February 3, 2011
‘Sweetheart: The Mary Pickford Story’ musical at Spadina Museum this February
Sweetheart: The Mary Pickford Story (by Dean Burry) is a one-woman musical based on the life and career of Toronto’s influential silent film star. Performances will take place from February 10 to 27 at Spadina Museum.
The music of Sweetheart: The Mary Pickford Story references the music of the silent film era. The songs, sung by Denise Norman accompanied by Sherry Squires on piano, evoke the rhythm and energy of Ragtime and Tin-Pan Alley. The historical ambiance of the Spadina Museum is a fitting setting for this performance, which incorporates Pickford’s films as screen projections.
Sweetheart: The Mary Pickford Story functions on several levels: as a biography of a pivotal figure of a dominant 20th-century art form; as an exploration of the cult of celebrity; and as an inspiring and entertaining musical. Sweetheart is a Lunabridge Production with music, book and lyrics created by Dean Burry and directed by Mimi Mekler. This is an approved Canadian Actors’ Equity Association Co-op.
Performances take place from Thursday to Saturday, February 10 to 26, at 8 p.m. and on Sunday, February 13, 20 and 27 at 2 p.m. Admission is $20 for adults and $17 for seniors and youth (plus applicable taxes). Advance tickets are available by calling Spadina Museum (285 Spadina Rd., Toronto) at 416-392-6910.
Born in Toronto in 1892, Mary Pickford was a founding member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and a co-founder of United Artist Studios. She is acknowledged as one of the film industry’s most important figures and was the first film actor ever to negotiate a million-dollar contract. She received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy Awards in 1976. Pickford was one of the silent film era’s biggest celebrities, achieving international fame. Her life’s story echoes many of the trials and tribulations that celebrities continue to experience today. Mary Pickford died in 1979.
For more than a century, Spadina Museum was home to four generations of the Austin family. Opened to the public in 1984 by the City of Toronto, the museum recently underwent an exhaustive interior restoration. This celebrated public landmark is now Toronto’s only museum to represent the transformative era of the 1920s and 1930s through authentic interiors and multifaceted public programming.
Spadina Museum: Historic House and Gardens is one of 10 historic museums operated by the City of Toronto. For more information the public can call 416-392-6910 or visit http://www.toronto.ca/spadina.
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