SharRon Matthews, one of the most beloved singers on Toronto’s cabaret and theatre scene, is about to embark on her third journey to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – and she’s planning a huge goodbye gig to leave Toronto in style! Titled the GOLD World Tour, Sharron is taking her show up another notch and celebrating everything GOLD before she heads off to wow some Scots.
The GOLD Tour will be a “Best Hits’ of sorts for the singer, but will also include great new material, fancy costumes, inappropriate jokes and much much more. It’s guaranteed to make you laugh, make you cry and maybe even make you pee your pants! After her Toronto shows Sharron is heading to the Edinburgh Fringe, followed by gigs in London, England, New York City, and Cape Town South Africa. This is truly a world tour of the first degree. BWW sat down to speak with Sharron about why she’s going back to Edinburgh, how she ended up with a gig in South Africa, and just what we can expect from her farewell show:
So you’re headed back to Edinburgh! Did you decide that you just needed a bit more Scot in your life?
As far as this gal is concerned, you can NEVER have enough SCOT in your life. Edinburgh is one of my fave cities in the world. It is a city of 500,000 that swells to 2,000,000 during the Edinburgh Festival. I never know what accent or language I am gonna hear when I go into the audience during the show...last year a brought up a dude from Paris...when I asked him his name, he said, "Pierre."...which I told him I thought was a bit 'on the nose' and then we slow danced while I sang "How Deep is Your Love" in his ear...in front of a sold out crowd! HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE SCOTLAND in AUGUST!!!
What was your favourite part of the Edinburgh Fringe last year?
The morning my producer woke me up at the crack of dawn..at first I was properly mad for the sleep interruption and then I looked at what he was holding...my picture on the cover of 'The Scotman'...the whole freaking cover...not the crappy corner or anything. The cover of 'The Scotsman' is the Holy Grail to artists at the EdFringe...I felt that, after two years of working hard in Edinburgh, I had finally arrived.
You’re having a cabaret here in Toronto before you depart for Scotland, what can people expect if they come out to the show?
GOLD! That is the name of the show this year and GOLD it will be! There are stories about GOLD diggers (those freakin' Kardashian women...lord), GOLD stealers (those people who take your personal 'GOLD'), I will be wearing some awesome GOLD sequins and singing some of my hit GOLD mash ups of tunes by Beyonce, The Police, Gaga, Queen, The Eagles, Jessie J, Justin Timberlake, Guns and Roses and Radiohead. THIS SHOW IS SHINY!! There is something for all...and you will, as always, laugh, cry and probably pee your pants a bit.
Are you shaking things up or doing anything differently?
I am always looking for a new way to tell a story. A new lead into a song. I never want the audience to feel like have seen this show before. I want the people who keep coming back, who have supported me, to see something new. AND, at the same time, I have been asked by many to reprises some of my GOLD hits (see what I did there?). I have been asked to revisit songs like 'Creep', which I have been performing for about 5 years now. I actually almost scrapped that specific idea after a video went viral this year of a young artist covering it. I never watched it because I feel very close to that song and don't want to be influenced by another artists interpretation. After careful consideration I decided to do it. There are many different ways to tell a story and all are valid. I am gonna find another way in! SO! YES! I WILL SHAKE THINGS UP! YES, I WILL DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY. AND YES, you will hear some songs and mash ups you know and love! You can always expect the unexpected at one of my shows. I never do the same show twice.
You’ve also got a surprise production and a gig in South Africa coming up! How did the South African date come about? Can you give us any hints for your surprise?
One of my biggest reasons for returning to Edinburgh is to be seen by international producers, bookers and promoters. Edinburgh is three year, or more, investment to get these people to your show. They have about 3000 shows to choose from, after all. Last year, because of word of mouth about my show, a promoter from South Africa came one night. As I said goodbye to the audience after the show, he came to me and gave me his card and a letter of introduction. One always wonders if these things will come to pass...but then the offer for the inaugural Cape Town Cabaret Festival came. HOW freaking exciting is that? After producing my own show for years and selling myself, it is a dream to be brought somewhere. And to South Africa of all places!
Now, the secret show!!
After Edinburgh, my UK producing partner is bringing me to London for a show in a proper theatre, The Tristan Bates...but I wanted to do another show, a special show...to go back to my roots. So, Rob Harris, of Climar Productions went on the look out for an interesting location that honours my cabaret roots. For my second show in London, I will be at a wonderful cabaret space called, The Long Acre...with the tables, the booths...the closeness...I love the intimate nature of a room like THAT! I am very excited. A black box theatre one day and a cabaret space the next! LOVES THAT!
You’re considered the Cabaret Queen of Toronto – what tips do you have for up and comers?
Oh my sweet lord. How kind... and thanks for saying so. What to say? Okay. Forge your own path...look at and study the work of others in EVERY genre (music, storytelling, writing, arranging) and use that knowledge to find YOUR OWN voice. I made my own version of cabaret...make yours! There are so many definitions for cabaret...write your own. Look at all types of spaces...find the one that is right for you and if they don't feature acts, ask them to! Be brave, be bold and change the world.
For those unfamiliar with cabaret, can you explain to us exactly what it is and why people should give it a try?
WOW. That is a huge, fabulous question. Let us go back ALMOST to the beginning.
This is the dictionary definition of cabaret: cab-a-ret noun : entertainment held in a nightclub or restaurant while the audience eats or drinks at tables.