Songs of our times come to life at Segal

W. Joseph Matheson and Louise Pitre. Photo: Joanna Akyol

In many ways, the songs of the 1960s are the stories of our lives, our hopes, our challenges, realizations, and disappointments. These remain central themes, as meaningful today as they were then, when peace and love and the (seemingly) never-ending springtime of our lives was expressed in song.

Many of the great singer-songwriters of that era were Jewish and the Segal Centre will be celebrating their great achievements with The Times they Are a Changin’ – the uplifting song cycle created in 2017 for the Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company in Toronto by vocalists Louise Pitre – a Segal Centre favourite – and W. Joseph Matheson, who wrote the script.

Working with directors Avery Saltzman and David Eisner, they crafted a show to highlight the great songs by Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Carole King, Arlo Guthrie, Simon and Garfunkel, Laura Nyro, and others in a theatrical setting. Pitre was sensational as Édith Piaf in the Angel and the Sparrow where Matheson played several male parts. Among her achievements is a Tony nomination for her Broadway debut in Mamma Mia!

She has performed in many musicals and released five solo recordings. Says Lisa Rubin, Executive and Artistic Director at the Segal: “Louise and Joe are always such a joy to listen to … This show is the cherry on top of an already fabulous theatre season at the Segal.”

Reviewing one of her performances in Toronto, a Globe and Mail reviewer wrote that “Louise Pitre is sensational … She doesn’t just sell a song, she lives it.”

And the Victoria Playhouse wrote that “Matheson sings the truth from beginning to end. He captures the soul of the music.” Keyboardist Nick Burgess leads the band with Simon Legault and Jason Field on guitars, Evan Stewart on bass, and Peter Colantonio.

Saltzman, co-director of the original run in Toronto, will direct with set design by Sabrina Miller.

The show runs until March 22 with the official opening March 5, matinées at 1pm March 11 and 18 and 2pm March 8, 15, and 22. A relaxed and audio-enhanced performance for those with hearing issues, or who need a more relaxed sensory experience and casual environment is planned for March 15, 7pm. Tickets cost $67 with discounts for groups, seniors, students, and those under 30. Info and tickets: segalcentre.org, boxoffice@segalcentre.org, or 514-739-7944.

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