The latest Côte St. Luc Dramatic Society (CSLDS) production, Broadway is Back, is a chronological “greatest hits” of the best moments from the society’s nine productions over the last four years, as well as a launch of the society’s fifth season.
And it also represents a tribute to Anisa Cameron’s work as artistic director, whose guidance led to widely acclaimed productions like the Montreal English Theatre Award-winning Hairspray The Musical, as well as Grease, Catch Me If You Can, Fiddler on the Roof, Norm Foster’s Bedtime Stories and others.
Cameron told The Suburban that this fifth season is a “big step forward” for the CSLDS
“We have this relationship with the Segal Centre this year [with a Yiddish version of The Producers set for next June and July], we’re going to be at the Centaur doing a remount of Hairspray in January, and our Senior Summerworks Project, which we initiated this year [with the musical GrAnnie], was so successful that we’re launching that for a second time next summer,” she said. “Broadway is Back just seemed like a really great moment to celebrate where we’ve been up to this point and where we’re going.”
Côte St. Luc councillor Mitchell Brownstein, the show’s producer, said Broadway is Back is also a reunion for the different casts.
“They’re all so excited,” he enthused. “The idea of having a Côte St. Luc Dramatic Society was to include as many people as possible, and this production is doing just that,” he said.
The 50-member cast includes Grease star Ben Warner, who played Danny Zuko; Sam Stein, most memorable as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof; Catch Me If You Can star Brandon Schwartz and Hairspray star Amber Jonas. Ryan Kilgman will host the revue.
“Every one of our leads was stellar, and they will all be back,” said Brownstein. “The community should really come out and see them.”
‘It will really be a fast-paced show,” said Cameron.
Cameron has been immersed in theatre for years, having a background in performance, running the theatre program at Bialik High School for the last 10 years and directing.
“I was fortunate enough to work with Mitchell’s children at Bialik, and he came to me and said, ‘What do you think about running the CSLDS for the city,’ and in 2011, I said ‘great, sure,’” she explained. “I had no idea it would become what it is. I feel very fortunate, first of all, to know Mitchell. The city council and outgoing mayor Anthony Housefather have been so supportive of this program. The community of Côte St. Luc has really taken it on as their own, and it’s a source of pride for them.
Tickets are $20 and are on sale at the Côte St. Luc Aquatic and Community Centre, parks and recreation office and city hall. Performances, at the Harold Greenspon Auditorium (5801 Cavendish Blvd.) are 8 p.m. Nov. 4, 5 and 6, and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Nov. 7 and 8. Tickets for the Hairspray remount will be available at centaurtheatre.com starting this month.