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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  operafantomet on Sat Nov 05, 2011 8:28 am

SenorSwanky wrote:I like the intimacy of the OCC. The OLC has a lusher orchestral sound, and the voices sound more reverb-y, like you're further back in the audience. The OCC sounds more like a soundboard. I generally prefer the OLC, not just for its completeness but for its sound and cast, but I love Colm's Phantom (though he sounds not nearly as good on the OCC as he actually was on stage--same for MC and most performers). Caine definitely sounds much better live; her voice has always sounded really throaty and dry and husky on the OCC to me. Her voice rings much more live, and I like bright-voiced Christines like SB.
THAT I agree with. I wasn't too much of a fan of Rebecca Caine based on what I heard in the Canadian Cast Album when I was a newbie. As you write, her voice comes of more... dry, throaty, in the CD. Her plain singing/trying to act hybrid also didn't sit well with me(Final Lair comes to mind). But when I saw live clips of her, both from Phantom and other stuff she's done... wowsy! What a voice! What a style! I suddenly understood the whole Caine hype.

But though the Canadian CD tends to be a favourite among fans, I'm only a semi fan. Colm Wilkinson and Rebecca Caine are both stellar performers, but I'm not very keen on Byron Nease as Raoul, neither at the managers or Carlotta. The orchestrations are also first-rate, but it's only a highlight CD and there's so much more I want to hear. So I do dig the CD, definitely, but I think the Original London Cast scores so much more on the supporting cast.

That said, I want to listen to the OCC anew. It's been years since I've listened to it, and my taste has probably changed, or I discover other things than before.

(though y'all know me, in my world nothing beats the Swedish one... Wink )

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  woodsyallen on Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:13 pm

I will agree that Caine's performance on the album is not as good as live stuff - I recently heard some material of her performing the show in London back in the 80s and my goodness was she INCREDIBLE! Sorry Sarah, but you couldn't possibly top that.

As for the supporting cast I can understand your opinions - while I may not share them entirely they are all completely valid. I agree that the Managers do sound very much alike, but I personally find them to be a funnier duo than the others - they have a much better delivery of their more comedic material (wrote... ...written).

While I too appreciate the completeness of the OLC (though my CDs are untracked making it a rather bothersome experience especially if you have to stop half way through) there's certain elements to it that bother me too much (mostly the two leads). And it really does sound like it's an album from the 80s in terms of overall production.

That said I'd love to hear the remastering.

I will have to check out that Korean cast recording though. I really do enjoy the orchestrations on the OCC, they just have a very energetic quality to them that I really enjoy (especially the instrumental sections - overture is just so big and powerful, and the entr'acte has a peppy quality that really makes you feel as if you are there listening to an orchestra that is full of joy playing live). But much like operafantomet wants to revisit OCC I really should revisit OLC as it's been a while since I've listened to it (I always turn to my OCC).

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  SenorSwanky on Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:41 pm

operafantomet wrote:(though y'all know me, in my world nothing beats the Swedish one... Wink )
Did you just say "y'all"? I live in the American South, and I don't even say "y'all." Laughing Kudos on correctly apostrophizing it though (yes, I Googled, and that is a word). So many people, even Southerners, spell it as "ya'll." It's a contraction of "ye" and "all" that began when the Scots came over here. It's not a contraction of something that begins with "ya" and "will." Sheesh. But I digress.

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  operafantomet on Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:16 pm

Someone needs this large Toronto poster, right?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/PHANTOM-OPERA-VERY-LARGE-POSTER-TORONTO-PANTAGES-TICKET-STUBS-FLYER-/290621379595?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_2&hash=item43aa62540b

(I especially like the reflection of someone's legs and a sleeping dog...)

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  operafantomet on Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:26 pm

One mid-September afternoon in 1989, I rode my bicycle from our office to that supplier, and was roaming the isles when our account manager approached me. “Jim — I’ve got a guy standing at the counter asking me all kinds of questions I can’t answer about transistors and remote control and smoke and something about The Phantom of the Opera. Maybe you could help him?”

I had no idea what The Phantom of the Opera was, despite it already being a blockbuster hit in London and New York.

