The music of The Beatles, The Four Seasons, Pink Floyd and Abba have been the focus of high quality, nostalgia-driven theatrical concerts for Calgary-based Jeff Parry, who has toured these stage shows around the world. His latest production shines a spotlight on Canadian hitmakers from Paul Anka through the modern era.
Oh Canada What a Feeling!, which premieres in Toronto on Tuesday at the Princess of Wales Theatre, celebrates the legacy of Canadian singers, songwriters, rockers and recording artists in a multimedia musical showcase.
"It's not about the story of the artists, it's about their presence at certain times in [Canadian history]," according to the show's Calgary-based producer Jeff Parry, whose previous credits include the Beatles tribute stage show Let It Be.
"It's really a story of Canada."
Based on Martin Melhuish's book, Oh What A Feeling: A Vital History of Canadian Music, the stage show begins with Paul Anka's Diana and charts a path through the following decades with performers backed by a live band onstage and surrounded by screens featuring archival footage of the relevant era.
Previews of the show were held at Caesars Windsor last week. The official launch in Toronto runs August 11–23. Following the Princess of Wales debut, the production, from which a portion of the ticket proceeds will go to MusiCounts and the Unison Benevolent Fund, will take to the road performing in 19 cities coast-to-coast, including Halifax, Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver, Thunder Bay, Moncton and Kitchener. This inaugural show (Part One) is a first in a series which will shine the spotlight on Canada's distinct musical voice over the next two years as we head into Canada's 150th year of Confederation.