Gabriel Iglesias set to host Montreal Just For Laughs gala

31. July 2014 10:55 by Julie Merar in Theater  //  Tags:   //   Comments ()


Montreal's Just For Laughs comedy festival is one of the most highly regarded events on the stand-up circuit. It is able to annually book the best comics from all over the world and sell out arenas and amphitheaters around the Quebecois city.

The festival is known for putting on a number of galas that are hosted by some of the biggest names in comedy. This year's hosts include Chevy Chase, Don Rickles, Andy Samberg and Seth Rogen​, to give you an idea of the kind of star power the event organizers are capable of pulling.

However, there is one comic who will be hosting his own gala this year whose name is not quite as recognizable as those previously mentioned. That comic is Gabriel Iglesias, or as he is known on the circuit, Mr. Fluffy.

California roots
Iglesias was raised in Chula Vista, California. With five older siblings, Iglesias learned quickly how to develop his sense of humor in order to deflect any negative attention he received. Now, Gabriel Iglesias tickets sell out regularly as the comic visits town after town with his set of mostly self-deprecating humor.

The comedy star tries to steer clear of politics, religion and sports, as those topics tend to divide the audience. Instead he opts for a show that consists of a barrage of character impressions and personal stories.

His hosting gig at the Montreal Just For Laughs festival comes at a good time for the comic, who is preparing for the release of his film "The Fluffy Movie." The movie will give audiences around the world a chance to see the comic's latest set.

The Gabriel Iglesias Gala
The gala that Iglesias is hosting will contain performances by a wide range of other comics such as Cristela Alonzo, Ryan Hamilton, Elon Gold, Darrin Rose, Joe Matarese, Angelo Tsarouchas and The Boy with Tape on His Face.

The opportunity to host a gala at this international comedy festival is a highlight of any comic's career. Iglesias has definitely earned the honor, as his shows are incredibly popular, despite him not being a household name. However, his upcoming movie and Just For Laughs festival appearance are sure to bring the breakout star to the next level.

Be sure to get your hands on your own Gabriel Iglesias tickets when he stops by a town near you.

From the West End to the Great White Way

26. June 2014 11:49 by Julie Merar in Theater  //  Tags:   //   Comments ()

Matilda: The Musical tickets have been selling steadily since the show opened on Broadway in the spring of 2013. The musical's success in the U.S. didn't come as a surprise to those familiar with the show's stunning British pedigree. Originally produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company on London's West End, the U.K. equivalent to Broadway, Matilda: The Musical is not the first production to arrive in New York after a successful run across the Atlantic. In fact, the longest-running Broadway production, The Phantom of the Opera, is a West End transfer. But who chooses which musicals get to make the move to the Great White Way? And what goes into that decision?

Eliminating the guesswork
Transfers from London to New York have become increasingly popular over the last few years due to the savings that the process incurs. On the one hand, Broadway producers do not have to worry about building sets and costumes, as they simply have to pay the shipping fee to transport them from London. In addition, the months that go into planning, casting, rehearsing and staging a fully produced Broadway show can be reduced to a mere days during a transfer. In essence, all of the heavy lifting has already been done by the time a Broadway producer sees a show in London that they like. Perhaps one of the greatest advantages of transferring over a London production is that producers can wait to see if the show gets good reviews on the West End before committing to it. Creating a brand new show involves a lot of investment without the guarantee that the show will be a success. A few bad reviews of a new show are enough to tank a production and lose a lot of money.

A different kind of work
While transferring a show does eliminate some guesswork, there are still many things that need to be worked out before the deal can be completed. It isn't quite as simple as loading up the cast and crew on a plane with tickets for the Big Apple. In fact, one of the first considerations is which actors will transfer to Broadway and which will be recast in New York. Often the leads will stay with the show as it moves, however, there are sometimes extenuating circumstances that necessitate recasting a lead. For example, in Matilda, the four girls who rotated through playing the role of Matilda were recast for the New York production, as child actors are not able to move around the globe in the way that adults can.

What is your favorite show you have seen on Broadway? Was it a West End transfer?

A look at the longest-running show on Broadway

10. June 2014 10:00 by Julie Merar in Theater  //  Tags:   //   Comments ()


Andrew Lloyd Webber's timeless musical about the mysterious history of the Paris Opera House is the longest-running show on Broadway. Since its opening night in 1988, The Phantom of the Opera has been enthralling audiences with its beautiful score and intriguing story of love and betrayal for over 25 years. During that run, the musical has been produced in theaters around the world. It was even made into a feature-length film in 2004 that was nominated for three Golden Globes and three Oscars. As a result, Phantom of the Opera tickets are some of the most highly sought in New York City. 

Opening night
The show first opened in London's West End at Her Majesty's Theater on Sept. 27, 1986. Two years later It was transferred to Broadway, where it still runs at the Majestic Theater. To this day, there have been more than 10,000 performances of the Broadway run. In addition, the worldwide gross ticket sales for the show have topped $5.6 billion, making it one of the most successful musicals of all time.

Accolades for Phantom
The 1988 production of The Phantom of the Opera won seven Tony Awards. In addition, it received seven Drama Desk Awards, five Outer Critics Circle Awards and two Olivier Awards. The worldwide tour version also managed to rake in a number of awards, including four LA Drama Critics Awards and six Victoria Green Room Awards in Australia.

Theater critic Richard Barkley writing for the Sunday Express said of the original production, "The Phantom of the Opera is a gorgeous operatic extravaganza that is a thrill to the blood and a sensual feast for the eye." It isn't difficult to see how the show has been able to attract audiences for all these years.

The story of the Phantom
The legend of a masked man who lives deep in the underbelly of the Paris Opera House was first dreamt up by a French author named Gaston Leroux. That novel went on to be serialized in international newspapers before it was immortalized as a Universal motion picture during the early days of cinema. Leroux was inspired by an actual event that happened at the Parisian theater in the 1880s. During that time, a counterweight from the grand chandelier fell from the ceiling and hit an audience member. Leroux took this story and ran with it, creating one of the most memorable tales of the 20th century in the process.

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