I started out in “show biz” at the tender age of – gosh I’m not even sure. My sister Helen and I used to perform for my parents’ guests using the fireplace hearth as our stage. We came by it honestly as both Mom and Dad are singers and entertainers. Helen and I later appeared in the St. John Fisher church basement in the critically acclaimed “Gay Nineties Revue” where we wowed the crowd with a rousing rendition of “Barney Google” (I was eleven and Helen was nine). After that I was hooked.
During high school, I did a bit of folk singing with my guitar. The family moved to London, Ontario where I continued the folk singing and performed on the coffee house circuit. Then back to Montreal for a few years appearing in several community theatre productions there. By then, I was totally bitten by the show biz bug, so off to Toronto I went.
My first “gig” was at the Cambridge Motor Hotel in “Flashback Follies of the Gay Nineties” (a lot like the Gay Nineties Revue but we were all older and the show didn’t include Barney Google). I auditioned for A. Frank Ruffo and was a nervous wreck. I even remember what I wore – an off-white peasant blouse and brown cords. He asked me to do a box step and I almost fainted. He hired me anyway.
Well, I had finally hit the big time. Since then, I’ve appeared across Canada in shows like Anything Goes, Cinderella, A Fairy’s Tale, Gypsy, Napoleon, Anne of Green Gables, Annie, Sunday in the Park with George, Man of La Mancha, The Miracle Worker, The Boyfriend, Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, Caroline or Change – just to name a few.
I’ve appeared in films, TV and commercials and recorded some voiceovers.
Which brings me to my cabaret. I have two sisters who live in Austria and Germany and I was tired of going to visit and not being able to speak or understand German. So, I decided to go back to school to learn the language. Then I got the bright idea of a three language cabaret – English, French and German.
Finding material was fun. I had a lot of ideas and my sister Theresa in Berlin sent me a few German song suggestions and John Hughes (fabulous coach and music theatre aficionado) also suggested some great material as did Paul Brown, my director. I’m also now best friends with the staff at the Toronto Reference Library.
The wonderful David Warrack is my accompanist and so much more. David is a composer, arranger, lyricist, librettist, musical director, conductor, pianist, and producer. He has created or collaborated on 63 professionally produced musicals, including some of the longest running productions in Canadian theatrical history, over a career spanning 34 years.