Halifax actor, singer, playwright and educator Laura Caswell‘s love for the variety show format goes back over twenty years.
I am so excited to see how these nights will continue to shape themselves and grow, and have a goal for variety nights to become a vital event presented regularly in downtown Halifax. – Laura Caswell
Having hosted cabarets and variety fundraisers across the country, she originally produced the Dark Day Cabarets in Halifax before creating Open Stage Halifax with co-producer Lindsay Kyte. The duo went on to produce over 40 curated open stage nights at The Carleton until 2019, helping to raise thousands of dollars for local arts organizations.
While busy schedules and eventually a global pandemic would put a hold on the shows, with recently relaxed COVID-19 restrictions, Caswell will return to The Carleton on July 21 with Waiting in the Wings, the first of what she hopes will be the restart of variety nights in downtown Halifax.
“I am so excited to see how these nights will continue to shape themselves and grow, and have a goal for variety nights to become a vital event presented regularly in downtown Halifax,” she says.
Described as part talk show, part open mic, Caswell says she will host Waiting in the Wings as a bit of a throwback to one of her idols, Carol Burnett, who she has paid tribute to in her one-person show Becoming Carol.
As with any true variety show, the 90-minute July 21st performance at The Carleton will feature stand-up comedy from Joseph Harfouche and Brittany Campbell and an eclectic line-up of Broadway, pop, jazz, and folk music performed by Harmony Adesola, A.J.H. Gillis, Emma Goulden and Sarah Richardson.
“Playing into the heart of this space, a creative and cultural hub, is what these variety nights are all about,” says Caswell. “And with the variety of talent and styles of performances we are presenting there is always room for unexpected surprises.”
The Carleton plays host to Waiting in the Wings on July 21. Visit thecarleton.ca for tickets and information.