Happy April Fool’s Day from SpringWorks

In honour of this day of jokes and pranks, hilarity and gullibility, SpringWorks is shining a light on our Comedy and Cabaret Series.

But first, on this Day of Fools, there is one thing that is no joke. Stratford is the place for theatre tickets! The Stratford Shakespeare Festival is offering any seat in the house for $39 and SpringWorks is putting all tickets on sale, as well. Until midnight tonight, ALL ADULT TICKETS ARE $15. General Tickets are available here; Church Restaurant Shows are available here; Or through our Call Centre: 1- 888-559-5077. These are two offers that are exactly good enough to be true, and that’s no laughing matter!

ONEymoon: Honeymoon for One ONEymoon Christel Bartelse Comedy
Friday May 10-Dinner: 8:00 PM, Show: 9:30 PM
The Church Restaurant

Created and performed by Christel Bartelse, ONEymoon kicks off our Dinner and Show series hosted by The Church Restaurant. It’s a solo comedy about a woman who marries herself. Uncertain about the institution of marriage and unwilling to commit to anything less than perfection, Caroline opts to re-invent the long standing social convention. Join her on her unusual wedding day and follow along on her beach vacation – her honeymoon for one. Filled with zany wit, improv, dance, and song, Caroline pokes holes in our notions of ‘wedded bliss’ – but ultimately finds that even a long-term relationship with herself has its pitfalls. A night of humour, heart, and tap dancing that should not be missed. Tickets available here.

Christel Bartelse in Significant Me
Significant Me
Saturday May 11, 4 p.m.
Stratford City Hall Auditorium

Rejoin Caroline Bierman, three years after her marriage to herself, in a ‘wildly funny, ultimately touching journey toward self-discovery’ (Hamilton Spectator). A comedy about the pursuit of the ‘perfect’ relationship. Significant Me is the sequel to ONEymoon, but you don’t have to see the first to enjoy the second. Set in her kitchen, Significant Me is full of ‘rare originality and theatrical zest,’ says the Edmonton Journal. For a brief interview with Christel and to see clips from this unique show, check out this CBC Hamilton Interview. Tickets available here.

A Little About Christel 
Christel, the ‘human fireball’ (Victoria Times Columnist) is a nominee for the 2011 Canadian Comedy Awards for Best One Person Show. A native of Kitchener, Ontario, she is a graduate of Second City Conservatory Program and Randolph Academy of Performing Arts. Since debuting her one woman show CHAOTICA in 2008 at the London Fringe, Christel and her one woman shows have been receiving acclaim from critics and audiences alike.

One Man Rodeo PosterOne Man Rodeo: Ari Weinberg Cabaret
Friday May 17, 10:30 p.m.   Factory163

Ari Weinberg brings his unique and entertaining take on life to SpringWorks with this cabaret that’s a roll in the hay! What does a gay Jewish boy from Thornhill know about the rodeo? Not very much! But he knows some things about the rodeo of life. Laughter, show tunes, and pop music collide in an audacious and intimate night of storytelling through song, sharing his experiences of metaphorical bulls and figurative cattle, all with the help of Mark Selby on piano. And some special guests too! Tickets available here.

A Little About Ari
Ari is thrilled to be making his Springworks debut. He is the creator, producer, and host of Shameless! For A Cause, an annual cabaret fundraiser at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre that raises money of LGBTQ youth programs. He has performed and been a guest in many cabarets in Toronto. As an actor, his credits include:Peter Pan (Stratford), Romeo and Juliet (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre), Hana’s Suitcase (Magnus Theatre),Man of LaManchaThe Merry Wives of Windsor (Theatre By The Bay), The Mousetrap, Swing!, Oliver! (Drayton Entertainment), and Bye Bye Birdie (Talk is Free Theatre).

What You Find In a Bottle
Monday May 13 @ 8pm and Tuesday May 14 @10pm

Chilina Kennedy

What You Find In A Bottle is a celebration of seven years of original folk song writing by Chilina Kennedy (Broadway and Stratford Festival star) with special guest star 2005 Canadian Idol winner Melissa O’Neil. Chilina recently did a sold out concert of her original music at the Metropolitan Room in NYC. She is pleased to be reunited with Rick Fox (piano and arrangements), Michele Fox (violin), Kevin Ramessar (guitar), and Graham Hargrove (percussion). What You Find In A Bottle is a celebration of seven years of folk song writing. Tickets available here.

A Little About Chilina
Chilina has made her career in theatre and spent three seasons at the Stratford Festival. She recently played Mary Magdalene on Broadway and originated the role of Pheobe D’Ysquith in the world premiere of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder at Hartford Stage and the Old Globe in San Diego. Chilina looks forward to recording an album in the fall.

