Written & Compiled by Will Marks
God Save the Queen…at the very least, let’s thank Her Majesty for acknowledging and knighting great artists for their achievements and contributions to the realm. It is a very select group indeed! This year with Part 1, Two Good Knights showcases the lives and music of two outstanding artists – Sir Tom Jones and Sir Elton John. Both of these living legends have been performing around the globe for the past 50 years and continue to do so today. Sir Tom Jones, one of the greatest performers ever, tore up the 60’s with unmatched sex appeal and with what many described as the greatest pop voice of all time. Sir Elton John is one of the greatest singer/songwriter/performers the world has ever known! He is a multiple Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award winner, and has been a centerpiece of pop culture for half a century. Two great men, each worthy of knighthood and certainly worthy of us paying tribute to them this year in our continuing ICON series. We are excited to acknowledge the contributions of these brilliant artists and to bring to the Mayfield stage these Two Good Knights!
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Hello and welcome to the Mayfield Dinner Theatre and to the first production of the 2018/2019 season. It is my great pleasure to welcome Two Good Knights to our stage! This latest addition to our extremely popular ICON series pays tribute to the incredible musicianship of two of Her Majesty’s most famous subjects – Sir Tom Jones and Sir Elton John. The music of these two good knights has been part of our lives for the past 50 years and it was a no-brainer to tell their stories and celebrate their artistry. We are thrilled to have Mayfield favourite Kieran Martin Murphy in the role of Tom Jones, and newcomer to the Mayfield stage is Keith Retson-Spalding performing as Elton John. Two Good Knights promises to be a spectacular evening of music presented by a stellar cast of 11 actors, singers and musicians. The talent of this cast is “top drawer” and it has been an honour to work with such a committed company on such great music! And hey, you never know, perhaps Her Majesty may even show up (stranger things have happened…and will…). These Two Good Knights and their supporting cast will be bringing this fantastic show to the stage every night ‘til Oct 28th and starts off what I expect to be a great season of theatre here at the Mayfield. Thank you for sharing this experience with us and enjoy your evening at the theatre.
Dave Horak is a director and actor who has worked throughout Canada and the United States and is Artistic Director of the award-winning Edmonton Actors Theatre that has produced Stupid F##king Bird, Fatboy, Burning Bluebeard and most recently Terry and the Dog. Other recent directing credits include The Comedy of Errors (Freewill Shakespeare Festival), Going, Going, Gone and The Search for Signs…(Teatro La Quindicina), and Eurydice (U of A Studio Theatre). Some past Mayfield credits include performing in Boeing-Boeing, Godspell, Mile High Madness, The Full Monty, Shear Madness, and staging Back to the 80’s Pt. 2 last Christmas. Upcoming at the Mayfield: directing the very funny farce, Lend Me a Tenor. He has also taught acting, directing and movement at many Alberta universities and was honoured to be nominated for a 2018 MacEwan University Distinguished Teaching Award. Dave holds BFA (Acting) and MFA (Directing) degrees from the University of Alberta and was a participant in the 2015-16 Citadel/ Banff Professional Theatre Program. www.davehorak.com
Christine was born and raised in Calgary. Performances include Back to the 80’s, Jesus Christ Superstar, Cabaret, Top of The Pops, Chicago, The Wedding Singer, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Gypsy, Hair (Mayfield Theatre), Working (Plain Jane Productions-Edmonton Fringe), Songs For Sinners And Saints (Catalyst Theatre), The Yellow Wallpaper (Chinook Festival), Rent (Mirvish Productions and U.S. National Tour), Oliver!, West Side Story and Cabaret (Citadel Theatre), Damn Yankees (Drayton Entertainment), The Merry Widow (Opera Ontario), Featherland (One Yellow Rabbit). Choreography credits include Soul Sista’s, Hair, Back To The 80’s, Top Of The Pops, Buddy-The Buddy Holly Story, Carousel, Little Shop Of Horrors (Mayfield Theatre), Bittergirl The Musical (Charlottetown Festival, Citadel Theatre), One Man, Two Guvnors (Citadel Theatre) Heathers (Young Company Citadel Theatre), I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (Neptune Theatre) and Rent (Mexico City, Barcelona and Montreal).
Chris Bullough is an award winning Edmonton based Actor, Producer, Instructor, Playwright and Director whose work has been seen at professional theatre companies across Canada; including: Great Canadian Theatre Company in Ottawa, Globe Theatre in Regina, Theatre Calgary and Edmonton’s own Citadel Theatre. Audiences may remember Chris from the 2011 Mayfield production of The 39 Steps and as Sir Henry, the Cowhand turned millionaire (and various other roles), in last season’s Sherlock Holmes mystery, Baskerville! In 2016, Chris received his MFA in Directing at the U of A, directing and adapting Or The Whale, a re-imagining of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. Chris’ new play, Rig Pig Fantasia was recently presented as a part of this year’s Edmonton International Fringe Festival. You can catch Chris later this season on the Varscona Stage when he’ll be appearing in Lungs, by Duncan Macmillan.
