It’s a whole new world out there and it’s unfolding on a historic stage in Collingwood. Adrian Marchuk’s new show premieres at Theatre Collingwood on Oct. 11.
The concert-revue centers on the music of Alan Menken, a multi-award winning composer/songwriter for well-known shows such as Aladdin, Beauty And The Beast, The Little Mermaid, Pocahontas and Little Shop Of Horrors. The show is named for the Aladdin song, A Whole New World.
“It’s a behind-the-scenes look at the life and music of the greatest composer of Broadway and Hollywood,” said Marchuk. “It’s all the songs you love and we give you the stories behind the version of the songs before it became the famous one you know.”
Menken is credited for the renaissance of Disney musicals starting with The Little Mermaid, which paved the way for more animated movies leading up to Tangled as well as other well-known shows such as A Christmas Carol, Sister Act, and Newsies.
“My personal favourite is Aladdin,” said Marchuk. “It was the first one I saw in a theatre when I was 12. That one burned very brightly in my memory and when I was a kid I was told I looked like Aladdin.”
A Whole New World follows previous hit concert musicals Marchuk has created and co-produced (Any Dream Will Do, The Sweetest Sounds, Over The Rainbow). He frequently appears in the shows too, including this one, where he will be joined by a band and three actors/singers: Elena Juatco, Dana Jean Phoenix and Stewart Adam McKensy.
Elena Juatco came to national attention on season two of Canadian Idol and has since become an award-winning actress in theatre, film, and TV. She released a CD of original songs, Beyond This Line, in 2015.
Dana Jean Phoenix is a synthwave singer/songwriter from Toronto. She’s toured internationally as the front woman for the Juno-nominated band God Made Me Funky, had her original music featured on The Voice (US), in Netflix original films and released her third album, Synth City, this year.
Stewart Adam McKensy is an actor who has appeared in Shaw Festival shows, Broadway and Mirvish productions. He also did the U.S. tour of Kinky Boots.
Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Marchuk started appearing in high school shows and, after acquiring a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in musical theatre from the University of Windsor, moved on to star as Frankie Valli in the Toronto and Las Vegas companies of Jersey Boys, the Ontario tour of Anne & Gilbert and appearances at the Shaw Festival.
He is on the faculty at Randolph Academy, Sheridan College and St. Clair College in addition to teaching voice privately in Toronto. He is married to Alexa and the couple recently expanded their family to include three siblings, aged four, eight and 12.
A Whole New World runs from Oct. 11-13, at the Gayety Theatre in Collingwood. Visit theatrecollingwood.ca for tickets.
Photo: Adrian March stars in A Whole New World, a concert revue, Oct. 11-13, at Collingwood.