The Rotary Club of Bracebridge is once again enlisting the talents of local artists to share with Muskoka audiences the joy of performing, and at the same time is helping serve the community by raising funds to help meet the needs of the local hospital.
On November 13, 2021 the Rotary Club will stream All Together Now, a musical revue featuring songs from recent and classic musicals performed by local musicians and singers.
The concert is part of a global event made possible by Music Theatre International, the rights holder for the music that makes up the show. MTI has made the brand-new musical revue free of charge to schools and theatres around the world in order to support theatrical communities hit hard by the pandemic. Over 1600 schools and theatres in 36 countries have taken up this generous offer, and there will be over 3,800 performances of All Together Now! during the weekend of November 12 to 15.
Muskoka is going to be part of this exciting worldwide event. Producer Jean Polak said “locally, we have a band that consists of nine musicians, including our conductor and musical director, Neil Barlow. We also have nine singers, under the direction of Fran Harvey, our choral director and Emma Phillips and Earl Sacrey are providing artistic direction on some of the more elaborate numbers. All of these dedicated volunteers are veterans of previous Annual Rotary Musicals. There are about a dozen people – both Rotarians and community volunteers – working on production and marketing from behind the scenes.”
The band and cast are being assembled and are already rehearsing the 15 musical numbers that will make up the revue. More than half the songs are from shows previously produced as the “Annual Rotary Musical,” from recent productions such as Mamma Mia! and Matilda the Musical to shows done in previous decades such as My Fair Lady, Oliver! and Guys and Dolls. There will also be a song from Sister Act, the musical produced by the Huntsville Festival of the Arts that was originally scheduled for spring 2020 but is now slated for next spring instead.
All Together Now! is a once-in-a-lifetime global event and also a special, unprecedented occasion for the Rotary Club of Bracebridge. The pandemic has disrupted and delayed many community events, including the wonderful Rotary tradition of putting a musical on a Muskoka stage each spring. Rotary’s delightful production of Matilda the Musical closed to rave reviews in March 2020, just days before the impact of the pandemic began to be felt here in Muskoka.
Plans are underway to resume this grand tradition, but since its next show is not going to happen until the spring of 2023, All Together Now! is a welcome opportunity to reunite local performers and remind the audience that musical theatre remains alive and well in Muskoka. The proceeds of All Together Now! will go towards supporting the South Muskoka Hospital Foundation.
Through the Foundation, the community can help ensure that the hospital continues to have the up-to-date equipment it needs to keep pace with our community’s wide range of health care needs. Polak said that there is no specific fundraising goal, but “of course we want to raise as much as possible, and we also want to bring attention and say thank you to our healthcare heroes who have borne a great deal of stress weathering the pandemic.”
Tickets to this one-time event will cost $20 and all profits will go to the South Muskoka Hospital Foundation. Tickets are now available through the home page of the Rotary Club of Bracebridge (www.bracebridgerotary.org) and the South Muskoka Hospital Foundation website (https://www.healthmuskoka.ca/alltogethernow/).
Polak is also very pleased to announce “that the Rotary Club of Bracebridge has secured the rights to produce The Sound of Music. We will be presenting that classic, well-loved musical in February and March 2023.”
Any questions in the meantime can be directed to producer Jean Polak at [email protected] or 705-646-2855.