Eins, Zwei, Drei, Boum! Poster
Eins, Zwei, Drei, Boum!
Friday May 17 @ 8pm  

A fun Cabaret in three languages; Un cabaret excentrique en trois langues; Ein lustiges Kabarett in drei Sprachen. Mary has performed her quirky cabaret to rave reviews ever since it debuted at the SpringWorks Festival. Joined on the piano by the wonderful David Warrack, composer, arranger, lyricist, librettist, musical director, conductor, pianist, producer, and so much more. The theme is “Love in All Its’ Stages,” and features songs by David Warrack, Charles Trenet, Billy Sherrill and Tammy Wynette, just to name a few. You’ll hear “Can’t Stop Talking About Him,” “Wer Liebe Sucht,” “Someone is Sending Me Flowers”, Itsy Bitsy,” “Their Things Were Out,” Talk” and many more. Curious? Curieux? Neugierig? … Tickets available here.

A Little About Mary
Mary is happy to be back at the SpringWorks Festival where she debuted Eins, Zwei, Drei, Boum! Some of her stage credits include: Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods/ Canadian Stage; Music Man, The Boyfriend, Annie/Huron Country Playhouse; Grease, Napoleon/Elgin Theatre; Sunday in the Park with George/Equity Showcase; Man of LaMancha, The Miracle Worker, Gypsy/Stratford Festival and the Les Belles Soeurs Workshop of the English musical. Most recently, Mary was part of the cast of Caroline or Change for Acting Up Stage. She has also performs in feature films and television.

Gabi EpsteinGabaret with Gabi Epstein
Saturday May 18, 10 p.m.

Named “Top Cabaret Act of 2012” by the Times Square Chronicles, Gabi Epstein tells stories of love, loss, success, and failure (but mostly success) through song. Often poignant but always funny, Gabi will show you a true cabaret performance! Tickets availablehere.

A Little About Gabi
A Toronto native, Gabi has been performing for as long as she can remember. Her love of music has taken her to Australia and New Zealand with the Toronto Children’s Chorus, to the Claude Watson School for the Performing Arts and later to Earl Haig Secondary School as a vocal major, to McGill University to complete her Bachelor of Music in an impressive 2 years, and then back to Toronto to explore her love of musical theatre. Gabi has become known as one of Toronto’s leading young cabaret performers, bringing her to The Rex, The Toronto Centre for the Arts, The Trane Studio, Berkely St. Theatre, Bread and Circus, the Pantages Hotel, as well as the Algonquin Hotel in New York City. Gabi recently released her first cd – Show Off – and hopes to be performing for years to come!

Anna Atkinson  Anna Atkinson Cabaret
Saturday May 18, 11:30 p.m.

Singer and multi-instrumentalist Anna Atkinson performs a concert of original songs in the middle of the night, joined by musicians Graham Hargrove, Ian Harper, Michael McClennan and George Meanwell. A sample of her music can be heard here. Tickets available here.

A Little About Anna
Since graduating as a violist from the University of Victoria department of music in 2008, Anna has, both as a live performer and as a highly regarded session player, contributed to dozens of projects. In June 2011, she released Mooniture, her debut CD recorded with producer Brent Bodrug, to critical acclaim. Since 2010 Atkinson has been a member of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, where she has been a featured performer on stage and, in 2011, a contributing composer. She has recieved two Guthrie Awards in support of her songwriting. This season, Atkinson returns to the Stratford Festival stage as the eponymous Fiddler in Fiddler on the Roof.

Songs I Sang at Seventeen: Torch, Twang, and Tearjerkers
Saturday May 11, 10 p.m
Stratford City Hall Auditorium

Pam GerrandPam Gerrand Cabaret: A Musical Memoir with the music of Joni Mitchell, Rickie Lee Jones, Janis Ian, Carly Simon, Linda Ronstadt, & More. Songs, stories and the songbirds that shaped Pam’s musical path as a singer/songwriter. Tickets available here.

A Little About Pam
A native of Saskatchewan, Pam’s roots are evident in the expansiveness of her voice and the strength at the core of her lyrics. She is a singer and songwriter, poet and prophet, and in recent years, she has stepped into her role as a sound healer. Her music has been described as ‘passionate, poetic folk pop’ and ‘stories from the soul.’. Pam has been an actor, dancer, singer, pianist, poet, until finding her own authentic voice as a songwriter. She is alumnae of the Banff School of Fine Arts and holds an Honours B.A. in English and Drama from the University of Saskatchewan. She has performed from coast to coast in Canada, including four seasons in the acting company of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. Pam now lives in Stratford, in a century home made lively and interesting by her ever-renovating husband Stephen, her children Carly and Jared, and their singing dog Henry.

In exclusive interviews, three of our spectacular cabaret performers share the backstory of their show, their love of Stratford, and their experience with pranks and jokes in this April Fool’s Day Edition.

Chilina Kennedy      Pam Gerrand      Ari Weinberg
Chilina Kennedy               Pam Gerrand                   Ari Weinberg

SWF: What was your inspiration behind creating this piece?

