Friday, April 22, 2016

Last Night at the Gayety

Centaur Theatre
April 19 - May 15, 2016

The Gayety Theatre (1912 to 1953) was once a real Montréal landmark. It was located at 84 Sainte-Catherine Street West, at the place where now stands Le Théâtre du Nouveau Mond. It was built by architects Ross and Macfarlane, and became one of Montreal’s prime places of public entertainment, with a capacity (including balcony and gallery) to sit 1,600 guests. The theatre began as a Vaudeville venue. During the great depression, when American Vaudeville collapsed, the Gayety briefly became a movie theatre. Later, and until it closed in 1953, it featured more risqué Burlesque shows.

The Gayety Theatre along with other clubs became a part of a Montreal’s red light district which by the late forties was associated with organized crime and corruption, in which police and politicians were often complicit. In 1950 La Comite de Moralite Publique (CMP) was formed to conduct an official inquest surrounding corruption in Montreal. This resulted in many of the cabarets of Montreal’s red light district, including The Gayety to be shut down.

The play portrays the final act of the Gayety’s Theatre existence. It recreates the events that led to its demise, and vividly presents the attractions the place offered. It was most famous for featuring Lilli Saint Cyr, a dancer who often performed topless, which fuelled the indignation of the CMP.

Come and enjoy the play. Let yourself be immersed in the bygone era of the Vaudeville and Burlesque, the music and lyrics of Rick Blue and George Bowser, as well as the performance of a well chosen cast.

Centaur Theatre's play synopses:
Booze, burlesque, and bad guys abound in this sizzling, large scale spectacle as Bowser and Blue put the sin back in ‘Sin City’, bringing Montreal, circa 1951, back to vivid life. Police Chief, Pacifique ‘Pax’ Plante, leads a crusade to eradicate vice by clamping down on gambling, raiding brothels and nightclubs, the Gayety and its shining star, “the best dressed, undressed lady in the theatre”, Lili St. Cyr, in particular. 
Book, Music and Lyrics: Rick Blue and George Bowser
Roy Surette
Musical Director: 
Chris Barillaro
Jonathan Patterson
Actors: Daniel BrochuTamara Brown, Rosie Callaghan, Jonah Carson, Davide Chiazzese, Holly Gauthier-FrankelJulia Juhas, Frayne McCarthyShannon T. McNally, Michel Perron
Musicians: Parker Bert (Percussion), Mike De Masi (Bass), Benjamin Kwong (Piano)
Arrangements and Orchestrations: 
Chris Barillaro
Associate Musical Director/Show Conductor:
Benjamin Kwong
Set and Costume Designer:  
Francis Farley
Lighting Designer:  Luc Prairie
Burlesque Consultant:  
Holly Gauthier-Frankel
Stage Manager:  
Luciana Burcheri
Assistant Stage Manage: Jacynthe Lalonde

Click on images to enlarge them.
Hover your mouse over images for description and credits.

For more information, visit the Centaur Theatre website.

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