Grand Theatre to present free, virtual Un-Opening Night celebration
October 20, 2020 – London ON - On the eve of what would have been the Opening of the Grand’s 50th season as a professional theatre company, today the Grand announced some of the talented artists that will be featured as part of its virtual Un-Opening Night Celebration. This one-hour event will be streamed live from 7-8 PM on Thursday, October 22 and is offered at no cost to all registered viewers.
Tess Benger, who Grand audiences will remember from her portrayal of Sally Bowles in the record-setting production of Cabaret, kicks off the event that will feature performances as well as a special sneak peek into the progress of RENO2020 – a $9 million renovation of the theatre’s lobbies, production areas, rehearsal spaces, and dressing rooms. Tess is teaming up with musical director/orchestrator Wayne Gwillim.
Alexis Gordon will perform accompanied by London artist Matthew Atkins in what Artistic Director, Dennis Garnhum describes ‘a goosebumps moment.’ Other featured artists participating include the creative team from GROW – Colleen Dauncey, AkivaRomer-Segal, and Matt Murray and audiences will be treated to a performance from the show that was to have closed off the Grand’s 2019-20 Season last May.
“Before the pandemic, all plans were to have our 2020-21 season launch with an unforgettable party – a three-week long Nova Scotia kitchen party to be exact. And while we may not be able to bring you the party in person, we are thrilled to have the cast of Neptune’s Theatre’s Argyle Street Kitchen Party joining us for our Un-Opening celebration,” Garnhum notes.
Other guests joining the evening include award winning Director/Choreographer Cameron Carver who will be ‘Zooming-In’ from the UK. Cam, who was on tap to direct the 2020 High School Project’s production of Barnum, will be joined by Olivia Sinclair-Brisbane, a High School Project Alumni and graduate of the Sheridan College Musical Theatre program whose career has taken her to the Shaw Festivaland back to the Grand stages a number of times, most recently as the MC in Cabaret.
Dennis Garnhum will be co-hosting the event with Executive Director, Deb Harvey. “Dennis and I - and in fact, our entire company - miss seeing the faces of our theatre patrons so much. Theatre is all about connection, creativity, story-telling, and inspiration. We are so happy that we will be able to connect, at least virtually, with everyone on Thursday and bring a little something for everyone to this Un-Openingcelebration,” said Harvey.
For folks tuning in locally from London, the Grand is encouraging registrants to ‘make a night of it’ and celebrate the Un-Opening Night by ordering a take-home meal from its many restaurant partners and support the downtown eateries, who along with so many other businesses, have been hit hard by the pandemic. A list of the Grand’s Dining Partners can be found on our website.
The Un-Opening will be live on Thursday, October 22 at 7 PM and will be made available for two weeks following the event for those unable to join on Thursday. All details on how to register to view the event can be found on the Grand’s website grandtheatre.com or by calling the box office at 519-672-8800.
The Grand recognizes the support of the many donors and sponsors who have contributed to the theatre since the forced shutdown and acknowledges the ongoing support of our season sponsor, BMO Financial Group.
About the Grand Theatre – World Curious. London Proud.
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Dennis Garnhum and Executive Director Deb Harvey, the Grand is a leading cultural hub located in the heart of downtown London, Ontario. The Grand offers diverse, relevant, and original stories from around the globe through collaborations with national and international performing arts organizations and is committed to developing, producing, and premiering original stories through its COMPASS New Play Development program. The Grand supports educational programming through initiatives like the High School Project and Subsidized Student Matinees. The Grand is currently undergoing a $9 million renovation to its lobby spaces and backstage areas scheduled for completion in Spring 2021. The Grand announced the cancellation of its 2020-21 Season in June 2020 due to the global pandemic.
For more information please contact:
Suzanne Lanthier, Director of Audience Development
slanthier [at] grandtheatre.com (slanthier[at]grandtheatre[dot]com)
519-672-9030 ext. 251
Jennifer Matthews, Communications Manager
jmatthews [at] grandtheatre.com (jmatthews[at]grandtheatre[dot]com)