We open up our 2014/2015 Season with something completely different: FOLKSWAGGIN’: Music of the People! This year in our popular Icon series we venture, for the first time, into the music and culture of Folk! Most of what we know and love in Folk music has been created and performed for us by American and Canadian artists; but in truth its origins are centuries old, from peoples all over the globe eventually making its way to the “new world”. Inspired by Edmonton’s own brilliant Folk Festival, FolksWaggin’ is our review of this extraordinary culture and the artists responsible for it’s creation and evolution. It is the traditions passed down from generation to generation, which truly makes it folk music. As Woody Guthrie once said, “Folk music is music of the people, by the people, for the people.” FolksWaggin’ celebrates great North American icons such as Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Crosby, Stills an Nash, Neil Young and more! Join us around the globe as we celebrate the music and traditions of its people.”
Inspired by Edmonton’s own brilliant Folk Festival!
By Will Marks & Kevin Michaels
Welcome to the Mayfield Dinner Theatre and our first production of the 2014/2015 season, Folkswaggin’: Music of the People. As Edmontonians, we are very fortunate to have in our city every year one of the greatest folk festivals in on the planet! It is this festival, and others like, it which has inspired us to create Folkswaggin’. An interesting thing happened during rehearsals for this show. It’s always an amazing experience to see how a show comes together, and see the talent that has been gathered do what it does, but I’ve never quite experienced that like I have on this show. This cast has 11 unbelievably talented musicians/performers in it – such an eclectic group of people – with two things in common that really stick out. They all bring great musicianship and work ethic to the process – which we knew of course, when these people were brought on board. But what really blew my mind was their openness to be pushed into brand new areas of performance. Every member of this cast, at some point or another, has taken a giant step out of their comfort zone and is either playing an instrument that they have never played before, singing in a language that they have never heard, or moving in a way that…well, lets face it, these people are musicians and dancing isn’t usually something that appears on their resume. The driving force in this show has been the story and origins of folk music. When you really look close at it, we all have an attachment to it…some memory or experience that is connected in some way to the music you will hear and see being performed this evening. I hope you have an amazing evening at the theatre.
Recent musicals: Carrie: the Musical, Young Frankenstein and The Musical of Musicals: the Musical!. Sondheim is a favorite; Jim’s directed Assassins, Into the Woods, Merrily We Roll Along, Sweeney Todd, A Little Night Music and Company. Other favorites include Nine, Spring Awakening, Xanadu, Cowgirls and Oil City Symphony. Theatre credits: Venus in Fur, King Lear, Joni Mitchell’s Songs of a Prairie Girl, Rabbit Hole, Shining City, Dying City. His indie company Wild Side Productions has produced The Pillowman, Fat Pig and I Licked A Slag’s Deodorant. He’s won six Sterling Awards for Direction, was nominated for the Siminovitch Prize in Theatre, and a Dora Award for Oleanna.
John is an honours Graduate of The Royal Academy of Music in London, England and began his career as a classical musician playing with some of Britain’s top orchestras such as The Royal Philharmonic, Welsh National Opera and Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet. As an actor/musician, he has appeared in several of London’s West End shows such as The Buddy Holly Story, Jailhouse Rock, Great Balls of Fire and The Sound Of Music. He is now the Music Supervisor for The Buddy Holly Story through Buddy Worldwide Ltd and has directed and appeared in many productions across Europe and North America. John was nominated for The Sterling Award for best Musical Director for the Mayfield’s production of Buddy and is extremely pleased to be back for the production of Folkswaggin’ and Top Of The Pops.
Kevin is over the folkin’ moon to be back at the Mayfield! He says he missed us! He’s been very busy schooling full time at the U of A and is extremely excited to complete his Bachelor of Education program in April. Kevin also holds a Television Arts diploma from NAIT and is a proud member of the Global Edmonton News Team. Some of his favourite appearances here: The Full Monty (Malcolm), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Andre), The Wedding Singer (Robbie Hart), Nashville Outlaws (Willie Nelson), Four Lads 1 & 2 (Paul McCartney), The Buddy Holly Story (Jerry), Dark Star: The Life and Times of Roy Orbison (Narrator, George Harrison, Everly Brother), The British Invasion (Ensemble). He sends love and kisses out to Christine, Madison, and Jack. Enjoy the show!
Paul Morgan Donald is a musician, actor and songwriter, becoming surprisingly skilled at household handiwork as he fixes up a 1901 farmhouse in Knoydart, Nova Scotia. The rest of the time Paul lives in Edmonton with an ever-expanding collection of guitars and other instruments and his wonderfully understanding (though increasingly clutter-conscious) partner, Michele. Paul is excited to be performing with this group of great musicians and friends exploring such an interesting songbook. Mayfield audiences previously saw him as Texas DJ Hipockets Duncan in Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story and he can be found most Monday nights at the Varscona Theatre underscoring Die-Nasty, the Canadian Comedy Award-winning live improvised soap opera.
Allison is a world-class fiddler who has been playing since the age of four. At 13 years old, she started teaching at the Brandon University and at 16, joined the group Barrage. Celebrated as a soloist, she excelled in the theatrical production with tours throughout the world. This included television and film production, live/studio recording and commercial/radio broadcasts. As part of a tour throughout Europe, she was part of a BBC broadcast for over 10 million viewers. Allison has shared the stage with acts including Alanis Morrisette, Barenaked Ladies, Great Big Sea, Blue Rodeo, Jann Arden, Michelle Wright, Martina McBride, Keith Urban, and Ashley MacIssac, Gord Bamford, Jake Mathews, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Lisa Brokop, Dallas Smith, Aaron Pritchett. She has been nominated as the CCMA “Fiddler of the Year” four times, taking the award home in 2013. She has also supported our troops by bringing them the joy of music, in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Dubai and Alert (The North Pole). She has dedicated herself to music of all genres, touring internationally with a few groups of her own creation. Her CD’s “Forever Fiddling” and “Live in Studio” are available for sale in the lobby. For more information visit www.allisongranger.com.