Less than two hours later, my business partner and I were standing on the stage of the Pantages Theatre, staring at a remote-controlled Phantom gondola. Someone had modified a hobby airplane controller with custom electronics to power the motors. Sometimes it worked well, they explained, but then, with a puff of smoke and an acrid smell, the whole piece would bolt at top speed, almost unstoppable. So far — luckily — the most damage it had done was a crash into the back wall, scraping some paint and bending the front of the gondola. But some day, they all feared, it would barrel towards the orchestra pit.

Opening night was less than 3 days away. The producers of Phantom knew nothing about the two twenty-somethings standing on their stage. But, at the end of their rope and almost all hope lost, with reassuring and confident words flowing off my tongue with aplomb, they gave us the job to make it right. We worked all day and all night, first figuring out what had been done, then determining why that didn’t always work, and finally coming up with an alternative. Our warehouse space was too small and cluttered to properly test this large set piece inside, so we drove it around in the hallway, telling other tenants our story as we drove back and forth over the extension cords powering our soldering irons. That Phantom boat worked perfectly for opening night, and continued to work for the run of the show.

Numerous other remote-controlled props and set pieces misbehaved in that show, and we got the job to rebuild them over the course of several months: the music box monkey clapping its cymbals, the candle that throws a ball of fire, small lamps hidden in various places. We became the go-to people for remote control and battery-powered devices in any show Livent built. And they built many.


http://www.theatrewireless.com/about/
(including a huge picture of the Toronto boat without the pillows. I've never seen that before!)

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  Devon on Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:39 am

operafantomet wrote:
SenorSwanky wrote:I like the intimacy of the OCC. The OLC has a lusher orchestral sound, and the voices sound more reverb-y, like you're further back in the audience. The OCC sounds more like a soundboard. I generally prefer the OLC, not just for its completeness but for its sound and cast, but I love Colm's Phantom (though he sounds not nearly as good on the OCC as he actually was on stage--same for MC and most performers). Caine definitely sounds much better live; her voice has always sounded really throaty and dry and husky on the OCC to me. Her voice rings much more live, and I like bright-voiced Christines like SB.
THAT I agree with. I wasn't too much of a fan of Rebecca Caine based on what I heard in the Canadian Cast Album when I was a newbie. As you write, her voice comes of more... dry, throaty, in the CD. Her plain singing/trying to act hybrid also didn't sit well with me(Final Lair comes to mind). But when I saw live clips of her, both from Phantom and other stuff she's done... wowsy! What a voice! What a style! I suddenly understood the whole Caine hype.

But though the Canadian CD tends to be a favourite among fans, I'm only a semi fan. Colm Wilkinson and Rebecca Caine are both stellar performers, but I'm not very keen on Byron Nease as Raoul, neither at the managers or Carlotta. The orchestrations are also first-rate, but it's only a highlight CD and there's so much more I want to hear. So I do dig the CD, definitely, but I think the Original London Cast scores so much more on the supporting cast.

That said, I want to listen to the OCC anew. It's been years since I've listened to it, and my taste has probably changed, or I discover other things than before.

(though y'all know me, in my world nothing beats the Swedish one... Wink )


Ahhh the Swedish recording, I agree! (Y'all...hehe)

I didn't mind Rebecca Caine the first time I heard her (although I preferred Sarah Brightman) She was a bit throaty at times and I guess Sarah Brightman sort of captured the innocence with her voice as the character of Christine. Maybe Rebecca sounded too mature or something. Colm Wilkinson I will honestly say, had to grow on me. I loved him as Jean Valjean in Les Mis but for some reason him as the Phantom rubbed me the wrong way. It took some time, and IN time I actually liked him more and more in the role. I also watched a documentary on the Canadian cast and really respect him as a performer and person. I get the feeling when meeting him, he would be very nice and gracious to his fans. :-)
I will agree with you on Byron Nease....as Raoul he didn't have enough tenderness in his voice like for example Steve Barton (who will always be my fav Raoul!) Nease came off too "swashbuckling" or something, he should have played Robin Hood in some Robin Hood based musical....lol, guess he reminds me of an Errol Flynn. ;-)

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  SenorSwanky on Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:43 am

Devon wrote:She was a bit throaty at times and I guess Sarah Brightman sort of captured the innocence with her voice as the character of Christine. Maybe Rebecca sounded too mature or something.
Yes! Well put.

