Anyone can be a Montrealer at the World Premiere of Centaur Theatre Company’s Last Night at the Gayety, directed by Roy Surette and running from April 21st to May 15th! Creators of the sensational Schwartz’s: The Musical, Rick Blue and George Bowser, breathe life into another piece of history in this musical romp through Montreal’s ‘Sin City’ era. A skilled cast backed by a live four-person band, transports audiences back to the 1950’s, where booze, burlesque and bad guys set the stage for this sizzling show.
Last Night at the Gayety follows the maneuverings of Police Chief, Pax Plante (played by the stoic Daniel Brochu), on his quest to stamp out vice in Montreal’s seediest hotspots. But! Shutting down the Gayety means taking down its biggest star, “the best dressed, undressed lady in the theatre”, Lili St. Cyr (portrayed by the ever-seductive Julia Juhas) and she’s going to use her best (and sexiest!) moves to keep the drinks flowing. Musical theatre has a penchant for entertaining, and this production guarantees top-notch entertainment intertwined with stories of Montreal’s historical debauchery.
The production also succeeds at shining the spotlight on some of Montreal’s homegrown talent, including the city’s most salacious sweetheart Holly Gauthier-Frankel (who portrays the doe-eyed Molly), 2015 META-award winner Davide Chiazzese (playing Jimmy, Mafia’s henchman), and Jonah Carson who charmed audiences in Johnny Legdick. Frayne McCarthy and Michel Perron also take centre stage in their characterizations of the Vaudevillian Tommy, and the righteous Father d’Anjou. Jonathan Patterson’s choreography shows some leg and flashes some sequins especially when the Peek-a-Boo Girls (Tamara Brown, Rosie Callaghan, and Shannon T. McNally) step onstage.
“It’s a way to bring people back to the fun that was Montreal and still is Montreal,” says Chiazesse, who participated in the original workshop of the piece two years ago. “It reminds people of the exciting nightlife that we have here and its wonderful characters.”
Last Night at the Gayety runs April 21st to May 15th at the Centaur Theatre (453 rue Saint-François-Xavier). For tickets or more information check the Centaur Theatre website, or contact the box office at (514) 288-3161.
Pictured above: Julia Juhas as Lili St-Cyr. Credit: Andrée Lanthier.