star Production.”

-DON DEGENOVA

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“Such amazing talent! The writers, performers and everyone involved did such a great job. Throughly enjoyed the show!”

-JUDY MEWETT

“Just returned home from I’ll Fly Away. A Broadway production at the Marble Church Arts Centre! What a talented cast. Thank you for bringing it to Tweed.”

-JOANNE ALBERT, Tweed Reeve

“5 stars. Great Job!!! Will definitely be back! Awesome that we have this opportunity in the community to bring the big star actors in and give our local talents an amazing experience!! Great job girls!!”

-Susan Ross

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“5 stars.  I’ll Fly Away was a fantastic show! Lots of laughs and definitely need your tissues! Gave me goosebumps!”

-Bonnie Coutts

 

“Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Thanks for a great evening”

Maril Swan

 

“The Marble Arts is about to brim over with talent.   I feel like sometimes I sound like a broken record, but sometimes records break at a great part of the song,
I have now seen the show three times and could easily see it again.  It was excellent. Tim put together this amazingly talented cast of professional actors (and a few really talented young locals).  The three female leads Sara Wilkinson, Sarah Strange and Sarah Higgins had the most stunningly beautiful voices, and the harmonies sent shivers.  Joel MacMeekin stole the show with his character Maverick and his impeccable comic timing.
I loved sitting in the audience and becoming lost in the excellent story every single time I went to see the show.  I loved looking around the audience to see if anyone saw me crying.  I will miss the hauntingly beautiful songs those three AMAZING Sarah’s shared every night.  I will miss seeing Joel up on that stage like a deer caught in the headlights.  I will miss Colin spitting out his drink and his “Just Wait a Tick”.  I will miss Katie’s crazy stage momma.  I will miss it all.  It was the best play that Tim has done to date, and I have seen most of them.
If there are any big time fancy smancy producers reading this, please give Tim a call.  This is a wonderful production, that deserves to grace the stage again and again.  This is a play beautifully written that honestly in my opinion deserves to win an award for writing.  It was so very good, and I really hope to see it again.”

-Tristan Lindsay, The Middle Aged Woman Who Lived In A Shoe

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STALKYARD HURTS Blows the Roof Off Toronto Fringe!

STALKYARD HURTS in Toronto in 2015 (Tricia Black, Danielle leger, Mike Lee)

Well, the summer is coming to a close, and that means that our exciting 2015 season is two thirds done.  But don’t worry!  We still have one more blow out musical this fall to keep you going!  I’LL FLY AWAY is the story of a classic country radio show that is struggling to survive as they learn the may have to shutter their doors.  It’s gonna be a blast!  More on that soon…

But first – we wanted to give you a little FRINGE recap!!  Tweed & Company was so incredibly honoured to be a part of the Toronto Fringe Festival this season with our original Canadian Musical STALKYARD HURTS!  We had a blast!  And we blew the roof off of iconic rock venue Lee’s Palace for 11 nights.  With packed houses, and loads of critical acclaim, we are so happy with how the show went, and we thought we’d share a couple of the comments and photos with you!!!

Thanks so much to everyone who came out to see the show, and hopefully we’ll see you this fall in Tweed for I’LL FLY AWAY!!!

FROM NOW MAGAZINE:

“Justin Collette and Danielle Leger’s comedic musical rockumentary revels in stadium-sized 70s rawk, performed live with seemingly limitless energy.

-Jordan Bimm, Now Magazine

FROM TWITTER:

“If you’re at @Toronto_Fringe & haven’t seen @stalkyardhurts yet, drop everything and go. What a fantastic show with KILLER songs.”

-Nug Nahrgang, Toronto Comedian, via twitter

“Encore at stalkyard hurts!!! Everyone has to see this show! Blown away!” 

-Jamie Thornley, Stalker, via twitter

“Anyone looking for @Toronto_Fringe recommends, go see @stalkyardhurts .  Gorgeous music, talented folks, and a hilarious good time!!!”

-Daniel Williston, Kinky Boots, via twitter

STALKYARD HURTS WAS LISTED AS A FRINGE FAVOURITE AND BEST BET BY THE TORONTOIST, NOW MAGAZINE, GRACING THE STAGE, and MOONEY ON THEATRE!