CHILINA: I have been writing songs for about 10 years but I had always been so busy with theatre that I didn’t have much time left over to invest in my writing. When I moved to NYC I suddenly found the inspiration, and the guts, to perform my songs live with the group of incredible talented musicians who play with me. Writing music is deeply personal for me so my inspiration comes from life’s ups and downs as well as work by many other wonderful songwriters – Joni Mitchell, Carole King and Bon Iver to name just a few.

PAM: I’ve always had friends suggest songs they’d love to hear me sing…mainly songs from the ’70’s and ’80’s, blues, jazz, and pop tunes that we’ve all loved. My husband Stephen has been involved with Springworks from the start, and he has nudged me for years to put together a Cabaret show of the female artists who I grew up listening and singing along to. This year, I began playing with a really talented and fun pair of musicians from the Collingwood area, Bambalamb and Avril Dell and after a gig I thought:  ‘hey, I’ve got the band for the Cabaret’. It’s going to be a musical memoir really, as all of these songs have shaped me as a singer, and as a songwriter. I have a feeling there will be lots of humming, toe tapping and singing along…as these songs immediately offer a ‘total recall’ of the glory days of our youth. I’ve had so much fun going back to these songs and revisiting these timeless melodies and lyrics. It’s going to a trip…down a musical memory lane!!

ARI: I love telling stories through song! Ari Weinberg: One Man Rodeo got its title from a song I wrote while studying at Sheridan College, I’ve surrounded it with a bunch of other songs (most of them are well known) find unique and funny ways to tell stories from my life. I love cabaret and I always jump at a chance to put together a new show- I’m so excited to be debuting this one at SpringWorks!!!

SWF: What is your favourite thing to do in Stratford?

CHILINA: There is much that I’m stoked about in Stratford! The Stratford Festival, the farmer’s market, the Stratford Summer Music Festival, Art in the Park, watching the ducks and swans by the river, TJ Dolan Wildlife Preserve and Foster’s brunch is a start!

PAM: I’ve lived in Stratford now for two decades, so my favourite things have changed over time. Right now, I’d have to pick two things. I love to stop byRevel Caffe, as they serve up a really good cuppa, and it’s like the town square meeting place. The contrast to this overtly social outing, is my almost daily trip to the T.J. Dolan where I take my dogs for a walk. This incredible old growth forest is only a few blocks from my house. I find the beauty and the silence and the nature is a perfect re-boot and rebalancing to my beautifully busy and creative life!

ARI: When I was a member of the Festival’s acting company I lived right above Family & Co- I WENT IN ALL THE TIME!!! It’s so much fun. I just love hanging out in there and playing with the toys (and making loot bags to give to friends for any occasion). I also love eating at County Food Co.

SWF: Since this is the April Fool’s Edition, what is the best prank you’ve ever pulled or ever had pulled on you? If you’ve never had one, what about an hilarious theatre story?

CHILINA: I wish I had more prank stories! One hilarious theatre/prank story is from my Mamma Mia! US Tour days (I have a few of those). I played Sophie and Sky is my fiancee in the show. The guy who played Sky is a big, muscly hunky guy and was brand new to the tour. In the musical, there is a scene when he and I flirtatiously get him into a wetsuit on the beach and I am the one doing most of the dressing and zipping up. One days the guys in the show decided to switch out Sky’s wetsuit for one belonging to a friend of mine in the chorus, who happened to be the smallest person in the show. Getting the wetsuit even up to Sky’s waist was a huge task, not to mention zipping it up – like fitting a bear into a ballet leotard. He could barely move and I couldn’t keep it together – I laughed all the way through the scene.

PAM: No April Fool’s pranks stand out, and as far as theatre stories go, I would be busted if I told the tales of my summer in The Mikado and the fellas who tried to crack us up from the wings. Suffice it to say, we were grateful to have the beautiful painted fans to hide behind…that’s all I will say on that one…

ARI: During a Canada Day performance of a play, an actor in the wings shoved a small Canadian flag down her thong and flashed all the actor’s on stage with it… still makes me giggle (and blush).


Did you know there are no less than four references to April Fool’s in the works of William Shakespeare?

Hamlet – Act II, Scene 2
Hamlet: Then is doomsday near, but your news is not true, lest you speak upon the thirty-second day of March. Let me question more in particular: what have you, my good friends, deserved at the hands of fortune, that she sends you hither to a prison.

Twelfth Night – Act I, Scene 5
Feste: Misprision in the highest degree! Lady, cucullus non facit monachum; that’s as much to say as I wear not motley in my brain, though I be born upon the motley day ‘tween St. Francis and St. Ben. Good madonna, give me leave to prove you a fool.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Act II, Scene 2
Helena: Wherefore was I to this keen mockery born?
When at your hands did I deserve this scorn?
Is’t just to play up on my mind as t’were
Caesar’s Saturnale? Is your loath so pure?

Henry IV, Part 1 – Act II, Scene 2
Falstaff: Go, hang thyself in thine own heir-apparent garters! T’is scarce the time to play thespring-time fool!

Happy April Fool’s Day!


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