THE WAKOWSKI BROS.
Book, Music and Lyrics by Wesley J. Colford
The year is 1938.
8 years after splitting the act, Canadian Vaudeville legends Jimmy and Conrad Wakowski reunite for a one night tribute performance. As the night goes on, the original skits and songs bring old demons to the surface. Jimmy's ex-wife Caitlyn joins them as painful memories and past betrayals conspire to destroy the attempt to rebuild their shattered relationship.
This original musical mixes low comedy with high stakes and heartbreak, played to the tune of an original pastiche Vaudeville score. This lost story, highlighting an oft overlooked era of Canadian theatre history, sheds light on the present while cautioning against a bleak potential future full of blame and regret. There are also rubber chickens.
The Wakowski Bros. was produced by Aim for the Tangent Theatre, premiering at St. Vladimir's Theatre as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival on July 4, 2012. It was then extended as part of the 2012 "Best of Fringe" at the Toronto Centre for the Performing Arts. Both engagements featured the following cast and crew:
JIM WAKOWSKI Derek Scott*
CONRAD WAKOWSKI Duff MacDonald*
CAITLYN ROSE Lorretta Bailey*
Direction by Alex Fallis*
Music Direction by Christopher Mounteer
Choreography by Liz Gilroy*
Produced by Wesley J. Colford
Designed by Amy Marie Wallace
Accompaniment by Britta Johnson
Digital Media by Kent Nolan
Fight Choreography by Derek Scott*
Stage Management by Adriana Dimitri
and Kaitlyn Smith
* Appeared courtesy of Canadian Actors Equity Association under the New Festival Agreement.
“Believe the buzz. Vaudeville is born again in this old-timey meta-tale of two orphans, their path to stardom and the inevitable woman who comes between them. The show is simultaneously ribald, tender and punny like the music hall acts it reveres.”
- NOW Magazine (NNNN, Critic’s Pick, Outstanding Production)
“The jokes come fast and furious, tapping into an incredibly silly place that lurks within everyone… [but] the comedy eventually takes a backseat to a story of surprising depth.”
- The Torontoist (4 ½ stars, “Best of Fest”)
“I loved The Wakowski Brothers, it’s a definite must-see show. If you miss it at the 2012 Toronto Fringe you’ll probably be able to see it at The Winter Garden after Mirvish picks it up. The tickets will be more expensive though.”
- Sam Mooney, Mooney on Theatre (Critic’s Pick)
The play was previously workshopped by the Cape Breton Stage Company in Sydney, Nova Scotia, and was presented as part of their Summer Night Theatre Festival beginning August 5, 2011 with the following cast and crew:
JIM WAKOWSKI Kyle Capstick
CONRAD WAKOWSKI Alicia Penney
CAITLYN ROSE Catherine Gale
Direction by Ken Chisholm
Music Direction by Alicia Penney
Stage Management by Anna Spencer
The Wakowski Bros. made its professional debut this March with Talk is Free Theatre in Barrie, ON as part of their 13/14 Season in a new production directed by Richard Ouzounian.
Then in June 2014, it was the premiere act at the brand new Highland Arts Theatre in Sydney, Nova Scotia with a local Cape Breton cast and band, coming full circle after touring Ontario.
To inquire about the rights for The Wakowski Bros. contact:
Gary Goddard Agency
149 Church Street, 2nd Floor