Tony Awards 2011!

I sadly missed most of the Tony awards on Sunday night but I did manage to catch Sutton Foster performing in this fabulous "Anything Goes" performance.  I had the biggest smile on my face while watching this!

Billy Elliot!

This show took my breath away – particularly when Billy’s anger towards his father was turned into a fierce solo dance piece (if only we could all break into a dance routine when someone pushes our buttons – it would definitely be a much happier world!).  I was surprised with how profound and creative the show was for such a large-scale production.  This show took every audience member deep into the heart and soul of young Billy’s journey of achieving his dream against all odds.  A truly inspiring story mixed in with amazing dance numbers and witty British humour (who could resist?!).

Here’s a link for tickets to the Toronto show – Billy Elliot Tickets

Koerner Hall

I’m so happy I discovered Koerner Hall!  When I found out that my mom and aunt were going to an afternoon piano concert last Sunday I immediately had to buy myself a ticket (I love classical music and family hang time!).  This special concert venue at the Royal Conservatory is in its second season of hosting a variety of award winning musical artists from all over the world (if you live in Toronto then you MUST go!).  It was really interesting to see the interior architectural design blending the old Ihnatowych Hall with the extremely modern design of Koerner Hall - thank you KPMB Architects for your creativity!  I had the pleasure of listening to the pianist Leon Fleisher who to my surprise only used his left hand.  At 16 the conductor Pierre Monteux hailed Leon as “the pianistic find of the century” and then at 37 a rare neurological disease caused him to lose the use of his right hand.  He’s recently been playing with both hands after botox injections helped to restore mobility.  Before he played on Sunday, he comically addressed the audience telling us that his recent hand surgery hadn’t gone as well as he’d hoped and that his doctor had informed him that he wouldn’t be able to use his right thumb “professionally” for a while.  I was extremely moved by his performance – he truly poured his heart and soul into every note.

Here’s a link to an article about Leon Fleisher’s inspiring story:  My Nine Lives

Mary Poppins! (aka Laura Michelle Kelly)

I wanted to take a moment today to talk about my love for someone who I believe is the BEST musical theatre performer of all time – Laura Michelle Kelly.  I got thinking about her two weekends ago when I was hanging out with my performing friends who informed me that Laura Michelle had returned to the cast of Mary Poppins on Broadway – I couldn’t believe it!  My first job in the UK (in 2005) was working as an usher at the Prince Edward Theatre where Mary Poppins the musical had just opened – I was in musical heaven – it was brilliant and I got to watch it every night!  On top of Laura Michelle’s stunning voice what made Mary Poppins so special was Laura’s ability to give an honest and heart felt performance night after night.  If anyone is heading to Broadway you MUST go and see her! 

Here's a clip of the original West End cast performing a few numbers from the show (I hope you enjoy it!)

Passion, Precision, Inspiration..... (oh how I love the ballet)

On Saturday night I felt like a little girl in a candy store as I witnessed the eloquent, passionate and breathtaking dancers of the National Ballet of Canada perform Don Quixote.  For some reason the male dancers really brought a smile to my face (and no not because of their ballet tights J) – they were honestly a breath of fresh air - their faces just lit up the whole room as they effortlessly threw their bodies into the air.  Another highlight was Greta Hodgkinson who in my opinion stole the show – such a genuine and inspirational performer who brightened up the entire stage.  In the program she says that “dancing in the moment is my greatest joy” – she definitely did that and brought the audience into those moments with her.  I snapped a quick shot during the interval of the interior of the Four Seasons Centre – I’m a huge fan of modern architecture!  If you’re in Toronto and you’re under the age of 30 then you’ve got to go to the ballet – the National Ballet has a program called DanceBreak where if you book your ticket on the same day as the show then you’ll get the best available seat for $30!  I sat in an orchestra seat worth $150!