The non-union Civic Light Opera Company is presenting the Toronto premiere of the experimental 1947 musical by the men who gave us Oklahoma!, South Pacific, The King and I and The Sound of Music.
Direction, musical direction and design are by Joe Cascone, artistic director of The Civic Light Opera Company, a troupe that focuses part of its four-show season on "lost treasures or forgotten flops with potential," he said.
The Our Town-like musical (spare and lean in its physical staging) has a chorus that helps tell the story of a man who rises from small-town roots to become a big city doctor. The score's songs include "So Far, " "A Fellow Needs a Girl" and " The Gentleman Is a Dope."
The Toronto cast of 50 includes Bryan Chamberlain in the lead role of Joseph Taylor, jr., around whose life (from birth to age 35) the story revolves. Bob Deutsch and Carol Kugler play his parents, while David Haines is his eccentric chum. Julie Lennick, Caroline Moro-Dalicandro and Mary Elizabeth Niec play three of the women in Joseph’s life and professional opera veteran, Eva Beames, plays his wise grandmother. Other regulars of The Civic Light Opera Company include Gordon Elkin, Sandi Horwitz, Cameron McKinnon, Gary Prudence, Kelly Sanders and Susan Sanders.
The Toronto Allegro is being presented with full orchestra. The staging plays Feb. 19-28 at the Fairview Library Theatre, 35 Fairview Mall Drive, in North York, just north of downtown Toronto. For ticket information, call (416) 469-8450.