When you get approached with the words “we’d like you to play Tom Jones” I think you are supposed to get scared or overwhelmed by taking on such an iconic figure. But I think the words that I found were somewhere along the lines of “Heck Ya!”. I have always admired this man, his voice and the music he brought to us all. After 6 months away from theatre, this is indeed a great way to dip ones feet back in the waters. I spent the last half a year working as a Teacher’s Aide for Sir George Simpson School and working on a new album titled L-O-Vee Eee, an exploration of the many things that we love from beer to romance. And now, I’m excited to be back at the Mayfield where I love working with these exceptional folks. Enjoy the show, and come and see ‘Tom’ in the lobby afterwards and pick up the new album! Selected credits: Les Miserables, The Buddy Holly Story, Rock of Ages (Arts Club Theatre); Spamalot, All Shook Up, J.C. Superstar (Stage West); The Pavilion (Shadow Theatre); Oliver (Citadel); J.C. Superstar, 9 to 5, Wizard of Oz and 16 rock reviews (Mayfield); and Luciano Paparazzi in the operatic/comedy sensation The PreTenors. Film and TV: Damnation (Netflix, USA); Fear Itself (NBC); Mixed Blessings (APTN); Necessary Evil (Web Series); and on radio for 4 seasons with CBC’s Irrelevant Show.
Growing up in Toronto, Keith started singing classical music in professional choirs at 12 years old, taking him to such stages as Massey Hall with the TSO and the Mendelssohn Choir, the O’Keefe Centre with the National Ballet School and with the Ontario Youth Choir with Galt MacDermot for the Opening of Hamilton Place. Coincidently, on one auspicious occasion, he also sang a service for the Royal Family in Westminster Abbey. Rock ‘n’ roll came calling while running out of money attending U of T, ending with a 12 year run as the singer and keyboard player of the 80’s cover band, ‘Click’. Keith settled in Edmonton as the manager and head technician at the Royal Alberta Museum and Theatre for over 15 years. He continued performing live at The Red Piano in W.E.M. for its entire 8-year run. Keith currently works with Holland-American, Carnival and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.
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), the Tommy Banks Band, and Princess Cruises. He has backed up Robert Goulet, Flip Wilson, 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 has recorded 4 CDs of his own pop/jazz music on his own label. From Paul: If it wasn’t for Elton John, I might not have pursued music as a career. And I’ve been waiting to play these Tom Jones tunes with the big brassy arrangements since I was young. Can’t wait! When not working in theatre, Paul loves to entertain Seniors under the stage name “Lam-Chops”.
Jennifer is excited to be back at the Mayfield for her 16th show! Past favourites include: Jesus Christ Superstar, The Simon & Garfunkel Story, Dark Star: The Life and Times of Roy Orbison, and Hairspray. As an accompanist, she has played for numerous choirs, soloists, cabarets, and musicals in Canada and abroad. As a vocalist, Jen has lent her talents to many vocal ensembles and has sung for various vocal jazz and choral publishing demos. She has performed as a backup singer for Ben Folds and has been a featured vocalist in many film, television and video game recordings. A few favourites include Universal Studios Tokyo, Warframe (video game), CBS’s Hawaii Five-0 and CBC’s The Nature of Things.
Derek grew up in a musical family and started playing at a young age. He moved to Alberta after high school, leaving his Manitoba farming roots behind, and began his professional musical career. During that time he also took a job for Otis Elevator Company. Like every job, it had its ups and downs. For almost two decades now he has been employed at the Mayfield Dinner Theatre playing musical revues and Broadway musicals. Although not the best bassist among the musicians before you, he is in the top five. Derek would never use gratuitous italics and is always delighted by the opportunity to write about himself in the third person. He’d love to go into more detail but only has 150 words and has unfortunately run out of
Harley has contributed to somewhere around 75 productions at the Mayfield as musician, singer, audio technician, and even occasionally as a cast member. Recent favourites include Soul Sistas, J.C. Superstar, The Simon & Garfunkel Story, and Four Lads Who Shook The World: The Beatles Story Parts 1 and 2 (as George Harrison). He finished up the past season at the Mayfield doing the live sound mix and sound design for All Shook Up and Forever Plaid. He has toured extensively with many artists, performing at events such as Lilith Fair, other major festivals, and on the national tour of the musical Red Rock Diner. Other than theatre he keeps busy freelancing and performing with his own group in support of his debut CD, entitled “Don’t Talk”. He also holds a diploma with honours from the Computer Systems Technology program at NAIT.
Bob Tildesley was born and raised in Calgary and after a few years of piano lessons, he began playing the trumpet at age 11 in the junior high school band. Thankfully the school, Viscount Bennett, had a very good music program. Around the age of 17, after hearing Miles Davis, he became interested in jazz and improvisation which he studied mainly on his own. But the jazz bug also led to his first studies of the art form with Donald Byrd, Bunky Green and a summer workshop that was held in Montreux, Switzerland during the jazz festival in 1974. Since moving to Edmonton in the mid 70’s he has performed/recorded with Tommy Banks (who he returned to Montreux with again in 1978 for Tommy’s juno award winning album featuring Big Miller), Kenny Wheeler, PJ Perry, Jay McShann, Alfie Zappacosta, Laila Biali, and others. Bob has performed in many shows and musical theater productions over the years including The Wizard of Oz, Chicago, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Cabaret, Soul Sistas and Only In Vegas for the Mayfield Dinner Theatre. Bob is thrilled to be back with the wonderful cast, crew and band for many great nights of Two Good Knights.