BWW Interview: AJ Bridel Talks Ross Petty's A CHRISTMAS CAROL
A family favourite during the holiday season, Ross Petty Productions' 22nd annual holiday musical presents the world premiere of A CHRISTMAS CAROL - The Family Musical with a SCROOGE LOOSE.
Playing Jane in the production is AJ Bridel. No stranger to the Toronto theatre scene, Bridel was a top-three finalist in CBC's Over the Rainbow and a Toronto Theatre Critics Award-winner for Mirvish's Kinky Boots.
BroadwayWorld's Taylor Long chats with Bridel about life at the end of the rainbow, and what to expect from her in this year's Ross Petty Production' - A CHRISTMAS CAROL.
PROFILE: AJ Bridel
Zodiac Sign | Aries
What are you listening to?
David Foster's Christmas Album and Eva Cassidy
Favourite Holiday Movie?
The Grinch (with Jim Carrey)
Favourite Christmas Carol?
Grown Up Christmas List
I was a fan of yours when you were a contestant in CBC's Over the Rainbow! How has that experience impacted your life?
Being a contestant on that show was one of the best and most unique experiences of my life. It was also one of the hardest. I think in a lot of ways it prepared me for the challenges of being a performer. Learning material quickly and being open to criticism were crucial lessons that I learned during that process. I also got to meet some of my idols in the industry and sing my face off on National Television! So that was a bit of a dream come true!
Recently, Toronto has seen you in Mirvish's Kinky Boots and in last year's Ross Petty show, Sleeping Beauty. What can we expect from you in this year's A CHRISTMAS CAROL?
This show is a particularly fun show for me vocally. I get to sing a few songs that are challenging in the most fun way and I am very excited to be sharing that with Toronto this Holiday season. I also get to fight the good fight as the feminist character in the storyline. It's a Panto, so there will be a lot of laughs and a lot of silliness, but we also touch on a few key, relevant, contemporary issues.
Describe pantomime for someone who has never experienced it.
A pantomime is unlike any other form of live performance! It's a modern twist on a classic story that allows the audience to throw their typical theatre etiquette out the window and be a part of the storytelling. There are jokes and songs for all ages to enjoy and plenty of opportunities to boo the villain and cheer on your favourite characters. It's the perfect family tradition for the holidays. Truly one of my favourite experiences as a performer!
You play Jane in the show. Tell me about her.
Jane is a young woman who works for Scrooge and still believes there is a good, kind person inside of him. Early in the play, however, she is fed up with his behaviour and promises to go on strike until he stops trying to take over Christmas. Her fate is ultimately tied up with the hope of Scrooge's redemption. She may even find love along the way...
Most people know the story of A Christmas Carol. How is this presentation unique?
This version of A Christmas Carol still has the heart of the original story but with the added joy of a modern, comedic twist! Our Scrooge (Cyrus Lane) does a wonderful job playing the antagonist that you love to hate - he comes around, in the end, to learn that the spirit of Christmas is about more than just STUFF. I don't want to give too much away, but the ghosts in the story are some of my favourite, most unique things about our version of A Christmas Carol.
You can catch AJ Bridel in Ross Petty's A CHRISTMAS CAROL - The Family Musical with a SCROOGE LOOSE, running through December 31, 2017 at the Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge St, Toronto, ON
For more info and to purchase tickets, visit rosspetty.com
Headshot photo credit: David Leyes