From Press Release
Toronto, ON, May 26, 2014…The early life of iconic businessman, entrepreneur and ultimate bachelor Hugh Hefner is explored in the new Canadian musical biography Hugh and I, premiering at the 2014 Toronto Fringe Festival. Written and created by past Fringe hit-makers Daniel Abrahamson (Funny Business, Act Now), Daniel Falk (Funny Business), and Kevin McGarry (Nebraska), Hugh and I debuts on July 3 at the George Randolph Theatre.
Featuring an all-star cast including Dora-nominated musical theatre actress Gabi Epstein (Funny Girl and Stars of David for Harold Green Jewish Theatre), and cabaret artist Jennifer Walls (Liza Live! at the Fringe and the weekly host of SINGular Sensation), the musical looks at the pornography tycoonʼs personal relationships in his early life (1943-1960) and how they came to influence the inception and creation of Playboy.
“We wanted to examine the worldʼs most famous bachelor, the story behind the icon,” says Mr. McGarry. “There was a great journey to becoming the man with all the bunnies. He re-invented himself and re-defined masculinity in the 50ʼs.”
Directed by Ari Weinberg (dramaturge on the 2011 Fringe hit Mickey and Judy), the show boasts an original score with music inspired by the jazzy, big band era of the 1940ʼs, and a strong, predominantly female, cast.
“One of the writersʼ conceits for the show was to have the only male on stage be the actor playing Hugh. All the other roles, male and female, are played the seven other female actors,” says Mr.Weinberg. “The talent assembled both on stage and off is just incredible.”
Joining Ms. Eptein and Ms. Walls on stage will be Jackie English (My Motherʼs Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding, Fringe and Mirvish), Alessia Lupiano (Godspell, national tour), Leanne Miller (Stage Fright, film) Maren Sigson (Fringe debut) and Lana Sugarman (The Waves, Fringe). Mr. Abrahamson will play Hugh.
Artistic credits also include Co-Lyricist Daniel Cummings, Stage Manager Marie-Claude Valiquet, Musical Director Adam White, Choreographer Joseph Sevillo, Set and Costume Design Brandon Kleiman, Lighting Designer Joseph Thomas, Sound Designer Michael Laird and Assistant Costume and Set Design and Props Mistress Erin Gerovsky.
Written by Daniel Falk and Kevin McGarry, Music and Lyrics by Daniel Cummings and Daniel Abrahamson and Musical Arrangments by Bram Gielen.
Performances during the Toronto Fringe Festival are Thursday July 3 8:45pm, Saturday July 5 5:15pm, Monday July 7 12:45pm, Tuesday July 8 6:45pm, Wednesday July 9 10:30pm, Thursday July 10 5:15pm and Sunday July 13 7:00pm at the George Randolph Theatre (736 Bathurst St.). Tickets can be purchased at www.fringetoronto.com. Twitter: @HughandIFringe