“One of the things I love about Toronto are the stories of how all of us got here. This show explores just a smidgen of those through the ears of one particularly fascinating neighbourhood which is not really around anymore. I also got to delve into some awesome Cantonese music, drawing on some music that I grew up listening to in my grandmother’s kitchen.” — Derek
The Ward Cabaret, a sold-out hit at the 2018 Luminato Festival, reimagines the vibrant sounds of Toronto’s first cross-cultural community, inspired by the engaging and impactful book “The Ward” (Coach House Books).
The Ward was a Lower-East-Side-like enclave shared for over a century by Irish, African-Canadians, Italians, Eastern European Jews, and Chinese, trying to fit into a larger culture that wasn’t sure it wanted them. These newcomers came to Toronto brought with them great cultural treasures: deep traditions of stories, music, and song.
The Ward Cabaret, created with the collaboration of David Buchbinder, Grammy-nominated musician and producer,andaward-winning artists Michael Occhiptinti, Derek Kwan, Marjorie Chan, Leah Cherniak and Andrew Craig, shares the key to the sound, “vibration” and meaning of a time and place that holds the secret of what Toronto has become: the most diverse city on the planet.
DB Works & The Ward Productions
In association with Harbourfront Centre and Small World Music present:
The Ward Cabaret
written by: Marjorie Chan
Dec 12-22, 2019
Harbourfront Centre Theatre, Toronto
Aviva Chernick, Cara Krisman, Derek Kwan, Kaisha Lee, Mitch Smolkin, Jeremiah Sparks
with musicians: David Buchbinder, Jacob Gorzhaltsan, Michael Occhipinti, Cynthia Qin, Louis Simão
Co-Director: Leah Cherniak
Music Director & Co-Director: David Buchbinder
Stage Manager: Kai-Yueh Chen
Choreographer: Monica Dottor
Costume and Set Designer: Victoria Wallace
Lighting Designer: Simon Rossiter
Executive Producers: John Lorinc, Michael McClelland
For more information about this production, please visit HERE
The Ward Cabaret received a 2020 Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Excellence in Conservation