A couple of years ago my colleague, Councillor Mitchell Brownstein, had a dream: to bring musical theatre to Côte Saint-Luc. Obtaining the services of a first class director in Anisa Cameron was the first step to guaranteed success. Rotating between comedy and musicals, we have been treated to two top-notch shows annually. Last year's presentation of Fiddler on the Roof was sensational.
On June 5 I attended a special VIP showing of their latest efforf, Catch Me If You Can The Musical. I saw the movie of the same name at least half a dozen times, but never did catch the Broadway musical. Well the Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society now goes into the books as presenting the Canadian premiere. The storyline revolves around Frank W. Abagnale, Jr., a teenager who runs away from home in search of the glamorous life. With nothing more than his boyish charm, a big imagination and millions of dollars in forged checks, Frank successfully poses as a pilot, a doctor and a lawyer - living the high life and winning the girl of his dreams. But when Frank's lies catch the attention of FBI agent Carl Hanratty, Carl chases Frank to the end...and finds something he never expected.
By the time the run ends on June 22, there will have been 14 shows.
Cameron assembled an excellent cast, with Brandon Schwartz turning in an outstanding performance in the lead role. "We’ve assembled a wonderfully talented cast including Brandon , a very gifted 17-year-old singer and performer,” Cameron said. “Brandon has a remarkable voice and if he chooses to stay in Montreal, he’s going to be a fixture in the professional theatre scene for years to come.”
Schwartz has been performing since age six and is now studying music with a specialization in jazz voice at Marianopolis College
Hats off as well to Mike Melino, Matthew Mckeown, Marieve Guerin, Megan Magisano, Elvi Dalgaard, Craig Dalley, Alexandre Iannuzzi, Shaun Nishmas, Jason Szwimer, Arielle Buch-Frohlich, Bailey Cohen-Krichevsky, Stefanie Demberg, Raquel Herscovici, Samantha Leibgott, Natasha Lilliman, Einav Ne'Eman, Ilana Nyveen, Noam Shalev, Shy Shalev, Ariel Sterlin, Elyssa Stock , Michael Goldwax, David Taveroff and of course Mitchell Brownstein.
Goldwax, a Hampstead town councillor and director general of Le Waldorf Senior Residence, played a railroad agent, a doctor and show business host. The man has some versatile acting chops.
Musical Direction was handled masterfully by David Terriault, choreography by Alexia Gourd, technical direction and lights by Scott Drysdale and costumes by Elyse Malo. Ariel Sterlin was the assistant choreographer; Alexa Burak the stage manager and Reesa Rosenfeld heading production.
This no small thing to produce. How lucky we are to have a theatrical group of this calibre within our own midst. And now of this would be possible, I might add, without our tremendous staff - notably the likes of Cornelia Ziga, Ryan Nemeroff and Harold "Kid" Cammy.
Tickets are on sale online at CSLDramaticSociety.com or at the Côte Saint-Luc library (5851 Cavendish Blvd.), the Côte Saint-Luc Aquatic and Community Centre (5794 Parkhaven Ave.), or by telephone at 514-485-6800 ext. 2024. Tickets for evening performances are $27 for adults, and $24 for seniors/students. Matinees and preview shows are $18. Taxes are included in the price.