Theatre De La Salle
Consider Yourself in for a treat this April!
TICKETS ON SALE NOW!
V.I.P. tickets are also available and include a pre-show reception, backstage tour, exclusive seating, and a commemorative souvenir.
Let us transport you to Victorian London next spring for this timeless tale about the boy who asked for more…
After escaping the workhouse, young orphan boy Oliver quickly finds himself alone on the bleak streets of London. When he befriends the mischievous Artful Dodger, Oliver is introduced to the art of pickpocketing, but could his new lifestyle lead him to a discovery about his mysterious past?
Based on Charles Dickens’ classic novel, Oliver! is one of the most successful musicals of all time and has a sensational score that includes such classics as Food Glorious Food, You’ve Got to Pick-a-Pocket or Two, Where Is Love?, Oom-Pah-Pah, and I’d Do Anything.
In Theatre De La Salle's brand new production of Lionel Bart’s multi-award winning musical, producer Michael Luchka and directors Glenn Cherny and Marc Labriola will be joined by choreographer Melissa Ramolo, Musical Director Chris Tsujiuchi, and Set Designer Michael Bailey, to bring you another must-see family favourite.
The story of Oliver Twist was written by Dickens when he was 25 years old and first published in monthly instalments between 1838 l-1839 and will celebrate its 180th anniversary in 2018.Our production will also coincide with a few other notable milestones related to the musical:
- 50th Anniversary of the Feature Film (1968-2018)
- 55th Anniversary of Oliver! Winning the Tony Award for Best Original Score
- 180th Anniversary of Publication of the Book
Here at De La Salle, we are also celebrating the 40th and 20th anniversaries of our very own stage adaptations of Oliver!, first performed in 1977, and again in 1997.
Twenty years later, it's time for us to say "oom pah pah " once again!
If you are interested in supporting the show with a financial contribution, there are three sponsorship packages available and opportunities to advertise in our theatre program. Click here for more information.
Theatre De La Salle has a long and rich history at the College and we are thrilled to have our current cast of students become part of that enduring legacy. With your generous support and enthusiastic applause, we can make dreams come true!
For all the latest updates about OLIVER! and Theatre De La Salle, follow us on Instagram @theatredls
- A Short History of Dramas and Musicals at De La Salle College
- The "Oaklands" Auditorium
- Drama and Musical Productions at De La Salle College "Oaklands"
Brother Gabriel became well known for his dramatic productions, which were originally staged at Massey Hall. Born Peter Ray in Waterdown, Ontario in 1893, he entered the Brothers’ Juniorate at De La Salle Duke Street in 1909. Four years later he divided his Novitiate between Montreal and the newly reopened District of Toronto. Except for four years, Brother Gabriel was on the staff of De La Salle Bond Street from its opening in 1914 until 1932. He published three short volumes on Shakespearean characters and was well-known for the following productions which were staged at Massey Hall:
- 1922 Shattered Dreams - written by Brother Gabriel
- 1923 Hamlet
- 1924 Merchant of Venice
- 1925 Macbeth - with 4,500 people in attendance
- 1926 Passion Play
Brother Gabriel lived at “Oaklands” throughout his retirement years and died at St. Michael’s Hospital in 1981.
It was to Brother Gabriel’s credit that the new school on the current campus opened in 1950 with its own auditorium. At his insistence, the new school building was to have an auditorium separate from a gymnasium and that it be a specific size. This is why the auditorium extends beyond the rest of the building.
The home of what was later to be known was Theatre De La Salle had a sloping floor, an orchestra pit, a large marble foyer, and a balcony.
The official opening of the auditorium was a formal occasion with dignitaries on hand as well as a ribbon-cutting ceremony to separate the curtains which were a gift of the class of 1920.
Brother Gabriel directed the first two dramatic productions Cinderella O’Reilly (1951) and Dear Ruth (1952).
Brother Andrew spent his first year at Del (1950-1951) developing a glee club and an orchestra before staging the first of his five annual Gilbert and Sullivan musical productions. The female chorus was made up of soprano-voiced boys from the grade school dressed up as girls. The female leads were played by young ladies from local Catholic high schools. By 1954, Brother Andrew had built the student orchestra to 34 members.
Brother Walter replaced Brother Andrew as musical director, and in 1958 produced the first of his ten musicals. The popular scores of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein counted for eight well-received productions. In 1960, the Toronto Star reviewed Oklahoma with these words:
The hardest thing to keep in mind is that it is a high school show.
The quality is consistently far beyond what might be expected;
better, in fact, than any university musical.
The Toronto Telegram reported:
There was a spontaneous joie de vivre...that gave the show a
refreshing quality sometimes missing from a seasoned
By 1961, boys no longer took female parts as 35 young women took their place with 41 boys from Del to make up the cast of Carousel. That year, the leads accompanied Brother Walter to the backstage of the O’Keefe Centre (now the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts) to meet the composer, Richard Rodgers, who was in Toronto on a promotional tour.
Following the departure of Brother Walter, Del began a 19-year period (1969-1987) in which not only a musical, but also a drama was staged almost every year. The success over so many years of top-rated productions is certainly due to the dedicated directors of musical and dramatic productions, choreographers, set designers, and costume and make-up artists who volunteered countless hours of their time and shared their passion for the performing arts with the boys and girls who took to the stage.
During the 1980’s and early 1990’s, Theatre De La Salle thrived under the direction of Ben Cekuta. Memorable productions of West Side Story (1980), Jesus Christ Superstar (1983) and Man of La Mancha (1985) cemented Del productions among Toronto’s finest. The school flood of 1989 damaged the auditorium so badly that the theatre was closed for three years. It wasn’t until 1993 that the theatre reopened its doors and the stage was put to use again.
Del’s theatrical tradition has been continued by the private school which opened in 1994. In 1998, DELTA (Del Theatre Arts) was established and gave students the opportunity to take a leadership role in the theatre production process. Student directors Luke Arnott and Robert Kim went on to direct some of the private school’s more memorable productions, including Little Shop of Horrors (1999) and Twelve Angry Men (2002). Classically-trained drama teacher Glenn Cherny directed several dramas, including The Importance of Being Earnest (2006) and Pygmalion (2008).
In 2010, Del alumnus Michael Luchka (Class of ’93) revived the original Theatre De La Salle which saw its final curtain come down in 1993. With unprecedented support from the Administration, Parents Association, and Del Alumni, Theatre De La Salle launched a new era with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (2012) and continues to showcase the many talents of the school’s students and staff. The Theatre relies on creative fundraising initiatives, advertisers, and dinner theatre and V.I.P. sponsorship packages to raise the funds for its lavish productions. A Theatre tradition established by the creative team is to invite a cast member from the previous year’s production to join a current staff member in making a cameo appearance in a current production. Del and Theatre DLS alumnus, Jerry McGroarty and his wife, Marlene MacDonald, who also appeared in several Theatre De La Salle productions in the 70’s and 80’s, have assisted behind the scenes with set and costume design with each of the five most recent productions. Their son, Johnny, also an 'Oaklands' grad and Theatre DLS alum, has assisted as musical director.