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The Jazz Singer

A Co Production with dancap

Based on Day of Atonement By:
Samson Raphaelson

Written By:

Michael Ross Albert

Direction & Choreography By:
Tim French


Patrick Cook
Aaron Ferguson
Kaylee Harwood
W. Joseph Matheson
Jivaro Smith
Theresa Tova
Victor A. Young

May 23 – Jun 18, 2017

Running Time:
Approximately 2.5 hours including intermission.

The Greenwin Theatre
Toronto Centre of the Arts
5040 Yonge Street

Call 1-855-985-2787 to
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About the Show Show Dates Press Reviews Public Reviews Photo Gallery

The Show

The classic show business story of a son’s struggle between his passion for a Broadway career, and his father’s plans to have him follow in his footsteps as a cantor. This dynamic production features musical numbers by legendary composers and such classic songs as “Let Me Sing and I’m Happy,” “Mammy,” “Sonny Boy,” and You Made Me Love You.” Based on Samson Raphaelson’s 1925 Broadway play and adapted specifically for our audience, this classic story is brought to life in a toe-tapping experience you will never forget.

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Show Times

Please click on any show time below to see available tickets for that performance:

Running Time: Approximately 2.5 hours including intermission.

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Interview with the Director - Tim French


What was involved in adapting this classic play into a musical?

As the director and choreographer for the production I am also the dramaturge, and I worked with the new book writer, Michael Ross Albert to develop this new stage musical adaptation of the The Jazz Singer - the story of a Jewish man torn between the demands of his immigrant family to honour the Cantorial tradition passed from father to son, and his love for the new music of jazz that represented the exciting modern world in which he was growing up. The most notable source for the story in most peoples minds is the Warner Bros' 1927 film. But we were interested in going back to the original 1922 short story by Samuel Raphaelson titled ‘DAY OF ATONEMENT’ and then his 1925 play titled “THE JAZZ SINGER’ that was a huge hit on Broadway. From those sources we discovered characters and sequence of events that weren’t part of the film. We wanted to capture the best of both these versions and build from there into our musical adaptation. We were interested in incorporating a more contemporary style of story telling that still had all the flavour of a classic musical. And we were interested in finding a way to give recognition to African American source of jazz and how and why that came into the lead character’s life. The conclusion of both the story and the play is Jack’s sacrificing own desire and passion to embrace the life of a Cantor after his Father’s death. We were interested in what that decision cost Jack - how would this man be faring one year later. At the request of Harold Green Jewish Theatre, we looked to create the score from existing songs of the period which sometimes meant finding a song that would fit into an existing scene, and sometimes meant the discovery of a song would influence the direction of a character’s story or the dramatic arc of a scene.

What are some of the songs that will be in this new version?

Clap Yo' Hands, Blue Skies, The Birth of the Blues, I've Found a New Baby, I'm Happy, Sonny Boy, Stormy Weather, Make Someone Happy, I'm Sitting On The Top Of The World

How difficult was it to erase the ghost of Jolson who is so identified in this classic?

I don’t think you can ever completely erase the ghost, or more precisely, the spirit of Al Jolson from the classic, since the original 1922 story was inspired by some of the elements of his life and the phenomenon of his talent.  But the story was never a biography of his life. It was only because he starred in the film and the fact that the film was adapted in production from a silent film to the first film to use sound by incorporating synced musical sections of Jolson in performance that he seems forever locked in peoples imaginations to the story. So his sound and stylings became forever linked to the story. And for the first half of the 20th century he was crowned as the greatest entertainer of the century. Since we weren’t doing the 'Jolson Story’, and we were re-examining the source material, my question as director and dramaturge was: What was the jazz that was percolating in the last half of the 1920’s and how would that be expressed by a white man who was being called The Jazz Singer of his age, a man who sang "with a teardrop in his voice"?  The answer to that is what will create our Jazz Singer. But, to honour the Jolson as both the inspiration to the original story and as the star of the movie that led the way to talking pictures, there are songs that are associated with him and a few nods to the spirit of the man that we hope will elicit some joy into those nostalgic hearts who love “THE JAZZ SINGER" 

Tell us a little about your cast.

What can I say other than they are all uniquely talented and established artists who have the gumption to dive into a piece such as this and find how to make it sing. Some of them will be familiar to the HGJT audience and some will be exciting additions to that family. And all of them will be supported by a six piece jazz band led by our arranger and musical director, Mark Camilleri. I encourage everyone to go to the website to see the cast and all the other people involved in the creation of this new musical adaptation THE JAZZ SINGER.


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Press Review


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Photo Gallery

Photos by: Joanna Akyol


Patrick Cook

Patrick Cook, Ryan Gifford, Luke Opdahl

Adriana Crivici, Patrick Cook, Victoria Whistance-Smith

Jivaro Smith, Patrick Cook

Luke Opdahl, Kaylee Harwood, Ryan Gifford

Patrick Cook, Theresa Tova

Theresa Tova, Patrick Cook, Victor A. Young



Patrick Cook

Theresa Tova

Kaylee Harwood
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