THE GUIDE TO BEING FABULOUS Comes to Soulpepper Theatre

Performances run October 24 to November 12, 2023 at the Michael Young Theatre.

By: Oct. 02, 2023
THE GUIDE TO BEING FABULOUS Comes to Soulpepper Theatre

Soulpepper Theatre will present The Guide to Being Fabulous, featuring stories and original songs that follow icon Sandra Caldwell’s journey from a pickpocketing youth to a star of stage and screen. Created by and Starring  Caldwell and directed by Weyni Mengesha, The Guide to Being Fabulous runs October 24 to November 12, 2023 at the Michael Young Theatre, Young Centre for the Performing Arts, as part of the Her Words Festival.

The Guide to Being Fabulous showcases Sandra Caldwell’s journey as she joins the frontlines of the Stonewall riots, the New York Ballroom scene, parties at Studio 54, and performs everywhere from the Moulin Rouge to Broadway. But it’s not all glam and glitz, as her prison time in Montreal and New York can attest to. And while Sandra Caldwell has often been recognized as a star of stage and screen, few people know just how iconic and unbelievable her real-life story is. 

“How fortunate I am to be able to tell my story in my way, surrounded by care, love and respect." Sandra Caldwell

“Soulpepper is incredibly honoured to be working with Sandra Caldwell to bring The Guide to Being Fabulous to our stage. Her incredible life's story as a trailblazer is powerfully told through an electric performance of story and song. Sandra's magnetic charisma has filled the rehearsal hall with such energy and joy, and I can't wait for audiences to experience that magic.” Weyni Mengesha, The Guide To Being Fabulous Director and Soulpepper Artistic Director

The Guide to Being Fabulous is part of the Her Words Festival, a festival of new works and works-in-progress from Canada's most exciting female playwrights and emerging voices, as well as candid community conversations with industry leaders. In addition to three eclectic and electric mainstage productions - The Guide to Being Fabulous, WILDWOMAN by Kat Sandler, and Sympathy for the Devil by Raha Javanfar - Her Words will feature exciting ancillary programming with notable creators such as Falen Johnson and Meredith MacNeil. Her Words is supported by Soulpepper Women Centre Stage. It is also an initiative within Soulpepper’s New Play Development program which is supported by BMO Financial Group and Kevin and Roger Garland.

An award-winning actress, trailblazer, and icon, Sandra Caldwell is an inspiration within and beyond the Trans community. A Washington D.C native, Sandra’s career extends throughout the whole of the arts community, with success in theatre, film, television, and music. In Toronto, Sandra was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for her lead role as Phyllis in Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies. Sandra made her Broadway debut in the original company of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, at New York’s Schubert Theater. Sandra credits her most defining moment onstage thus far as her portrayal of Darlene Andrews, outspoken trans advocate and etiquette teacher from the south side of Chicago, in the groundbreaking production of Charm for New York’s MCC Theater Company. Other notable theatre credits include Coming Through Slaughter, directed by Richard Rose, and Anything That Moves, written by Ann-Marie-McDonald. Sandra’s film and television highlights include The Book of Negroes, The Cheetah Girls, Serendipity, and Down In The Delta, Maya Angelou’s first directorial feature. Now with her series of one-woman shows The Guide to Being Fabulous, In My Own Lane, and Acoustically Yours, all leading to what she calls her ultimate truth in story, Hiding In Plain Sight, she once again reinvents herself. 


Soulpepper gratefully acknowledges support for The Guide to Being Fabulous from Salah Bachir and Jacob Yerex and our major sponsor and community access partner Scotia Wealth Management. 


When: October 24 to November 12, 2023 at 8:00pm (Mondays are dark). Weekend and Wednesday matinees at 2:00 pm and Pay What You Choose Tuesdays

Previews: October 24 to 27, 2023 at 8:00pm

Opening Night: October 28, 2023 at 8:00pm

Where: Michael Young Theatre, Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane

Approx. Runtime: 90 minutes (no intermission)

Price: Tickets range from $25.00 to $65.00 

Book & Lyrics by Sandra Caldwell

Music by Sandra Caldwell & James Dower

Additional Music by John Alcorn

Additional Dialogue by Marilyn Jaye Lewis

Director - Weyni Mengesha 

Choreographer - Rodney Diverlus 

Michael Shand - Music Director & Pianist 

Sandra Caldwell as herself

Tiffany Deriveau as Joann & Others 

Miss Niki Nikita as Romy Haag & Others

Kobena Aquaa-Harrison on Guitar & Percussion

Wilson Laurencin on Drums

Jen Benton on Bass

Anahita Dehbonehie - Set Designer 

Ming Wong - Costume Designer 

Michelle Ramsey - Lighting Designer 

Thomas Ryder Payne - Sound Designer 

Frank Donato - Projection Designer 

Robert Harding - Stage Manager 

Madison Kalbhenn - Assistant Stage Manager

Tsholo Khalema - Assistant Director*

*2022-2023 ThisGen Directing Fellow supported by Why Not Theatre

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