Rob Ford wannabes of all shapes, sizes, ages and backgrounds assembled in downtown Toronto today in hopes of dazzling the producers of the upcoming musical about the city's controversial mayor.
Playwright Brett McCaig and his creative team presided over a frenetic open casting call Monday morning for Rob Ford the Musical: The Birth of a Ford Nation.
The production is initially slated for a Sept. 16-28 run at Toronto's Factory Theatre, with the possibility of an extension of the 90-minute show if successful.
In a recent interview, McCaig said he is looking for "a quadruple threat" performer: "He has to kind of look like Rob, he has got to be able to sing, dance and act. Big comedy, a big comedian."
Production on the forthcoming musical began about a year ago, with McCaig teaming up with P. Joseph Regan to write the book and lyrics. The music — including 10 original songs spanning pop, rock, country and ballads — was composed by Anthony Bastianon.
According to McCaig, other real-life people who will be portrayed in the show include the mayor's brother, Coun. Doug Ford, and novelist Margaret Atwood. The cast will also include a police chief, a prominent lawyer, a newspaper editor and the media, as well as a "spiritual guide" who will be called Transgression.
Mayor Ford is currently on leave, to receive treatment for substance abuse.
The show won't be "Ford-bashing, because that's too easy," said McCaig, who added that though he's never met the mayor, he would be happy to have him see the finished musical.
Deana Sumanac reports live from the casting session in the attached video.