BWW Interviews: IT'S A WONDERFUL TORONTO with Matt Baram

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It's the dress rehearsal of The Rob Ford Christmas Special titled 'It's a Wonderful Toronto: The Rob Ford Holiday Spectacular!' and it's a holiday show like you've never seen before.  From the crazy folks at The National Theatre of the World comes this zany musical comedy that poor Rob Ford feeling a little bit depressed during the holiday season. 

When Ford begins having doubts about the material in his Christmas spectacular he becomes convinced that the show will tank and smear his political career and begins thinking about ending his life.  Paul Bates portrays the woebegotten Mayor of Toronto and the show promises to teach Torontonians a valuable lesson about The Holidays, love, Rob Ford and our civic duty as residents of this great city.

Director Matt Baram spoke to BWW about the show, the political undertones, the gravy train and more:

Since poor Rob Ford has had a tough go of it these past few weeks, I assume you've had to re-write most of the show to account for the fact that he's no longer Mayor.  What were the top five changes you were eager to make? 

We really didn't end up changing a lot. If Rob Ford decided not to appeal the verdict then we would have been in trouble. But since he is appealing, we're fine. We always expected him to fight back. Even though it will end up being costly for the city, it will ultimately be the funniest of all possible outcomes for our show. Instead of The Rob Ford Holiday Spectacular being a PR stunt to help boost his approval rating, the stakes were raised big time. Our Ford character is now doing the show to gain back support to get reinstated. 

How politically charged is your show?

The show is really about taking responsibility for your own city. It's not really about Ford. If it's political in any way, it's how we want to encourage Torontonians to take more responsibility in enacting their civic duty. 

How much holiday content is in the show?

We parody a few holiday classics and rewrite some popular christmas carols to jive with the whole Ford situation. But instead on Ford discovering the true meaning of Christmas, he discovers the true meaning of being a mayor.

Is it appropriate for the little ones? How about the Conservatives among us?

It's not appropriate for children. And since most Conservatives insist on behaving like children, it's not appropriate for them either. 

Do you like gravy with your nog? Could we be seeing a holiday gravy train?

There will most definitely be tons of gravy. If Rob hasn't found any so far, he'll certainly find it in the theatre.

We all know the saying ‘every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings'  Replace ‘Angel' with ‘Ford' and ‘Wings' with anything of your choosing... What tops the list?

Everytime a bell rings in the theatre, an angel's wings are painfully ripped from it's body.  Please turn off your cell phones!

When and Where?

It's A Wonderful Toronto! The Rob Ford Holiday Spectacular

Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace

December 11th - 22nd

Tickets can be purchased in person at the box office, by phone at 416-504-7529 or online at www.artsboxoffice.ca.

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Kelly Cameron Kelly Cameron's love affair with the theatre began when she was just five years old, on an outing to see the Original Canadian Cast of Les Miserables at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto. She instantly fell in love, and is honoured to be representing the Toronto contingent of BroadwayWorld as Senior Editor overseeing the GTA region.

Her writing career started almost by accident, though it has always been in her blood as her Mom was an English teacher who firmly believed in the importance of being able to turn a phrase. She also loved sharing her love of theatre with her students (and her children), and was a staunch supporter of the arts in Toronto.

When not at the theatre, you can usually find Kelly with a Starbucks in one hand and her BlackBerry in the other, tweeting, reading or doing something quirky and clumsy for the sake of getting that next big story.

She's incredibly grateful to the amazing Toronto theatre community who have embraced her with open arms, giving her the greatest gift a little redheaded theatre geek could ever ask for - getting to be a part of this vibrant arts and culture scene. She may have never had the skills to be on the stage, but is thankful every day she gets to write about the inspiring people who do.

Headshot photo by Racheal McCaig www.rachealmccaigphotography.com


 
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