STALKYARD HURTS in Toronto 2015 (Danielle Leger, Tricia Black, Justin Collette)

FROM MOONEY ON THEATRE:

“It’s not always easy rocking out at the Toronto Fringe Festival, but Tweed & Company Theatre prove that it’s not impossible with Stalkyard Hurts, a rip-roaring songfest soaking the stage at Lee’s Palace Dance Cave.

The classic rock story of a classic 80s-style rock band, Stalkyard Hurts follows the rise and fall of friendships, romances, shady managers, band mates who spiral into drug abuse, and all the other twists and turns one would expect in the world of rock n’ roll.

Musicals are tough to pull off, with Fringe musicals being the hardest, but I was quickly impressed by both the vocals and live instrumental of the Stalkyard Hurts band. Justin Collette, as writer and composer, does a great job of capturing the classic rock sound in both clever and sometimes soulful ways. Danielle Leger, as leading vocalist Carmen, truly blew me away with her gritty sound. She was like a kooky Janis Joplin, impressively playing up the comedy in her scenes while still maintaining the core sound of the show.

I found the ensemble cast very strong. Granted, Leger’s Carmen and Tricia Black’s Tori (the band’s lovably naive bassist) both stole the show for me.

Director Tim Porter makes some great decisions with the format of the show, allowing the story of the band to unfold with interludes that feel more like a rock concert. There was even an encore at the end. 

I think that if you like musicals, rock n’ roll, strong female vocals, live music, hilarity, hijinks and larger than life characters, this show is for you. Looking around at the end of the show, there was not one person who wasn’t tapping their foot or bopping their head. I feel like this one’s going to be a Fringe fave so you might want to grab your tickets in advance.”

-Lauren Stein, Mooney on Theatre

FROM FACEBOOK:

“Holy shit! STALKYARD HURTS at The 2015 Toronto Fringe Festival rawked opening night! And when the instruments went down (!), they killed with their comic delivery. Funny & rawks? Go upstairs at Lee’s Palace; playing 8pm throughout the festival. Check it out!!”

-David Rudat, Stalker, via Facebook

“Guys! Go see new fringe show #stalkyardhurts !! It’s an awesome rock concert packed with some comedic golden nuggets. ‘Nuff said. HAPPY OPENING FRINGE FOLK ❤️ #Toronto #fringe #independenttheatre #indie #theatre #rocknroll #comedy #liveart

-Julia McLellan, Kinky Boots, via Facebook

“Y’all need to see the show @tweedandcompany is putting on. #Stalkyard Hurts opened at #TOFringe last night and it’s a hilarious VH1 behind the music rock’n’roll concert.”

-Jordan Bell, Famous Actor, via instagram

So thanks again for all of your support in what has so far been an incredible 2015 season.  It has been such a joy bringing these fantastic musical to audiences across the province, we can’t wait to get going on the next one!  See you at I’LL FLY AWAY, October 21st to 25th at the Marble Arts Centre in Tweed!  Tickets here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2156379

STALKYARD HURTS 2015 in Toronto

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE A Smash Hit!

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Well, we are firmly in 2015, and what a year it has been!!!  Right from the get go we here at TWEED & CO knew that this was going to be our most exciting season to date, and it has already exceeded all of our expectations!

2015 marks our first season as our fully re-branded TWEED & CO, and the response has been absolutely overwhelming.  With one show down, and two more incredibly exciting projects to go, we are hard at work bringing quality, original Canadian musical theatre to both a regional viewing audience, and to the incredible Toronto arts community!

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE was our first production of 2015.  A new creation by the TWEED & CO ensemble, LOVE was a one night only evening of classic love songs, love letters, poems, dance music and laughter, and it was a smashing success!!!  This almost sold old production hit home with our Tweed audience, and received a much more excited reaction than we could have even imagined.  And this was one of our favourite shows to date as well!!!

Here’s what the audience thought of ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE!  Read on below to learn about our next two incredibly exciting projects, including our first ever FRINGE show, and a brand new fully staged musical coming to TWEED this fall!!!

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE LETTERS AND REVIEWS:

“Great job Tim Porter and cast! The show was fantastic! Was tonight the only performance? Oh that is too bad!! So much for my great mother’s day gift idea”

-Kara Enright, Enright Cattle Co.

“Joel, Danielle, Trish, James, Tim…you were BRILLIANT! What a show…take it on the road…you guys are absolutely amazing! Feelin good right now!”

-Don DeGenova, DeGenova Consulting

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“Just got home from the show – congratulations to the whole crew – it was one of the best I’ve seen yet!”

