Something is wrong in the land of fables and dreams! A strange curse has placed upon many of our most loved fairy tale characters. They do not remember how their stories unfold and now these tales are in jeopardy of being retold…and no one will live happily ever after. There is one King who can fight this evil,a man who rose from being an incredible performer to becoming a legend himself, a legend that became the King, the King known as… Elvis! All set to the music of “Elvis”.
Director's & Writer's Notes
Joe Davies Writer Bringing together the music of Elvis and the magical characters of the Enchanted Forest may seem like a challenge but they have more in common than one might think. Music is the magic that takes to us to other worlds. It makes us celebrate, it inspires us, it gives us courage, and makes declarations of love. All of these are themes found in the fairy tale stories that are home to the wonderful characters we've known forever. And Elvis himself is a more than just a rock and roll singer, he has become a mythical icon in our present day culture that we call the King. Having written Thank You Mr. Presley a few years back I found it was a joy to revisit so many great songs. It was also a delight to re-imagine the stories I knew from childhood through Once Upon A Time. I'm sure the talented cast, director, musicians and amazing crew will make this evening end happily ever after.
Randy Apostle Director Welcome to our latest wacky adventure...Once Upon A Time in Graceland! When I first spoke to our writer Joseph Davies about this project, all I had was this title and the idea of spoofing a popular fantasy TV show....having worked with Joe so many times over the past 20 years or so I totally trusted his creative mind to bring the “King” into this fairy tale land. He has done so with this hilarious script, which we have all had a wonderful time working on and we certainly hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
My many thanks to our incredible production team who never cease to amaze me with their incredible work. The setting for this show was a challenge and one that our crew happily accepted and rose to. The set, costumes, sound and lighting are beautiful for this project and demonstrates once again just how talented this group of theatre artists truly are. I also would like to acknowledge the generous support of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association and our General Partners, Janet Cunningham and Doug Stephen. To the multi-talented cast, ad-cast and crew for this epic adventure, I salute each of you for your fine work!
I thank all of you as well, our audience; it is due to your laughter and support of our rather crazy brand of theatre that has allowed us to do what we do for so many years...so thank you! Any questions, comments or even compliments can always be sent to me at the email addresses below.
Randy Apostle - Artistic Director
Brandi Chemerika – The Evil Queen-Regina
Since she wasn't very popular the first time around, Brandi is happy to be giving it a second go as the Mayor of a small town, this time with a few redeeming qualities. You may remember her latest stint as Mayor Ogilvie in last year’s production of Footsloose. When she isn't pretending to know anything at all about politics, Brandi loves the following things: Wine.
Many special thanks go out to the wonderful and talented bunch of people she calls her family here at Celebrations and most of all to you folks for making her 15th production with the company a possibility. Enjoy the show!
Kara Swayze – Snow White
Kara is overjoyed to return to the Celebrations stage to portray a different kind of princess for you this evening! Since playing Rachel in The Best of Friends: Reunion, she has been busy both studying and working in theatre and film in Manitoba. She most recently appeared as Miss Abigail King in the new series, The Pinkertons. Kara would like to say thank you to her friends and family, and of course you all for coming to witness the magic we have created for you tonight. Have an enchanted evening!
Zachary Parsons-Lozinski – Prince Charming
Zachary is a 2011 graduate of the Theatre Arts program at MacEwan University in Edmonton AB; he is also the Artistic Director of 50% Fruit Theatre, as well as an award winning ("Best Comedian" - Vue Weekly's 19th Annual BEST OF EDMONTON Awards) night-club performer. You may remember Zachary as Mason Ogilvy from last year’s presentation of FOOTSLOOSE (Celebrations Dinner Theatre). Have a positively CHARMING evening!!
Renell Doneza – Mr. Gold–Rumpelstiltskin/Angry the Dwarf
Welcome guests of Graceland! Renell is thrilled to be making his debut here at Celebrations Dinner Theatre in their production of Once Upon a Time in Graceland. Renell is a recent graduate from the University of Manitoba where he studied Psychology. Although school kept him busy, it didn’t stop him from continuing his music and theatre training. Renell has had the opportunity to train with Winnipeg Studio Theatre and The School of Music Vocations (Iowa). You may have seen him at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival performing shows such as Cabaret, Cannibal, and Illuminati: The Third, to name a few. Special thanks to friends, family, and everyone here at Celebrations. Have a magical evening and enjoy the show! (Hi, Marrife)
Tom Edwards* – Henry/Elvis/ King Creole
Tom is glad to be back in his fifth show at Celebrations living out a teenage fantasy playing Elvis. Being a big fan of the TV show, he hopes you thoroughly enjoy our comical enchantment of Once Upon a Time. Speaking of fairy tales, Tom was seen this last Christmas at The Capital Theatre in Fort Edmonton as Nostril De Pancake, an ugly step sister in The Cinderella Pantomime and as George Bailey in a radio show style version of It’s A Wonderful Life, and just recently in a quaint, rarely done musical Drat The Cat as Lucious Van Guilder for Plane Jane Theatre. Tom is also a member of Edmonton’s award winning live improvised soap opera, Die Nasty, which is very much like Winnipeg’s Soapscum Presents.
