PLAYHOUSE: Christmas production opens soon

PLAYHOUSE: Christmas production opens soon

CORNWALL, Ontario – Upper Canada Playhouse audiences are in for a magical, musical, holiday treat when Lights, Camera… Christmas!, a new play by Jesse Collins, opens on November 27.

“It’s a ring-side seat to the ‘behind the scenes’ ups and downs of producing a good, old-fashioned 70’s television variety Christmas show,” explained artistic director, Donnie Bowes. “Complete with comedy, song and dance numbers.”

The play revolves around the fictional world of singing star, Gordie Roberts, and his troupe of actors, singers and dancers. There’s trouble on the set and Gordie’s world is falling apart. You see, the network guys are threatening to cancel his show if he doesn’t come up with new material that reflects the immerging Disco rage, but he’s reluctant to change his old fashioned crooning ways.

Adding insult to injury, his wacky troupe is also pressuring him to create new routines, a revolt is brewing within the ranks, and his girlfriend, Marilyn, feeling neglected, is threatening to leave.

Lights, Camera… Chirstmas!, is directed by Collins, an Emmy Award Nominated director for the PSB series Zoboomafoo, and choreographed by Liz Gilroy, director and choreographer of the Toronto production of Rob Ford The Musical.

The cast features a mix of Playhouse regulars plus many talented newcomers who bring a wealth of experience to the Playhouse stage. Starring as Gordie Roberts is Derek Marshall, who recently appeared as Alan Freed in Memories of Rock & Roll.

“It was Marshall’s stellar performance in last season’s Vegas Knights, playing stars such as Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, that made him the obvious choice for the part,” said Bowes. “Marshall is a gifted actor and singer, whose connection with audiences has made him a popular performer across the country.”

Playing girlfriend, Marilyn, is Liz Gilroy, seen in many Playhouse shows over the years, most recently Lend Me A Tenor.  Timm Hughes, last seen in Bedfull of Foreigners, plays Butch the network boss, and Ottawa actor, Zach Council, last seen in No Sex Please, We’re British, plays the dual roles of Gordie’s nephew Vince and the stage manager.

Returning to The Playhouse, after two decades, is Duff MacDonald, who was previously seen in the musical 18 Wheels. MacDonald, who plays Morty, Gordie’s business manager and best friend, has worked in theatres all over the country, as well as a US national tour of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

Making their Playhouse debuts are Geoffrey Tyler (Stratford Festival, Toronto’s Mirvish Productions) who plays Rick, a dancer and Miranda MacDonald (Rob Ford The Musical), his dance partner, Denise.

The Playhouse is also pleased to welcome Rod Campbell as Uncle Charlie, known for several seasons at the Shaw Festival, as well as a member of the cast of the Broadway musical Ragtime. Playing the role of Rhoda is musical director Meredith Zwicker, who has appeared in The Playhouse’s last five Christmas productions.

Lights, Camera… Christmas runs from November 27 to December 14, at The Upper Canada Playhouse, in Morrisburg. For further information call 613-543-3713/1-877-550-3650, or visit

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