presents

 

 

Yorkville Reprised

 

A 'transmedia' musical stage play written and produced by Geoff Pickering and Paul Saunders.

The year was 1968 - the penultimate year for the nascent boomer generation, as they morphed into young adults. 

Toronto - aka Yorkville - was now the centre of the Universe, and Canada the envy of the World.  To Canada, with its long entrenched values of peace-keeping, tolerance, equality, internationalism, and fair play would belong the 21st century!

The previous half decade had witnessed civil unrest, social decay, and violence in America that eclipsed any prior period in history as politically aware youth took on the establishment.  Leader after leader, thinker after thinker, poets, politicos, songwriters & evangelists were mowed down in a hail of bullets, met mysterious fates, or opted to take their own lives, despairing for the fate of "Once a Great Nation".


a Teaser from the Early Rockabilly Era in Toronto - A Tribute to R Dean Taylor

Canada had its own evangelist, Pierre Eliot Trudeau.  Born into wealth, he was an egalitarian and well travelled citizen of the world and had a broader vision of a world of nation states, living and trading in harmony.  Brilliant, irreverent, quick on his feet, and politically astute Trudeau swept the youth generation, the now eligible to vote boomers, off their feet, in a craze of Trudeaumania.

Trudeau was feared by the establishment for his wit, and reviled by the corporatocracy, the inbred country club trust fund baby elite, puppetmasters to the entrenched political establishment- on both sides of the border - perhaps more so because he was one of THEIRS - who had turned on them.

As America mourned, Vietnam raged, puppet Presidents proselytized, and as the National Guard crushed civil liberties, a migration of American youth to Canada, which had started as a trickle in 1963 turned into a torrent.  By 1971, over 60,000 of America's brightest young minds had bid a hasty retreat to their vast, inviting, frigid neighbour to the north.  And not just young males; in fact thousands upon thousands of young females, equally incensed by America's war-mongering, civil rights policies, prejudice, and intolerance, flocked to Canada's bosom.

The music, poetry of protest came too, and once backwater, religious, protestant Orangemen's territory became a mecca for immigrants from all over the world, seeking a better place, a safer haven.

A movement that eclipsed the post civil war Underground Railway, which had seen tens of thousands of blacks smuggled into Canada, where they could enjoy a measure of true freedom.

Earlier in the decade many black musicians (and sympathetic whites) had sought a different kind of refuge in Canada, one that offered equality off the stage, not just on.  The ability and right to stay in a hotel, mingle socially, be seen in the streets, cohabitate; blacks and whites and all colours in between!

This changed sleepy hollow forever, as Toronto (and Canada) became the progenitor of a unique sound, the Yorkville sound, a convergence of rhythms and themes; rock, jazz, blues, folk, country rock, reggae, with calypso and latin beats and influence.

'Yorkville Reprised' tells this story, finally, to the world, as now the entire planet reels from successive waves of exported Freidmanesque shock 'therapy'.

Too little? No. 

Too late? NEVER!

2013

Read about The Royal Theatre's History, Restoration and Renaissance.
 


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Check out this Yorkville Reprised video on YouTube.

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