Things are heating up just in time for the holiday season! The Ward Cabaret, a sold-out work-in-progress hit at last year’s Luminato Festival, gets a finalized premiere run at Harbourfront Centre Theatre from December 12 to December 22, 2019 It’s an electrifying musical and theatrical re-imagination of the vibrant sounds and stories of Toronto’s first cross-cultural community. David Buchbinder, Grammy-nominated musician and producer, is joined by a collaborative team of award-winning musicians, singers, and actors to bring the first full production of this musical and theatrical experience.

From the 1840s until the Second World War, ‘The Ward’ was a place where Jewish, Chinese, African-American and Italian immigrants, among others, lived and struggled – an area loosely bordered by College and Queen, University and Yonge Streetsand was the seeding ground for this city’s cultural diversity.Take a step back in time as The Ward Cabaret conjures the pulsating sounds and stories of Toronto’s first multicultural neighbourhood – where street hawkers, organ grinders and itinerant musicians co-mingled with the heavenly strains of choirs spilling out of different religious institutions; where opera of both the Italian and Cantonese kind was heard; where blues and jazz rolled into the street from basement speakeasies and vaudeville performers treaded the boards at Shea’s Hippodrome. 

The Ward’s history reveals how a city of newcomers can embrace the power and richness of cross-cultural connections. In a period of rising anti-immigrant hostility, this is an important and timely story. The Ward Cabaret was inspired by the book The Ward (Coach House Books).

Wardcabaret – December 12 – 22, 2019 -Harbourfront Centre Theatre, 231 Queens Quay West, Tuesday-Saturday at 8 pm; Sunday 2 pm

Tickets range from $25 – $60 – Tickets,416-973-4000

Social Media: @TheWardCabaret #WeAreTheWard

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.