Nease came off too "swashbuckling" or something, he should have played Robin Hood in some Robin Hood based musical....lol, guess he reminds me of an Errol Flynn. ;-)
Or Cary Elwes. Laughing

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  Devon on Thu Nov 24, 2011 9:30 am

SenorSwanky wrote:
Devon wrote:She was a bit throaty at times and I guess Sarah Brightman sort of captured the innocence with her voice as the character of Christine. Maybe Rebecca sounded too mature or something.
Yes! Well put.

Nease came off too "swashbuckling" or something, he should have played Robin Hood in some Robin Hood based musical....lol, guess he reminds me of an Errol Flynn. ;-)
Or Cary Elwes. Laughing


hahaha, Cary Elwes...good one! "We're men...men in tights. We roam around the forest looking for fights!" ;-)

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  woodsyallen on Thu Dec 01, 2011 2:51 am

operafantomet wrote:Someone needs this large Toronto poster, right?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/PHANTOM-OPERA-VERY-LARGE-POSTER-TORONTO-PANTAGES-TICKET-STUBS-FLYER-/290621379595?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_2&hash=item43aa62540b

(I especially like the reflection of someone's legs and a sleeping dog...)

Funnilly enough, I used to have that poster Razz


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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  justin-from-barbados on Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:33 am

That poster is so similar to the one i Got when I was there, just the photos are in different order and there is no script text. I also bought the one from Vancouver with Hyslop.


I didnt realise till just now, seems the Pantages has had ANOTHER name change, it is now the Ed Mirvish theatre, at first I was wondering if this was just a joke or publicity stunt, but it seems genuine.

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  woodsyallen on Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:18 am

Nothing like naming a theatre after someone who had absolutely nothing to do with it.

It seems so silly to me to pick the Canon to be the one that be named after Ed. Great guy, but why not dub one of the theatres HE owned/operated rather that one that was previously owned/run by Live Ent or Famous Players.

Just sayin!

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  operafantomet on Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:04 am

For those interesting in dates and years, this tidbit comes from one of the last Toronto brochures:

"THE FINAL CURTAIN

The longest-running musical in Canadian theatre history, The Phantom of the Opera has played eight times per week year-round at the landmark Pantages Theatre since it first previewed on September 12, 1989 and opened officially on September 20, 1989. To celebrate The Phantom's final six months in Toronto, three special guest stars don his mask to say farewell. From April 2nd to may 23rd, Canadian and international singer René Simard becomes The Phantom, followed by KISS legend Paul Stanley from May 25 to August 1. Canadian and Broadway star - and Phantom veteran - Jeff Hyslop sings once again as The Phantom from August 3 through Phantom's final curtain on September 26, 1999. Thank you, Toronto!"

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  MasqPhan on Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:05 pm

Didn't it extend to Oct 31, 1999 with Paul Stanley in the role?

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  SenorSwanky on Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:06 pm

MasqPhan wrote:Didn't it extend to Oct 31, 1999 with Paul Stanley in the role?
Yeah, but that was after they printed the brochure, I guess. It was a late extension of the run.

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  operafantomet on Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:41 am

There is a lovely documentary on the Toronto production of Phantom of the Opera, called (drumroll) "Behind the Mask". It features interviews with original cast, crew and creative team, it shows rehearsal and stage clips, it shows the cool music video on the title song, it shows costumes and props in making etc.

The documentary is in 7 parts on Youtube. The quality is OK, but not spectacular. The part about the restoring of The Pantages is also left out. Before I go ahead and save that version, I just wanted to check if anyone here happens to have a better copy at hand? Here is how it looks on Youtube (part 1):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVoaExWJbzo

If you have it, would you PM me?

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  Scorp on Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:28 pm

Earlfan and I went to see Rebecca Caine perform over the weekend. It was an excellent show, and she mentioned a few Phantom anecdotes: one being that she was told (possibly by Gillian Lynne?) that she 'looked' too intelligent as Christine as was told to have her eyes glazed over more; the other being that Michael Crawford apparently demanded that she crouch down when performing opposite him to make his Phantom seem taller (something she didn't appreciate, though she says she didn't have to do that with Colm). She did a marvellous rendition of 'Think of Me' - the best I've EVER heard - which totally blew her performance on the Canadian Cast Recording out of the water. Her voice sounded richer, sweeter and stronger. Her voice seems to have improved with age (unlike Sarah Brightman's IMHO).

