Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sunday Feature: Louise Pitre on Company

                                                                    (photo by Trish Lindstrom)
The Gift of Company
by Louise Pitre

Louise Pitre earned a Tony nomination for her role as Donna Sheridan in Mamma Mia. She has starred in Gpsy at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre under Gary Griffin's direction; On The Rocks, her first self-penned one woman show at Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto, Annie at Young People's Theatre (YPT); Mame, Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut, The Toxic Avenger (directed by John Rando); A Year With Frog and Toad for YPT in Tornto (she played Toad); Piaf, Les Miserables - Toronto, Montreal, Paris and more. Ms Pitre is the winner of four Dora Mavor Moore Awards all for best performance by a leading lady in a musical. She was a judge on CBC's Over the Rainbow - Canada's search for Dorothy in Andrew Lloyd Webber's production of The Wizard of Oz and can be seen as the host of CTV's series Star Portraits on Bravo TV. Ms Pitre is the recipient of three honorary degrees from the Royal Conservatory of Music, Humber College and her alma mater, The University of Western Ontario (Honorary Doctorate of Music). She has four recordings.

I am in rehearsal for 'Company'. I am a Founding Artist of Theatre20. Gary Griffin is directing 'Company'. 

This is the culmination of a lot (more than a lot) of preparation and the realization of a dream. To be in a room with a cast like this one is the thing you like to imagine as a performer.

It is all there for us to execute. And to be doing this piece in particular is a gift. The kind of gift you wish for and shines in your mind for years and years. 

We are so lucky that Gary Griffin has agreed to direct us. He sees what most others don't see.

He cares to such an extent that it is overwhelming. He believes in our dream and is here, not because he needs to do another production of 'Company' but because he cares deeply about doing musicals and doing them seriously, truthfully, wholeheartedly, with love and care and passion and a blessed sense of humour.

I have always thought that musicals get a bad rap. But there's a good reason for it. Too much of the time, not enough attention is paid to the book. Too often, the book is not worthy. Not so with Gary Griffin and Company. 

It is my hope that this production will not only put Theatre20 on the map once and for all but that the audiences will see a play; a story worth telling; with songs worth singing. It is all there in force thanks to Mr Furth and Mr Sondheim. Now all we have to do is bring out everything Gary Griffin is helping us see and understand.

A tall order.
A challenge.
But oh, what a joy to be challenged!!!!!
I believe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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