Laurier gets a little taste of Broadway

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Broadway is fan-kicking its way to campus with the premier of Wilfrid Laurier University student, Ann Hascalovitz’s, original musical aptly titled Broadway Musical the Broadway Musical.

“Ultimately, it’s a coming of age story layered within a parody of musicals,” exclaimed Hascalovitz, who is also the founder of Not Another Joke Productions (NAJP) — the company producing the show.

The musical follows a “young and enthusiastic chap named Marvin” on a journey to Hollywood to find the love of his life —a performer named Eva who he met on Broadway the day before.

An homage to Broadway, the show follows the history of musical theatre featuring original music in a variety of styles.

“We have a song that’s sort of a parody of “Follow the Yellow Brick Road”, explained composer, co-writer and fellow Laurier student James van der Heide.

“We have some ‘New York, New York’ big jazz band styles. We’ve got more just standard Broadway numbers like things from Wicked and we’ve got one song called the ‘Boudoir,’ which is sort of from Burlesque,” he continued.

The writing process began at the end of 2011 when Hascalovitz and van der Heide sat down at a piano to plunk out their first song, “I Just Met a Girl”. Later, Hascalovitz would simply send recordings of herself singing to van der Heide (or fellow composer David Bernacki) who would then come back with a full musical accompaniment and orchestrations.

“The last song I did from the States and just emailed it back,” explains van der Heide.

Along with writing and producing, as well as balancing part-time jobs and summer courses, both Hascalovitz and van der Heide have taken on multifaceted roles in order to mount their show. From designing t-shirts to playing in the band, the two embody the Broadway mantra of doing anything to ensure that the show does go on.

“It is very difficult to balance just being at rehearsals. The producer and the director and the owner of the company, they’re all doing different things, but I’m only one person,” explained Hascalovitz. “We also do small things, like James is probably going to end up playing the show as like the second percussionist…”

van der Heide interrupted with a laugh, “Actually, I’m switching over to violin now.”

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While Hascalovitz founded her production through the Laurier Launchpad entrepreneurship program, Broadway Musical the Broadway Musical is true community theatre with the cast, crew and band comprised of young people high-school-aged and up. Operating at an arms length from the university, thanks to a grant from the Laurier Special Initiative Fund, Hascalovitz has received much support from other community groups including Act Out — a local youth theatre company — who generously opened up the doors to their costume closet.

Over the summer, the cast and crew have been promoting the show across the city, most recently at the Jazz Room as a part of the Sun Life Financial UpTown Waterloo Festival. On Aug. 3, they’ll be taking over the Uptown Waterloo Square with a fashion show featuring local designers as well as an exclusive teaser from the show.

Rehearsing since June, but writing for over a year, Hascalovitz and van der Heide are looking forward to finally sharing Broadway Musical the Broadway Musical with an audience.

“I mean, whether you enjoy musicals or enjoy making fun of musicals, either way you’re covered,” explained van der Heide.

With the promise of Zombies, vampires, burlesque-y dancers, cheesy music and drunk homeless people the two promise something for even the most wary of theatre-goers.

And, van der Heide added, “You are statistically more likely to get lucky afterwards”.

“That’s actually a line from the show,” Hascalovitz chimed in laughing.


Broadway Musical the Broadway Musical runs from Aug. 23-25 at the Theatre Auditorium. Tickets can be purchased at $25/general admission and $18/student and senior.

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