WE FOUND OUR FORD!!
‘ROB FORD THE MUSICAL’ CASTS LEAD ROLE Sheldon Bergstrom of Saskatchewan to play Toronto’s notorious Mayor (Toronto, ON) August 6,…
‘ROB FORD THE MUSICAL’ CASTS LEAD ROLE
Sheldon Bergstrom of Saskatchewan to play Toronto’s notorious Mayor
(Toronto, ON) August 6, 2014: Aftera nationwide search for the actor to play the lead in the upcoming “Rob Ford the Musical: Birth of A Ford Nation” – running September 16th-28th at the Factory Theatre – Saskatchewan actor and comedian, Sheldon Bergstrom, won the coveted role.
“The search for the perfect ‘Rob Ford’ was exhaustive,” said Liz Gilroy, Director, Rob Ford the Musical. “We needed to find someone who could capture the Mayor’s all too well-known candor and mannerisms but really make it their own. He needed to be able to infuse humour as well as a little empathy into the role, and Sheldon showed us such a fantastic range that we know he is probably the only actor in the country who can pull it off.”
Nearly 100 actors – from Gander, Newfoundland to Sault Saint Marie, as well as outside of Canada including Germany and an actor currently on Broadway – submitted themselves for consideration of the musical’s title role. Bergstrom stood out from the rest due to his extensive repertoire, phenomenal voice and the comedic chops needed to walk the fine line that is the ‘Rob Ford’ character. During the audition process, the actor’s hometown of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan rallied extensively for their native son on the Musical’s Facebook page – a move that really resonated with the shows creators.
“I just about fell off my chair when I got the call to be Rob Ford” said Bergstrom. “I told the Director and Producer that I could be on the next plane to Toronto! Like the rest of the world, I’ve been following the story of Rob Ford closely. I never would have guessed I’d get the opportunity to play him in a musical. I really have my friends and family from Prince Albert to thank for landing the role. Not only were they persistent in getting to get me to auditioning, they relentlessly petitioned the Writer and Director to consider me. I feel like I have an army of supporters behind me and I won’t let them down!”
In addition to Bergstrom, Toronto’s Lisa Horner will play Margaret Atwood in the musical lampoon. Horner will be recognized for her well-loved Ikea spot, “Start the Car” as well as Mme Thenardier in Mirvish Productions’ 25th Anniversary revival of Les Miserables. Added Horner, “I’m honoured to play a Canadian of such stature as Margaret Atwood. It’s daunting, but the opportunity to be part of this comedic look at what Torontonian’s have been experiencing for the past four years is one I couldn’t
“Rob Ford the Musical: Birth of A Ford Nation” will take to the stage as an unabashed, take-no-prisoners comedy. In true Canadian form, it tackles the issue head on, through irreverence and fearless self-deprecation. With songs that include ‘It’s Good to be Gay!’ and ‘Ford Nation F*** You’, this time Torontonians will apologize for nothing.
Gilroy continued “Although I’ve been in this business for more than 20 years, I’ve never seen a show take on a topical, hot-button issue in such a refreshing and irreverent way. When I first read the script, I laughed so hard I couldn’t get through it. What I really love about the play is that it also has a conscience. You can clearly read between the lines that the goal of this show is to help us make sense out of an insane situation using a healthy dose of our unique blend of Canadian humour.”
Positioned as a lampooning of everyone and anyone who has been involved with the mayoral chaos, this urban satire follows the personal and political journey of Rob Ford as he ascends to power and global attention. The media, the police chief and the city itself are not off limits in Toronto-based writer Brett McCaig’s latest musical comedy with music composed by Toronto’s own Anthony Bastianon. To date the show’s announcement and the search for the lead role has received attention from media across the country as well as around the world. Even late night talk show host David Letterman mused “You must be on crack to write a musical about Rob Ford” in his opening monologue.
“You just can’t think about the title without smiling. The whole fiasco seems like a surreal comedy – we’re just adding music. We should thank Rob Ford for providing us with such great material – we’re just not sure how he’s going to finish it. We saw this as a real opportunity to give Torontonians a voice in the midst of its mayor’s outrageous antics and have a little fun along the way. Now that we have Sheldon in place as our leading man, everything’s coming together and promising to make this show one like no other,” said McCaig.