-Vicki McCulloch, VMTweed

“Jack Vance would have been proud. A great performance from a talented cast in a superb venue. “All You Need is Love” played to a near sell-out crowd May 8 at the Marble Art Centre. Tweed’s own Tim Porter and The Tweed & Company Theatre earned a prolonged standing ovation with the cast and patrons enjoying a terrific evening.  Joel MacMeekin, James King, Danielle Leger, Tricia Black were a delight with the able direction of Tim Porter in a hilarious musical romp. Anticipation for Tweed and Company’s next performance “I’ll Fly Away” to be sold out at the Marble Arts Centre October 21 – 25.  Get your tickets well in advance.”

-The Tweed and Area Arts Council

“I just wanted to say thanks to Tweed & Co. for giving such a wonderful show last night for “All You Need is Love”!!!  You guys are so talented and I couldn’t stop smiling throughout the entire performance. Thanks for all that you do and for bringing such wonderful things to this area. Can’t wait for the next show!!”

-Hali Letwin, Tweed Patron

“Last night I had the pleasure of seeing “Tweed & Company’s” first show… “All You Need Is Love”.  That group have the most beautiful singing voices.  Their harmonies set the hair on the back of my neck up.  I am always so blown away by Tricia Black’s pipes.  She comes up on that stage ready for comedy.  She puts on funny voices and does goofy characters, and then this huge voice comes out.  Tricia could easily be a recording artist.  I was delighted by the beautiful voice, and even more than that, I was delighted to see our community come out and support them.  It was almost a sold out house! Finally, maybe you don’t really know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.

Not only has this amazingly talented group come back, they have come back with a vengeance.

Stalkyard Hurts, one of their original productions has made it!  They performed at famed Lee’s Palace in Toronto, and this July they are playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival. YEAH Tweed & Company!!!!  The masses are going to see and love, our Tweed & Company.  My only hope is that they don’t love them so much that this talented group of twenty somethings forget where they came from.

What I am saying is that if you have the opportunity to see this play, go.

Incase you hadn’t figured it out, I’m really proud of our little company that could.  I can’t wait to see what amazing things their future holds.”

-Tristan Lindsay, themiddleagedwomanwhoeliveinashoe.com

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Tweed and Company theatre prove all you need is love and a whole lot of laughter

Tim Porter, artistic director of Tweed & Company theatre, along with his talented cast of Tricia Black, Danielle Leger, Joel MacMeekin, and James King, proved all you need is love during their performance at the Marble Art Centre in Actinolite on Friday, May 8. The show, deservedly titled ‘All You Need Is Love: A Musical Celebration’, was a tremendous success from beginning to end with audience members treated to a compilation of songs, skits, and readings, all revolving around the theme of love. Tricia Black was simply outstanding with her exquisitely strong and raspy vocals. Her unique voice seemed to hold the audience in rapture. Danielle Leger and James King also demonstrated their impressive vocal skills. While each is talented in their own right, together their voices formed an elegant and alluring harmonization. With a modern folksy sound, the duo inspired plenty of toe-tapping and hand clapping. Last but certainly not least, Joel McMeekin, who hails from Welland, Ontario, proved that while he has a trove of talents, comedy is high on the list. What some might consider the highlight of the show was when McMeekin, dressed like Cher, was joined by a Sonny inspired Tricia black, for a rendition of I’ve Got You Babe. After the show, Porter spoke briefly about his company’s recent rebranding, explaining that the intent was to have a closer connection to the Tweed community. Most of the shows are debuted in Tweed before being performed for larger audiences in major metropolitan areas. He also commented on the Marble Arts Centre’s plush new seating, air conditioning and lighting, noting how much more comfortable your theatre experience is thanks to the renovations. Porter expressed his gratitude to the season sponsors, Gaylord flooring, DeGenova consulting, AON and Moira Place, as well as production sponsor Dr. Charles Mustard Medical Corporation. Don DeGenova was more than happy to provide sponsorship, explaining “I’ve always believed in the arts, I’ve got a hidden actor inside of me”, he joked. “I also want to see Tim succeed and I think his productions are great for Tweed.” Tweed and Company theatre is excited to announce the production of a full scale original musical to debut at the Marble Arts Centre October 21 and run until October 25. ‘I’ll fly away’, written by Tricia Black, inspired by an old country jamboree radio show will feature classic and original country music. Watch for further information on this exciting production in the Tweed News.”

