• Staci

There's a madman living upstairs!

"There's a madman living upstairs," writes a young person to an uncle. "He's uncouth, has a terrible temper, and howls!" That "madman" happens to be Beethoven, one of history's most beloved composers. Over the course of the correspondence with "Uncle," the child comes to learn about the true genius of the man living upstairs, about the beauty and impact of his music, and the truth depth of the man's talent.

That is the premise of The Grand Theatre's products of BEETHOVEN LIVES UPSTAIRS.

The cast consists of just three people: The role of "Uncle" is played by Mark Payne, making his Grand Theatre debut. Chris George and Amaka Umeh share the role of the child (alternately known as Christoph and Christa)

Suitable for ages 6 years and up, BEETHOVEN LIVES UPSTAIRS is part of the 100 Schools Tour, a collaborative effort among The Grand Theatre, The Thames Valley District School Board, and the London District Catholic School Board. This is the tour's first show, which will bring the show to 100 local elementary schools, homeschool groups, and private schools at no cost to the schools. The show's director, Dennis Garnhum, explains:

"We are so excited to make live theatre accessible to so many students. I believe theatre has the power to change lives when young people have the chance to experience it. And what better show to launch the 100 Schools program than with BEETHOVEN LIVES UPSTAIRS? It's funny, touching, and it explores the private life of this famous composer as told through the eyes of a young child discovering this mysterious man who lives upstairs."

Originally created by Canadian Susan Hammond as an audio piece, BEETHOVEN LIVES UPSTAIRS Is running on the McManus Stage at the Grand for a limited engagement only, from March 12 to 17. The perfect March Break activity!

Tickets are $15 and are available at www.grandtheatre.com, by calling (519) 672-8800. An American Sign Language-interpreted performance will be offered on Tuesday, March 13 at 10am.

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