Author: Jeff Jones

Elvis enters the building

In the past half century or so, popular culture has been littered with rock stars. Those larger-than-life personalities with the musical prowess of a god and the irresistible charms of a kind-hearted Medusa have become ingrained into our culture. It’s easy to forget it wasn’t too long ago when there was only one rock star. The king of rock ‘n’ roll himself, Elvis Presley, was the very first. His music was beloved and his stardom seemed infinite. His performances though, were the stuff of legend. Those who saw him live told the story for decades after Elvis left the...

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The sweet sound of Amazing Grace onstage at the Rose

Musical theatre has long been the cultural domain of established, predominantly white and wealthy people in North America. Many of the most successful musicals ever feature storylines that involve successful and otherwise happy people being slightly inconvenienced. Indeed, nearly 80 years into the history of musical theatre, Les Miserables was met with critical debate and shock for portraying the death of its characters in an obvious way. Broadway was not in danger of being compared to Shakespeare.    Like all art-forms however, increased access changes the game. Musical theatre has become a hallmark of public school programs, film and...

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Molly Ringwald opens up through song.

A successful career in Hollywood is a difficult thing to explain. How do you measure it? Can it be measured through being involved with successful films and TV shows? Is it simply about money earned? What about becoming a household name or having ‘hit’ projects from several different decades? Is it about being perceived as a feisty veteran that has come back repeatedly over time? By any of these standards and perhaps even a few others, Molly Ringwald’s career onscreen has been and remains a massive success. Add to that her appearances on Broadway and being a successful author...

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New York comes to Brampton via the Rose

Few cities have a musical history like New York City. If there is any city on earth that can boast a popular musical soundtrack, New York has got to be it. Certainly many musicians have name-checked the city in their writing and even used the unique personality of the place to inspire their greatest musical compositions. Broadway musicals were the incubator of popular music for decades in the 20th century and when North America moved on from that, Tin Pan Alley and the Brill building on Fifth Avenue provided most of the songs on AM radio throughout the 1960s...

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Bringing the funny back home to the Rose.

Beginning in 1983 as a small, French language, comedy festival in Montreal; the name Just For Laughs is now known by most Canadians and all around the world.  After adding English speaking comedians in 1985, the festival has since grown to be the premiere showcase to Hollywood for comedians. Deals are struck, careers are made and lives are changed. The reality is, the path to making it as a comedian flows through Just For Laughs. Since adding several television shows and now satellite festivals, like JFL 42 in Toronto, the brand has done nothing but grow. Bringing new comedy...

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