Confessions of a TIFF virgin–the Drabinsky documentary


The red-carpet crowds in the lobby at the Bell Light Box for the Drabinsky documentary

I felt very fortunate to have the privilege of attending the world premier of the documentary film, “Show Stopper: The Theatrical Life of Darth Drabinsky.” I was educated, laughed heartily, and was saddened by the experience. From the minute I entered the Bell Light Box,” I felt the buzz and excitement surrounding this unusual film. At the entrance, on the red carpet the director, Barry Avrich, was being interviewed, along with Elaine Stritch, one of those who was interviewed in the film.

I had never realized Drabinsky’s phenomenal influence in Toronto becoming a world centre of theatre. Perhaps one of his lasting contributions will be the magnificent restorations of the Ed MIrvish (Pantages) Theatre. Drabinsky spared no expense in restoring the venue to its original glory, when it was the largest and most important live-performance theatre in Canada, even if it was only a burlesque palace.

The film was honest in its approach, and fully documented Drabinsky’s fall from grace and finally his arrest. However, I thought that the film showed that Drabinsky’s fraudulent activities were not intended to fatten his own purse, but to satisfy his burning desire to creative more and more, better and better, stage productions.

The film gave him great credit for his accomplishments. He was a true mogul, who for a short period of time even gave Broadway a run for its money. He was the only Canadian who ever had two Tony Award-winning musical on the stages of Broadway at the same time. His desire to create lavish, meticulously directed, large-cast productions was his ultimate downfall.

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               Director Barry Avrich                       Elaine Stritch

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The CNE Air Show is over for another year and the Ex is closed.

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The new Toronto Aquarium at the base of the CN Tower, due to open in simmer – 2013

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Construction at Clarence Square on the east side of Spadina, north of Front Street.

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The northwest corner of Queen and Spadina where a McDonald’s is located.

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The history of the site of the Dragon City Mall on the southwest corner of Spadina and Dundas Streets.

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The historic home now occupied by Paul Magder Furs

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The 1890s church of St. Margaret’s Anglican on Spadina south of Queen street. The church is now hidden from view by a modern addition across the front of it.

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The iconic Balfour Building at Spadina and Adelaide Streets

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House on Spadina south of Dundas Street – today it is difficult to believe that it was once a prestigious residential building

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The vanished underground men’s washroom from the early nineteenth century, located in the middle of the street at Queen and Spadina.

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The site of the Consumers’ Glass Building at 239-241 Spadina, south of Dundas Street. It is presently under restoration.

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