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  operafantomet on Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:50 pm

Scorp wrote:Earlfan and I went to see Rebecca Caine perform over the weekend. It was an excellent show, and she mentioned a few Phantom anecdotes: one being that she was told (possibly by Gillian Lynne?) that she 'looked' too intelligent as Christine as was told to have her eyes glazed over more (...)
She's repeated this so often I'm kinda get the feeling it's a big deal for her. I thought it amusing at first, but now... A bit overkill. But agreed, that "Think of Me" was amaaaazing. As you write, she seemed to have both a grander voice and a sweeter tone to it.

Speaking of which... I have some 15 Canadian souvenir brochures, whereas probably 4 or 5 of the original cast with Colm Wilkinson and Rebecca Caine. They are either dated 1989 or 1992; none in between. And I have yet to run across one. Does this mean there are no Toronto brochures for 1990 and 1991?

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  SenorSwanky on Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:52 pm

Caine comes across as someone who's really sensitive and holds grudges a long time.

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  Scorp on Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:23 pm

She doesn't to my knowledge have a grudge against Crawford; I suppose all performers re-use the same anecdotes (even Crawford himself tells the same funny stories a lot of the time).

But I was so impressed with her voice; I'm really not exaggerating when I thought it was probably the best 'Think of Me' I'd ever heard. So much better than the cast recording as well, and that wasn't bad either.

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  operafantomet on Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:39 pm

Yeah, a think it's more a case of Rebecca Caine saying what's on her mind, without thoughts of "politics", of what is decorum to say and not and how people will interpret it. In general she is dead honest, which sometimes ticks me off. But for the most I love her for it. Too few people really speak their mind.

Also, she's never been afraid to claim her glory if/when deserved. If she feels she's achieved something good, she wants credit for it. Also a bit unconventional, but also refreshing from all the false modesty around in the business.

As for Michael Crawford, I've never gotten the impression Rebecca Caine didn't enjoy working with him. What she has said is that they never got too close. He was a perfectionist spending most of his energy on the role, and she greatly respected that, being a "mere alternate". Crawford never became too close with Brightman either, but I think there were a great deal of respect between them. Most of those working with Crawford comment on his immense work ethic, but few seem to become close with him. Dale Kristien being the exception.

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  justin-from-barbados on Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:35 pm

I don't believe there were any brochures between the original with Colm and the first 'red cover' one with Ciaran. When I saw the show in 94 they were using the original one with a PK insert leaf.

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  NightRachel on Sun Apr 22, 2012 1:56 am

Bonjour!
I'm a new member of Deserted Phans. Smile

I'm currently searching for photos of Rene Simard as the Phantom from the Toronto production. So if any pics of Rene's Phantom could be shared here on the phorum, that would be great! Very Happy

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  ianjonbourgandethanfreema on Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:42 pm

Does anybody happen to have a list of understudies for the role of the Phantom from this production? Specifically who understudied for Colm Wilkinson?

From what I've seen, it seems almost always that whoever was playing Raoul at the time understudied for the Phantom. Is this how it was the whole production?

Anyway,

This is one of my favorite productions because of the pure ballz the people who cast this production had.
Literally no two Phantoms were alike in this production.
I mean there was Colm Wilkinson, Peter Karrie, Cris Groenendaal, Ciaran Sheehan, Ethan Freeman, Rene Simard, Paul Stanley, Jeff Hyslop....where's the consistency? There was none! And I love it Very Happy
This production really branched out and tried to get people who were very "different" in the role, and I'll always love this production for that.

I just wish I could've seen it, lol

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  SenorSwanky on Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:07 pm

I agree with you on the casting. Probably the best group of Phantoms any production has ever had. As deservedly lauded as Colm, Karrie, and Freeman were, Hyslop is underrated. Colm's acting is also severely underrated. His acting during Christine's aria at the end of the title song (writhing "yes"s instead of repeated "sing"s) is by far the best of any Phantom; he gets it right--it's an orgasm. His acting in the FL is also so exquisitely understated. I wish I had been able to see the production too.