*appears with the permission of Canadian Actors' Equity Association
Kharytia Bilash* – Granny/The Ice Queen/Belle/Stupid the Dwarfl
Kharytia is very excited to be embarking on this fairytale journey with this lovely crew! Credits include: Pirates of the North Saskatchewan III (Calgary), The British Invasion (Edmonton), Elvis & the Las Vegas Hangover (Edmonton), City Dudes and Country Slickers (Celebrations/Jubilations), Peace Love Rock n' Roll and the Beat Goes On (Mayfield Dinner theatre ), Belle in Beauty & the Beast (The Citadel/Theatre Calgary), Canada Girl (Oh Canada Eh) and Millie in Thoroughly Modern Millie (Randolph). Many thanks to friends and family for their love and support and to Randy, Peter, Joe and the creative team for this wonderful vision!
*appears with the permission of Canadian Actors' Equity Association
|Artistic Director||Randy Apostle*|
|Music Producer||WAMARH Music|
|Music Director||Greg Dunstan|
|Props||Darah Mclean & Ashley Burdett|
|Sound/ Light Design||Randy Hadubiak|
|Sound/ Light Assistant||Gail Ksionzyk|
|Sets Designed & Contruction By||Rom Fantini & Jaimie Cooney|
|Mural Design||Jaimie Cooney|
|Scene Painters||Jaimie Cooney, Karen Turnbull, Barney Morin, Shannon Jacques, Terry Ray, and Rachel Maes|
|Costume Design||Lucille Laporte/ Tianna Lombardi (Costume Assistant)|
|Cast Photographer||Jim Woroniuk|
|Shop Carpenter||Jaimie Cooney|
|Playbill Advertising & Design||Call Toll Free @ 1-866-414-1563|
Celebrations Dinner Theatre is licensed by The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN)
*Courtesy of Canadian Actors' Equity Association
Dinner Theatre Concept Production Team
The dinner theatre concept uses a consistent team for all productions. If a particular member of the production team is unavailable for a specific show, other alternatives are explored, such as guest writers and directors. The productions begin in Winnipeg where they run for approximately 10 weeks. At the end of the run in Winnipeg, the set, including lighting and sound designs, props, music and actors all move on to Edmonton where the show runs for another 10 weeks. The production team will then move on to Calgary. Unlike the restaurant business where management can be developed and moved from one location to another, the theatres require the services of a very specialized group of individuals. This group has been associated with the company since Janet Cunningham and Doug Stephen took over the Winnipeg dinner theatre in 1993. The biographies of the key individuals involved with the dinner theatre productions are presented below.
For the past 20 years or so, Randy has been the Artistic Director for WOW Productions the company that provides all of the shows for the Celebrations and Jubilations dinner theatre's in Winnipeg Edmonton and Calgary. Randy has headed up over 75 original productions for our venues, serving as writer on many and director of the vast majority.
In addition to artistic director, Randy also acts as producer for the shows. Auditioning and selecting the casts, script supervision, music selection and working with all other members of the production team on all aspects of each of our presentations.
Over his years in the Canadian arts, Randy has worked in many theatres across Western Canada as a Technician, Stage Manager, Writer, Actor, Singer, Musician and Director. Some of Randy's favourite roles have been in shows such as: Pontius Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar, The Fantastics, Toronto Mississippi, The Foreigner and Last Call. A few Film and T.V. credits include: the motion picture - The Hessen Affair, made for TV projects - C7: The end of the world, Naughty or Nice, Killer Instinct, Hell on Heels and for those of you with long memories... 2 years on the children's show Putnam's Prairie Emporium!
Randy makes his home in Winnipeg where he lives with his wife Terri and their two year old son Jack! Besides his very busy schedule with the 3 theatres, Randy finds time to collaborate on a improvised soap opera on Monday evenings - "Soap Scum" at the Park Theatre in Winnipeg.
Randy would like to thank all of our patrons for their many years of laughter and support!
Randy is the individual responsible for the lights and sound in each dinner theatre production, including all aspects of the design process. Randy has performed those duties for over 20 years as a technician and designer. As the opening of each production approaches, Randy researches the music and history of the period in which the show is set in order to ensure that the production is as authentic as possible. Randy heads the technical staff in each location and as such is responsible for the transition from one show to another. That transition involves the set-up of the lights and speakers to suit the show, taking into consideration the uniqueness of each theatre. When Randy is not involved in a transition, he can often be found working the lights or sound in the Jubilations dinner theatre in the West Edmonton Mall.
Rom has been designing and building sets for the Celebrations and Jubilations concept dinner theatres since 1993. As a result of his technical expertise and professional background in graphic art, Rom was the logical choice to take charge of the entire set production and design.
While the design and building of each set is a major focus five times a year, Rom is also responsible for creating the environment for each production. That usually involves the design and decoration of the room in which the production is taking place. This adds to the authenticity of the production.
Over the past seven years, the beauty and complexity of the sets has grown dramatically. Rom's vision has the ability of bringing the stage to life while the themed walls complete the picture.
Van assists Randy Apostle in selecting the music for each production. Once the music is selected, Van maps out the music, records the bass and drum tracks, hires the stage musicians and goes into a studio to create the final product. When Van is not working for the Celebration and Jubilation dinner theatres, he is very much in demand on the Edmonton music scene as both a musician and musical director.