“Elisa Sorbara, the artistic director of Shooting Star Theatre, is a very bright and articulate young woman. She is very excited about the imminent local premiere of the musical Curtains, which opens next week at the Westside Theatre.” . . . see the article about this DART student and her exciting project in VIEW.
By riding his unicycle to New York City, Alex Kazam hopes to peddle his act on David Letterman’s show.
Kazam – a comedy magician from St. Catharines – has always taken his cue from the TV host’s barbed comedy style.
“Ever since I was 10, I wanted to get on The Late Show with David Letterman,” said the 18-year-old, inside St. Catharines’ Johnny Rocco’s restaurant.
“And I’ve always wanted to meet the guy. He’s a pop culture icon and a huge inspiration.”
Kazam is a Brock University drama student, as well as a unique entertainer at Niagara establishments like Boston Pizza and Johnny Rocco’s.
He describes his act as, “I tell them a joke and then sneak something into my pocket.”
The unicycle has been a passion through his teen years and helped expand his comic repertoire.
“I was trying to come up with ways to get Letterman’s attention,” said the graduate of Ecole Secondaire Jean-Vanier in Welland.
“Unfortunately, the best I could come up with was a unicycle ride.”
Kazam’s assistant-friend, Chelsea Howard, is cycling alongside but on two wheels. The two left midday on Wednesday.
“It’s new to me,” said the 17-year-old St. Francis Secondary School student before setting out. “I know I’m ready for it, but obviously there will be challenges.”
Also along for the trip is Kazam’s beloved stuffed bear he calls Eddie the Teddy, who’ll be hitched to the magician’s back.
“I’ve had him since I was born and I take him everywhere,” Kazam explains. “It’s all in the name of good spirit.”
World Vision Canada also stands to benefit from the 600-km, one-wheeled sojourn.
Kazam is raising money for the international relief and development organization on his site: www.tiny.cc/longride
He said since he and Howard are in decent shape, no major physical preparation was needed for the pedestrian route that selected using Google Maps. However, he concedes the longest he’s unicycled before has been for 90 minutes. The ride to New York City could take six days.
“It’s probably not a smart idea (to do this),” he conceded. “But then, I’m a little bit eccentric and crazy, so it’ll be fine.”
As for snoozing arrangements on the trip, Kazam and Howard are counting on the goodwill of strangers. They are willing to crash almost anywhere – attics, porches, even under a truck.
As his trip progresses, Kazam hopes media coverage will help him nail some airtime on Letterman’s long-running CBS comedy talk show.
As for getting Letterman’s attention, “it’s people like you” who will help get it done, he said to a Standard reporter.
“I’ve emailed (show producers) and tried to call it a stupid human trick,” he added, in reference to Letterman’s long-running gag. “I didn’t yet get any callbacks.”
Johnny Rocco’s owner Tony Visca is wowed by Kazam’s chutzpa.
Kazam performs at Rocco’s Niagara Falls location Friday evenings and St. Catharines on Saturdays.
“It’s a great thing, I think it’s awesome,” Visca said. “I really hope he (raises) a lot of money and gets picked to go on Letterman.”
Star of the the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Broadway, Soulpepper Theatre Company, and cinema (among his many successes), Canadian actor Brent Carver visited the students of the Department of Dramatic Arts to talk about his upcoming return to the Stratford Festival and his experiences training and maintaining a career in theatre. Carver attended the second last performance of Big Love, produced by the Department of Dramatic Arts in the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre of Brock University.
Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music was waltzing across the stage at Brock University this past November. To prepare this gem of lyric theatre the director and company of actors and singers recently took their questions right to the source.
Using a video conference link-up from the famed Friars Club in Manhattan, the Canadian actor and director Len Cariou answered our students probing questions about the development of A Little Night Music for the 1973 Broadway premiere. Cariou won a Tony nomination for the role of Frederic Egerman in the original production. He recreated the role for the 1977 Harold Prince-directed screen adaptation with Elizabeth Taylor. Six years later he won both the Tony and a Drama Desk Award for his portrayal of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street. His recent credits include the 2002 casting in the award-winning drama Proof. Cariou’s film credits include Flags of Our Fathers, About Schmidt, Thirteen Days, and The Four Seasons. He played the father in the 2007 film 1408. On television, Cariou has appeared in The West Wing, Law & Order, Star Trek: Voyager, The Practice, Ed, The Outer Limits, and multiple episodes of Murder, She Wrote. He had a continuing role in 2006-2007 as power broker Judd Fitzgerald in the Showtime series Brotherhood.
Cariou spoke with candour and humour about the creation of the musical and his challenges as a young actor. For almost an hour he regaled the students of the Departments of Dramatic Arts and Music with personal stories and professional insight. After saying their goodbyes and making a promise to report back to Cariou about their experience, Brock student Trevor Rotenberg – who plays the role of Frederic Egerman in this production – exclaimed, “I was really moved by his enthusiasm and generosity. Cariou made the challenge of bringing the role to life so much more real for me – he helped me understand how through music and lyrics we can talk about very real and important human things. He helped me see my future: this was the real deal.” After the meeting with Cariou the company rehearsed for three hours, energized by his infectious enthusiasm.
A fresh young approach to a whirl of intoxicating music, dance and witty lyrics, the production of A Little Night Music ran in the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre November 12-14, 2009. The show was directed by Virginia Reh and designed by David Vivian, both of the Department of Dramatic Arts. Harris Loewen of the Department of Music lead a cast of 17 talented young performers through this musical based on Ingmar Bergman’s Smiles of a Summer Night.
The Department of Dramatic Arts and the Theatre Arts program of Fanshawe College (London, Ontario) are delighted to announce a new Articulation Agreement beginning immediately. This degree-completion program awards a maximum of 10.0 credits to applicants with an overall 75% average upon transfer from the 2-year diploma in Theatre Arts Program at Fanshawe College (Performance, THP1).
Please click here for more information.
In 2008 the deadline for
Domestic (Canadian) Applicants is June 2.
Please click here for more information about the application process.
NB: Transfer students usually require an OUAC 105D-type application
The design project work of our students was shown for the first time in the Canadian Schools of Theatre exhibit at the Prague Quadrennial in June 2007.