What a night!

Meeting the unbelievable Colin Mochrie!

Meeting the unbelievable Colin Mochrie!

I spent my evening yesterday in the company of some of the most magnificent and brilliant talents to come out of Canada. And all for the amazing cause to support Gilda’s Club; a company founded in memory of Gilda Radner who sadly died of ovarian cancer. She wanted to create a place where people could go and interact to be sure no who has been affected by the disease ever has to be alone.

It was an amazing event. A gala, so of course it was spectacular anyway. But the line up was as follows:
Russell Peters as host, ChumFM’s Ingrid Schumacher as announcer, Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood most notably from Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Dave Thomas as in Bob and Doug Mackenzie, musician Steven Page the former Barenaked Ladies member, the gorgeous (in more ways than one) Canadian Tenors, fantastic recording artist Divine Brown, comedians Sean Cullen and Irwin Barker, the cast from My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding (which is a very heartwarming and funny show, go see it!), and a very entertaining Bollywood dance troupe Divine Heritage Artistry. Eugene Levy wasn’t on the bill but apparently he just wanted to get up and say a few things too!

So needless to say, it was an extremely entertaining variety show. It was at The Princess of Wales so at least I wasn’t nervous about performing in a house that size because I’m so used to it now. I was in my usual dressing room shared with Ingrid and Divine. Both sweet and talented women! When I walked in for sound check I noticed we all had little suitcases with our names on it. Later I opened mine to find a whole goody bag full of free awesome stuff! I suppose that’s a common thing when you are volunteering your time for a great cause. Inside was a whole array of gifts from a Tiffany’s box to coffee beans!

My vintage gown.

My vintage gown.

A funny note about the outfit. I found this amazing army green satin gown at a vintage shop on Queen. I don’t think it was over $30 and I got so many amazing compliments on it! It was a tiny bit short in length but other than that perfect. My only issue was that the boobage just didn’t look right! Ladies, I’m sure you’d understand my issue! I didn’t have the right undergarment to fix things so I was a bit at a loss until the boyfriend comes to the rescue. “How ’bout duct tape?” he says. Yep. Duct tape worked. Amazing. Let it be known that the straight man saved my fashion crisis.

Anyway, the dance troupe opened the show, then Russell was to come on and then I was next! Thankfully I was near the beginning because I didn’t want to watch the show with my intestines wrapped up in a disaster of nerves. So Russell went on while I pre-set myself, and then I waited. Well, little did I know I was waiting to go on for about 15 minutes as Russell began his whole opening act! At least listening to him was keeping my mind off of any crazy nervous thoughts jumping into my head. Plus I had extra support behind me from the band. Elaine Overholt’s husband Glenn was in charge of all the music and got Elaine to come play the grand piano for me! He was on strings and then Lou was on another keyboard. Lou was actually our conductor for the Maria show! So it was comforting to have friends up with me. I sang Memory, a song I don’t think I’ve ever performed aside from my shower and karaoke machine when I was a teenager. It was such a magical moment for me. I kind of felt a little Celine-y at a mic stand in a long gown, singing my face off. It was nice!

Then I watched the show free of nerves! I was hoping to get pictures with all these amazing performers but I totally chickened out. Mostly I convinced myself that maybe they wanted to “prepare” and get in a head space for their act and they don’t want some lame girl asking for their picture! I can convince myself of anything if I’m scared of it. So I didn’t take any pictures backstage. There was even a part of the evening where I was almost secluded in a room with Colin and Brad, but I was frozen with awe. But really, what do you say that they haven’t heard before? “You guys rule!” “You’re so funny!” “I watched you all the time!”
I think the lack of alcoholic beverages was to blame.

The show itself was so funny and entertaining and it was great to see all those amazing people live.
When we were waiting to come on for the finale I was standing with Steven Page while the Canadian Tenors were onstage singing Hallelujah and we were both harmonizing along. In my head I’m thinking “I’m totally singing with Steven Page!!!” Isn’t it amazing how someone who can call Andrew Lloyd Webber a friend is still hesitant to tell a simple Canadian star how wonderful they are?


Hanging with Russell Peters.

Hanging with Russell Peters.

So we hit the party afterward where with the mix of wine and the boyfriend urging me on, I got my pictures with Colin and Russell. It was an evening I’ll never forget and I will always be proud to be a part of it. It was a night where I shared a stage with some of my favourite Canadians in support of something so loving and helpful.

Also on a completely unrelated note, Burke Moses is leaving the show in a few weeks! He will be undergoing surgery and will be out for the rest of the run. I suppose it’s great for him, but I will miss his Captain! Every show I warm up to him more and more and it’s really fun and oddly easy playing his wife! I heard he’s going to throw a party at his wicked pad downtown before he leaves. That’ll be awesome!
Coming in to be our new Captain is Australian Simon Burke. Funny, two Burkes. He was the Captain in London and the one I saw perform when the Marias were there. We start rehearsals with him next week and I’m quite excited! He was wonderful in the show and very nice when we met him afterwards. This should be a fresh new transition for the cast that may pop a positive spark in between thoughts of our dreaded closing! ;)

Comments 7

  1. Timothy wrote:

    Hi Janna!!! Just want to point out I love the dress, boyfriends come in handy guessing ha!!!! I can’t believe you saw the canadian tenors, your friends from the maria show (elaine), more, and Russell Peters he’s such a funny guy!!! I saw a talk on ctv news last night live in the princess of wales and was thinking if you were there (obviously i’m right!!!) Thank you for the new blog i love reading your blogs I’m hoping to see burke sometime until he leaves mostly sat dec 5 but good luck on the new burke simon burke!!!

    Take care always,
    Timothy Achacoso

    Posted 24 Nov 2009 at 10:11 pm
  2. Bill wrote:

    An amazing night, for an amazing girl.

    Posted 24 Nov 2009 at 11:20 pm
  3. Jo Se K wrote:

    I noticed Eugene Levy being an idiot when he was speaking to Russell Peters.I wonder if he would like it if someone spoke to him like that.I notice Americans never behave like Eugene Levy.Canada is a beautiful country but it’s attitudes like Eugene Levy that makes the Canadian Entertainment Industry look so crabby.

    Posted 25 Nov 2009 at 2:49 am
  4. Alison wrote:

    Janna, thanks for posting this. What a thrilling night you had! And yeah – that dress is GREAT. :) aj

    Posted 25 Nov 2009 at 11:39 am
  5. Kirsten wrote:

    pretty dress janna!
    that awsome how u can find so many great dresses!
    and nice meeting russel peters!
    that must have been a great night!

    Posted 26 Nov 2009 at 7:02 pm
  6. Don wrote:

    Hey Janna,
    Delightful write up – super newsy. Was glad to hear Warren had a chance to ‘do a few Captain’s’ to pave the way for Simon.
    Looks like it’s snowing in TO today. Remember those snowflakes that stay…

    Posted 07 Dec 2009 at 1:12 pm
  7. Beth Faulkner wrote:

    Oh my Janna!!! Wow what a night that must have been and by the way Carl…..you should maybe go into fashing :) The dress is beautiful. I don’t know where you find these wonderful dresses girl but boy oh boy (oh boyfriend!) Do you remember singing Memory at your vocal lesson because I remember teaching it to you?

    Posted 13 Dec 2009 at 3:29 am