Andrea is delighted to be at the Mayfield, surrounded by such great musicians. Recent credits include The Frozen Water Fortunes (Acme Theatre), Forget Me Not (Capitol Theatre, Fort Edmonton) and In the Stardust of a Song (Cabaret series, Citadel Theatre). Andrea is proud to have worked with Shadow Theatre, the Citadel Theatre, Teatro La Quindicina, the Edmonton International Street Performer’s Festival and the St. Albert Children’s Festival. As a singer/songwriter, Andrea has been fortunate to be a part of many projects including Andy Donnelly’s Celtic Show (live radio Christmas concert -CKUA), The Vinyl Cafe (CBC), and the C’mon Chamber Music Festival. Recent musical highlights include sharing the stage at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival with Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Linda Tillery, and opening for The Blind Boys of Alabama at the Winspear Centre for Music. Love to my girls, Mom and Chris.
One of the most respected and in-demand drummers in Western Canada, Stephen performs and records with numerous national and international artists. Known for his versatility and keen musicianship, Stephen is looking forward to performing again with the Mayfield Dinner Theatre.
Multi-instrumentalist Paul Lamoureux was born here in Edmonton. He holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in music from North Texas State University, and a diploma in Performing Arts from Grant MacEwan College. Paul has performed with Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas (“O” at the Bellagio), and the Tommy Banks Band. Mayfield Dinner Theatre productions include Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Full Monty, The Wedding Singer, 9 to 5: The Musical, History of Rock ‘n Roll: Stars & Stripes and Hairspray. He has backed up Robert Goulet, Mickey Rooney, Red Skelton, and toured with Grammy-nominated Christian rock act Degarmo and Key. Fluently bilingual, Paul was Musical Director of CBC French radio’s Gala Albertain de la Chanson for 8 years and was Musical Director for Theatre Francais de Toronto’s musical retrospective Et si on chantait… in 2008. Paul has recorded 4 CDs of his own pop/jazz music on his own label. When not working in theatre, Paul travels the world as a musician with Princess Cruises, playing saxophone, woodwinds, piano, and piano/vocal.
Lisa’s music has taken her around the world with such greats as Rita MacNeil, Roger Whittaker, and Molly Johnson, to name a few. With a busy touring schedule, Lisa considers herself truly fortunate. Selected theatre credits include Le Cage Aux Folles, Elf, Legally Blonde, Jesus Christ Superstar, Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story, Flying On Her Own, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, The Rocky Horror Show, Cats, Annie, Chicago, The Sound of Music, Evita, Oliver, Beauty and the Beast and most recently Mary Poppins (Neptune Theatre, Halifax); Nashville Icons, Super Groovy 70’s parts 1 & 2, A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline and History of Rock ‘n Roll (Mayfield Dinner Theatre). Lisa is happy to be back in Edmonton and is currently working on a new solo album. Enjoy the show!
Mark is happy to be back performing in his 8th show at the Mayfield, Folkswaggin’, where in addition to guitar and vocals he will be playing harmonica, mandolin, ukulele, and dobro. Some past personal show highlights at the Mayfield include Dark Star: The Life and Times of Roy Orbison, Super Groovy 70’s Parts 1 and 2 and Nashville Outlaws. When not contributing as a producer/ session player for other projects, Mark has released over ten albums in his own name and has traveled with music all over Canada, America, Europe, and Asia.
Before this show, Derek had already had a lifetime of playing with the great folk artists of the world. Like Peter, Paul and Mary (strumming along to his Dad’s LP spinning in the living room of the family farmhouse while eating prairie oysters), Bob Dylan (jamming to his cross-dressing school buddy Kevin’s album of Dylan’s ‘Live At Newport’ on his parent’s ratchety turntable on Richhill Street), Joni Mitchell (while his aunt was teaching him how to knit long johns and spinning Big Yellow Taxi at the cabin at Oak Lake) and Paul Simon (while his half-witted brother wore a red wig and they mimed The Sound Of Silence at the Elementary School Talent Show). Aside from his checkered past, Derek is rather folking ecstatic to be performing these hits for all o’ y’all, aujourd’hui. And even though he has been demoted to playing the mandolin, banjo and bass or whatever is left, he promises to just take it one song at a time, be a team player and give a hundred and ten percent! Derek always appreciates the opportunity to write about himself in the third person. He also wants to dedicate this show and the funds from this show to his girls Pam, Emily and Ashley.
Recently at the Mayfield Harley was the live sound engineer for Hairspray, and was on stage playing for A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline and The History of Rock & Roll – Stars & Stripes. Past Mayfield highlights as guitarist/performer include Four Lads Who Shook The World – The Beatles Story Parts 1 and 2 (as George Harrison), Dark Star – The Life and Times of Roy Orbison, Super Groovy 70’s Parts 1 and 2, and Jesus Christ Superstar back in the 90’s. He has toured extensively with artists of many different genres, including stops at events such as Lilith Fair and major jazz festivals. Outside of the theatre he plays and sings with his own group in support of his debut jazz/blues CD, entitled “Don’t Talk”. He also holds a diploma with honors from the Computer Systems Technology program at NAIT.