-Lacy Meeks, The Tweed News

“Glad it was a great success! Thanks so much for your pre show at Moira Place, the residents and staff loved you!”

-Liz Van Dijk

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“Hi Tim, really enjoyed the show last night. Kudos to all in the cast. Can’t wait for the next production.”

-Linda D. Yorke, Tweed Patron

SO THANK YOU!!!  So so much to everyone who came out and enjoyed ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE.  We truly love what we do and we love sharing it with you.  We can’t wait to head back to the Arts Centre for some more fantastic musical theatre!

But first!  We’ve got some big city fish to fry!  Our original Canadian Musical STALKYARD HURTS which first premiered at the Marble Arts Centre in 2012, will be making its comeback at this years 2015 Toronto Fringe Festival!  We are absolutely thrilled to be bringing this show back for a second life, for a much larger audience, in Canada’s largest theatre festival!  The show will be taking place from July 1st to 12th at Lee’s Palace!  Check out www.tweedandcompany.com for dates, showtimes, and more info.

And also incredibly exciting, we will be returning to the Marble Arts Centre this fall with a BRAND NEW Full Scale Original Canadian Musical, ‘I’LL FLY AWAY’.  Our biggest new production since 2012’s ALECK BELL, I’LL FLY AWAY tells the story of a folk country jamboree radio show which is being forced to close their doors.  Will this loveable cast of characters be able to save their show?  Or will they be forced into accepting the future, and forging ahead into the unknown?  This visually stunning, romantic, hilarious and heartwarming musical is sure to be a great success.  Tickets go on sale soon, be sure to get yours well in advance!  Come join us this October for what is sure to be the Hastings County do not miss theatre production of the season!

Thank you again for your support, and we’ll see you at the show!

Tim Porter

Tweed and Company Theatre

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Announcing Our 2015 Season!!!

We are so excited to officially announce our 2015 season!  With shows at both our home theatre in Tweed, and projects in Toronto, this season is going to be one for the record books!  For our first year as Tweed & Company Theatre, we have some incredibly exciting projects in the works, and have been given some amazing opportunities at this crucial stage of our development.

Our first project in 2015 will be a very exciting new show that we have been developing over the course of the past year, ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE.  This one night only presentation is a beautiful and inspiring love story told through everyone’s favourite love songs, and the love letters of some of our greatest thinkers, most passionate people, and local lovers.  Featuring a cast of five professional performers, as well as prominent local musicians, this show is set to make its premiere in Tweed this coming April.

Next up in 2015 will be one of our most exciting projects to date.  We are thrilled to announce that our production of STALKYARD HURTS, which we originally work-shopped at our home venue in Tweed, and have since continued fine tuning over the past two years, has been selected as a site specific production for the Fringe of Toronto festival of 2015.  STALKYARD will take place at Lee’s Palace, one of Toronto’s most respected and acclaimed historical live music venues for two weeks during the festival in July.  This show is incredibly unique in form and style, and has been receiving great attention as one of few entirely original Canadian Musicals to take place at the festival this season.

And to finish off 2015 in true Tweed & Company Style we present an original Canadian Musical, I’LL FLY AWAY, presented at our home theatre, the Marble Arts Centre in Tweed.  This original production, created by our ensemble of performers is a story of love, life and glory told through classic country music that defined the genre.  This project will feature an all-star cast of Canadian Musical Theatre performers who will sing, dance, act and play their way through this beautiful story live on stage for six performances next fall.

We can’t wait to get going!  This season is full of incredibly exciting projects for us, and we are so excited to be presenting live grassroots original Canadian Musical Theatre in both Tweed and Toronto.  Browse around the site for lots more information about each production, and check back soon for cast, tickets, video and more!!!  See you at the show!

Our Community, Our Theatre

Hello World!  And Welcome to Tweed!  It’s been a long and winding road to this point in our journey, but we are incredibly excited to be here, and to be reaching this moment just in time for a thrilling 2015 season.

