George Turnbull will present a workshop presentation of a new musical adaptation of Stephen Leacock's anthology Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town 4 PM February 24th at Humber Valley United Church, 76 Anglesey Boulevard, Toronto.
Leacock's masterpiece, set in the fictional town of Mariposa, is based on experiences and people he knew growing up in Orillia, Ontario. The collection of short stories, originally written in 1912, has become classic Canadiana thanks to easily recognizable small town archetypes and the universal theme of the importance of community.
The story follows Josh Smith, an unscrupulous pub owner who goes from the despised owner of the town's dingiest bar to winning the region's parliamentary seat for the Conservative Party; Peter Pupkin, a sincere, but empty-headed bank clerk who must win over the hot-tempered father of the town's most beautiful girl; and Rupert Drone, the absentminded Anglican minister who botched his church's finances and needs to save it from bankruptcy.
The script, written by Daniel Falk, co-writer and producer of the long running Funny Business - The Musical at the Diesel Playhouse in Toronto in 2007-2008, seamlessly weaves many of the book's stories into a unified narrative to create a more coherent theatrical experience. The script will feature a fresh score of original songs written by lyricist Lezlie Wade, who recently directed RENT at the Panasonic Theatre and assistant directed Jesus Christ Superstar on Broadway while studying at the BMI workshop, and composer Sandy Thorburn, who has written music for film and television and is resident musical director at the Thousand Islands Playhouse.
The workshop features some of the Canadian musical theatre scene's top talent. Jay Turvey directs and dramaturges, Allen Cole musical directs, and the cast features Bruce Dow, Susan Henley, Juie Martel, Ian Deakon, Kaylee Harwood, Ari Weinberg, Mark Uhre, J Sean Elliott, Kyle Dadd, Scott Hurst, and Ramona Gilmour Darling.