From a media release:
Opening Soon: WAY OFF BROADWAY! All-New Original Series Premieres Feb. 10 on Bravo!
- What do a dentist, real estate developer and psychiatry resident have in common? The dream of performing Off Broadway!
Bravo! announced today that its all-new original showstopper WAY OFF BROADWAY premieres Friday, Feb. 10 at 8 p.m. ET (visit bravo.ca to confirm local broadcast times), just in time for the premiere of new mid-season series SMASH. Juggling real-life careers, families and hectic schedules, WAY OFF BROADWAY turns amateur community theatre enthusiasts into musical entertainers in just eight weeks. The announcement comes just days after these everyday individuals presented their final performance in front of a sold-out crowd of over 1,100 at Torontoâ€™s Danforth Music Hall. Meet the non-star cast of WAY OFF BROADWAY below.
WAY OFF BROADWAY details the behind-the-scenes action from the intense auditions, the gruelling rehearsals, and the drive necessary to become a united, ensemble cast performing the famous musical classic, The Wizard of Oz. Acclaimed director, dancer and performance coach Sarina Condello puts these musical newbies through their paces over eight weeks, documented in 13, one-hour episodes, before their one-and-only public performance in front of 1,100 people. Proceeds from tickets sales to the show raised $25,000 for Sarinaâ€™s charity The Big Little Caravan of Joy.
Director Condello pushes each of the 21-member cast to their limits, taking them from their daily routines to centre stage. The cast of WAY OFF BROADWAY includes:
- Shuyuan Chien â€“ retiree and proud grandmother of two who loves cooking, singing, drawing and travelling abroad.
- Harvey Cooperberg â€“ dentist, husband of 30 years and father of two who never abandoned his passion for the stage.
- Clare Davenport â€“ former finance and nonprofit consultant turned holistic nutritionist.
- Matthew Davis â€“ Australian native who loves bike riding, snowboarding and his new city, Toronto.
- David Gibson â€“ high-energy individual who enjoys biking, running and camping.
- Debi Haryett â€“ Saskatchewan cattle/horse farmer who switched from a career in investment banking to naturopathy.
- Kathleen Henry â€“ yoga teacher who loves the great Ontario outdoors and sports including tennis, running, snowboarding, kite-surfing and biking.
- Tazyia Lakkotrypis â€“ hotel/food and beverage/culinary management student who hopes to one day open a Cypriot restaurant in Toronto.
- Jon Lee â€“ psychiatry resident at the University of Toronto who does research in transcranial magnetic stimulation at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
- Sean Listro â€“ business management student at Ryerson University whose mind constantly wanders from his books to the stage.
- Michael McCarthy â€“ freelance photographer and facilitator of menâ€™s groups which help men tap into their own inner wisdom, divine spark and higher guidance.
- Sandra McKinnon â€“ undergraduate degree student who works in maintenance technical support at IBM.
- Frank Nelson â€“ high school teacher who enjoys setting a good example for his students.
- Michael Oâ€™Morrow â€“ communications degree student at Torontoâ€™s York University and active fundraiser for Greenpeace Canada.
- Rick Poetker â€“ software sales executive who enjoys working with forward-thinking technologies.
- Jodi Richards â€“ daycare teacher who shares her talent for painting and design with her young students.
- Aku Richter â€“ greenhouse manager and native of Dagbamete, Ghana, a happily married mother of three who loves cooking and entertaining.
- LeeAnne Rorabeck â€“ an arts lover who studied fundraising and marketing.
- Rebecca Sutin â€“ glee club program director and owner of childrenâ€™s performance group, RollCall Theatre Company.
- Siobhan Sweeny â€“ architectural studies and art history student at the University of Toronto who aspires to attend graduate school in architecture.
- Bernie Tanz â€“ municipal, provincial and federal elections candidate for the PC Party who is happily married with three children and works in real estate development.