As a Stage Performer

MUSICAL MUSINGS ON MEN

As well, in stage performances that go beyond mere words , Erika enjoys joining forces with singer-songwriter Nancy White to take audiences of both genders for a wild onstage musical ride, with “IT’S A GUY THING.” This revue-style show combines Erika’s spoken material from THE GREAT BIG BOOK OF GUYS about Older Men, Younger Men, and Men and Dogs with Nancy’s witty songs on similar themes.

The show came into being late in 2004, after Nancy attended one of Erika’s first readings from THE GREAT BIG BOOK OF GUYS: ALPHABETICAL ENCOUNTERS WITH MEN. These A to Z observations about various aspects of men—from Amigos, to Bad Boys, to Men o’Pause, to Younger Men—struck Nancy as simpatico with her own outlook.

“You know,” she told Erika after the reading, “I’ve got lots of songs about men. We should do a show together!”

Nancy was right. The two women’s perspectives, shared sense of humour, and the tone of their material really work well together. Plus, brilliant piano player and occasional kibitzer Bob Johnston is also onstage, to accompany Nancy’s tunes, and make clear to the audience that “IT’S A GUY THING” is men-friendly and equal-opportunity, in its employment of comic quips at the expense of women as well as men, and in its celebration of both sexes.

The show is a simple stage presentation, with songs and spoken words ranging from dads, to divorce, to diesel engines and dye-jobs—as well as a whole bunch of other male-inspired topics that begin with various letters of the alphabet.

Since its debut at Hugh’s Room in Toronto in December 2004, “IT’S A GUY THING” has also delighted other Ontario audiences at the Thousand Islands Playhouse in Gananoque, in October 05, and at the Algonquin Theatre in Huntsville in June 06. In fact, you can see a couple of snapshots of Nancy White, Bob Johnston and Erika backstage after their performance at the Algonquin on the left.

IT’S A GUY THING” began—as so many good ideas do—in a Mickey-and-Judy sort of way, with Nancy’s suggestion to Erika that they put on a show. They are hoping to keep on having fun, in performances to come. Keep watching this space for further “IT’S A GUY THING” developments.

Erika has also performed material from THE GREAT BIG BOOK OF GUYS in a separate words-and-music show: “LADIES’ MEN”, in collaboration with singer Carole Warren and saxophonist Stephen Kennedy. Carole’s renditions of jazz and musical comedy standards about love and loss intertwine with Erika’s observations for an onstage evening that both celebrates and sends up the sexes.

PROFESSIONALLY PRODUCED STAGE PLAYS

THE ROAD TO HELL – (Lunchbox Theatre, Calgary, 1993)
MURDER AT MCQUEEN – (Tarragon Theatre, Toronto, 1986)
THE PASSING SCENE – (Tarragon Theatre, Toronto, 1982)
AUTOMATIC PILOT – (first produced New Theatre, Toronto, 1980. From 1980 to present, multiple other productions at professional theatres in Canada, the U.S. and abroad, including Vancouver, Washington, D.C., Jerusalem. Most recent production in Antogonish, Nova Scotia, summer 2006)
WINTER 1671 – (first produced St Lawrence Centre, Toronto, 1979)
THE SPLITS – (first produced Toronto Free Theatre, 1978, with subsequent productions at The Actors’ Theatre, Louisville, Kentucky and other cities in Canada.)
A VISITOR FROM CHARLESTON – (first produced at Loyola College, Montreal, 1974, with subsequent professional productions in Winnipeg, Manitoba and elsewhere.)
(FOR RADIO PLAYS, PLEASE VISIT “ON THE AIR”)