I don't think Byron Nease understudied the Phantom, though he played the role in the Y&K version, if I'm not mistaken. Or maybe Ken Hill.

I know David Rogers, Laird Mackintosh, and Kip Wilborn were Raouls who understudied the Phantom. Wilborn was superb in both roles.

There was another guy, Robert Pilon, who understudied the role and was also a sort of alternate to Karrie for a time, playing basically a regular schedule of once or twice a week. He's one of the least known understudies; no visual or audio record of his Phantom exists that I'm aware.

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  ianjonbourgandethanfreema on Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:22 pm

SenorSwanky wrote:I agree with you on the casting. Probably the best group of Phantoms any production has ever had. As deservedly lauded as Colm, Karrie, and Freeman were, Hyslop is underrated. Colm's acting is also severely underrated. His acting during Christine's aria at the end of the title song (writhing "yes"s instead of repeated "sing"s) is by far the best of any Phantom; he gets it right--it's an orgasm. His acting in the FL is also so exquisitely understated. I wish I had been able to see the production too.

I don't think Byron Nease understudied the Phantom, though he played the role in the Y&K version, if I'm not mistaken. Or maybe Ken Hill.

I know David Rogers, Laird Mackintosh, and Kip Wilborn were Raouls who understudied the Phantom. Wilborn was superb in both roles.

There was another guy, Robert Pilon, who understudied the role and was also a sort of alternate to Karrie for a time, playing basically a regular schedule of once or twice a week. He's one of the least known understudies; no visual or audio record of his Phantom exists that I'm aware.

Hyslop was, from what I've seen/heard, a very interesting, sort of odd and very different Phantom.
In 1999 his singing was....bad. Really bad. But his acting sounded really good, and it sounded like he got really into the character.
Whereas in 1991 his singing was actually quite good most of the time, but his acting wasn't as good as it sounded in '99. What do you think of Hyslop?
Actually what is the general consensus of Hyslop's Phantom?

Colm's acting at the end of the title song was interesting....but quite honestly it freaked me out a bit. Mostly because it made it seem like, in my eyes at least, Colm's Phantom wanted Christine for all the wrong reasons.

And thank you for the help on understudies! Those were all the ones I'd known based off....audio "documentations" of their performances. Kip sounded awesome as the Phantom, and I love how both he and David Rogers sang the trio part in "Wandering Child"

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  justin-from-barbados on Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:52 am

From what I remember about seeing Hyslop in 99 were 3 things. He had an interesting voice, the only fault I could find was it could be a bit nasally. Next thing was his height, he is short so he looked tiny on stage, but his acting made up for it. The last thing was he used to to an interesting thing in the final lair where through most of that scene his jacket was like half off (seeing Ramin doing a similar thing in the 25th reminded of that) at first I thought maybe it was an accident but he did it 2 nights in a row.

I had this big plan to to a huge post about the Toronto production this summer with scans of old newspaper adds (which were amazing) but I never got around to it, because for me this past August was 20 years I was into Phantom, all thanks to the Toronto production.

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  SenorSwanky on Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:00 am

I think Hyslop's MOTN is mesmerising. I don't see any problems with him vocally in any recordings I've been exposed to, which are rare.

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  SenorSwanky on Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:08 pm

Paul Stanley speaks to Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN about the ear deformity he was born with (which helped him identify with the Phantom):

http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/health/2011/06/14/hf.paul.stanley.long.cnn

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  SenorSwanky on Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:22 pm

Another time Stanley performed in makeup was in the title role of The Phantom of the Opera during the final months of its Toronto run in 1999. “I always wanted to do that show. I love the dichotomy of playing someone who’s a murderer and an artist, someone who yearns for acceptance but can’t believe it when it happens. An emotionally crippled person. I enjoyed playing that,” he says.
http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/music/2013/09/14/kiss_band_member_paul_stanley_recalls_birth_of_the_band.html

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Re: The Toronto Production

Post  Paula74 on Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:25 pm

Most of you follow Rebecca Caine on Twitter, but for those who don't...she announced today that Byron Nease has passed away. Sad 

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Re: The Toronto Production

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