Dancap to Program Main Stage of Former Ford Center in Toronto; Jersey Boys Will Play There

News   Dancap to Program Main Stage of Former Ford Center in Toronto; Jersey Boys Will Play There The Toronto theatre where Ragtime and the Harold Prince-directed Show Boat were launched will be re-lighted with major musicals.

Lisa O
Lisa O Photo by Michael Le Poer Trench

Dancap Productions Inc. (Dancap) will bring major touring productions to the Main Stage of the Toronto Centre for the Arts (TCA), formerly known as the Ford Centre for the Performing Arts, in coming seasons. Both organizations announced the deal April 14. The long-term agreement for the 1,800-seat Main Stage allows Dancap to present Broadway-style shows like Cameron Mackintosh's My Fair Lady and the Tony Award-winning smash, Jersey Boys. Dancap will also offer fine dining at the site.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. This agreement does not affect the complex's 1,032-seat George Weston Recital Hall or the 200-seat Studio Theatre, which have continually operated since the TCA opened in 1993.

"Dancap is bringing Broadway back to the Toronto Centre for the Arts!" Aubrey Dan, president of Dancap Productions, said in a statement. "The Main Stage has the potential for more than 14,000 people to visit the TCA each week during a typical show's run. When you factor in their anticipated ancillary consumer spending, our presence will have a direct economic impact for the surrounding neighborhood and the City of Toronto. We believe that this will be a successful partnership for all three parties — Dancap Productions, the Toronto Centre for the Arts and the City of Toronto."

Fosse and Sunset Boulevard starring Diahann Carroll are among shows that played there in the 1990s. Livent programmed the venue before the company fell apart.

The first musical to be presented in the venue will be Cameron Mackintosh and the National Theatre of Great Britain's acclaimed new production of Lerner & Loewe's My Fair Lady, May 8-31. Jersey Boys — the smash musical about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons — will make its Toronto premiere there on the Main Stage, Aug. 21-Oct. 5.

"Management at the Toronto Centre for the Arts is confident that this agreement with Dancap is a recipe that will not only bring the splendor of Broadway shows back to the Main Stage but will greatly contribute to the overall success of the TCA," stated Stan Shortt, executive manager of the Toronto Centre for the Arts.

Acclaimed architect Eberhard H. Zeidler, who designed Toronto's Eaton Centre and Ontario Place, designed the TCA.

"The interior of the Main Stage projects a majestic ambiance with finishes in rich tones of pewter, gold, and cream, and seats of burgundy with ebony trim," according to TCA.

The complex is north of downtown, located at 5040 Yonge Street, just north of Sheppard Avenue, not far from mass transit (North York Centre subway) and accessible by car (Highway 401).

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Launched in 2007 by Aubrey Dan, Dancap Productions Inc. (dancaptickets.com), is a commercial theatre company dedicated to producing the best of Broadway-style theatre created in collaboration with acclaimed artists and award-winning creative teams. On Broadway and internationally, the company's producing and investment credits include: Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! – The Musical, Tom Stoppard's Rock 'n' Roll, The Farnsworth Invention, Jersey Boys, Wicked, The Wedding Singer, The Pirate Queen and In the Heights.

Dancap Productions is also a strategic member of the theatrical development and production company Elephant Eye Theatrical, which is cooking up The Addams Family, Bruce Lee: Journey to the West and Saved. Aubrey Dan and Dancap Productions manage the Canadian assets of Key Brand Entertainment Inc., which include Broadway Across Canada and Toronto's Canon and Panasonic Theatres. Dan serves on the board of Key Brand Entertainment and serves as chairman of Broadway Across Canada.

The company of <i>Jersey Boys.</i>
The company of Jersey Boys. Photo by Chris Bennion
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