I founded IANA Theatre Company in 2009.  Myself and many other intrepid young musical theatre performers had noticed a severe lack in original Canadian Musical Theatre production, as well as an absence of remounts of Canadian Musicals.  So we decided to take matters into our own hands.  I recruited a group of talented young friends to come along for the journey, and we started creating work together.  Over the course of the next couple years we got together frequently, and created a range of work that we are incredibly proud of, and incredibly excited for the future of.  This was really a short five years ago, but a lot became apparent in that time.  For starters, the more shows we did, and the more people began to recognize us as a company, the more we realized that no one could say our name.  While comical to us, and always a favourite moment during radio interviews and in post performance chats, it became clear that this was a hindrance in increasing our audiences.  How can you spur on word of mouth when people don’t know the word coming out of their mouths?  And as much as I love the intention of the name IANA (Short for CanadIANA as part of our mandate is the creation and production of original Canadian Musical Theatre) it became increasingly difficult to translate.

We have also grown continually closer to our home theatre in Tweed, ON.  And while we have seen great success producing across the province, it became clear that we were becoming known as, “That theatre company in Tweed”, or “The Tweed Theatre Company”.  And why not?  We love our hometown, and we have always had a strong association with it, and we want to grow and flourish in that relationship.

And as much as our intentions were good in naming the company something directly related to our national identity, I don’t think anyone got it.  People thought we were named after a ballerina in Russia, or “I AM A Theatre Company”.  Nope.

So how do we even more directly connect to our desire and purpose in pursuing the national Canadian identity, and in growing and enhancing the cultural landscape of our country, promoted through our brand?

After much deliberation and a slew of new ideas, the concept of tying ourselves directly to our community became the clear objective.  We plan to continue to produce work both in Tweed and across the province, (including of course, our great national arts and cultural centre, the city of Toronto) but our identity as a small town producer of BIG theatrical work began to quickly take the reigns.  And could you find a more stolid, natural and pure identity and logo than Tweed?  The town, the history, the fabric, the community, all scream the brand that we represent and the work that we produce.  Quality, authentic, original and organic is our brand and our work.

And of course, it helps that people can pronounce it, that they can associate it with a real place, and that they can easily remember and share with their friends and the greater community at large the great work that they recently saw at a theatre near them.

Finally, and maybe most importantly of all, we have “& Company”.  We decided on this follow through for many reasons.  For starters, it evokes that classic epitaph of a hard run business, curators and creators of a quality product created in a down home environment.  We wanted to evoke that old British tradition of a hard working shoe-maker, that sought after leather smith, or the contracting firm that built those first foundations of those beautiful European homes.  “& Company” represents all of the quality and integrity of the past and the future that we put into all of our work, both original and already produced.  And of course, we are a Company.  We are a company of actors, a company of creators, a company of influencers, and a company of people, striving for the best possible product, and the best possible audience interaction.  We have always taken great pride in the way we produce our work as a collective or ensemble of performers, where everyone’s opinions and ideas are taken into account, work-shopped, played with, and presented in the final product.  Our shows are a representation of the thoughts and talents of our entire group, not just a select few individuals, which makes for some truly thrilling theatre.

So.  Tweed & Company.  Welcome.

This is our future, but it does not negate our past.  We are the same company that we have been, and only plan on improving and growing on our past successes, and starting each new project with fresh eyes and a fresh heart.  This is the beginning of a new journey, but also a great continuation of a beautiful past.  Since our inception in 2009 we have seen many great successes.  Three Original Canadian Musicals presented in original Workshop form, and ALL of them remounted to great success.  A BroadwayWorld.com award for best independent production in 2011 for ‘TWEED: A New Canadian Musical’.  Our show ‘ALECK BELL’ was picked up for professional production at theatres across the province.  Our first commissioned piece ‘STALKYARD HURTS’ was critically acclaimed in its original workshop and has an incredibly exciting future. (More on that coming very soon!).  We have worked with artists who have gone on to Broadway, Stratford, Mirvish, Soulpepper and beyond.  We have brought quality Musical Theatre pieces from around the world to the Tweed stage to great critical and audience acclaim.  We have brought live theatre to a regional audience and to many underserved regional communities, and our performances have been enjoyed by tens of thousands of patrons across the province.  It has been a thrilling and intoxicating five years, and we can’t wait to see all that the future holds in store.

So thank you for coming along for the ride these past years, and we can’t wait to ride into the future with you.  We owe every patron, sponsor and friend of the company a huge debt of gratitude for all of your help and support in getting us to this point today, we love you all and thank you for supporting Original Canadian work, and local talent and creation.  And now, onwards and upwards!  To 2015 and beyond!!!  See you in Tweed!

-Tim & Tweed & Company