Production photos courtesy of
It's musical theatre on a tightrope.
Our most recent Confidential Musical Theatre Project (CMTP) production was Guys & Dolls!
On Saturday, February 25, Ottawa brought 26 talented local actors together to sing, march, play, kiss, slap, bet, rock, sneeze, cough and doodle oodle oodle ooh!
Nicole Milne – Director/Producer
When I was twelve, my girlfriends and I found a Ouija board and decided, one at a time, to ask it who we would marry. When it came to my turn, the spirits (or whomever was moving that thing) spelled out the letters N-A-T-H-A-N. None of us knew a Nathan, and I left the experience completely deflated, thinking I would never find true love. Twenty five years later, playing my bucket list role of Adelaide in Guys & Dolls, I did meet my Nathan — Nathan Detroit — who ended up becoming my husband. For us, a great marriage is made up of courage, trust, faith and unfaltering support in the other’s success and happiness. Those happen to be the qualities my dear partner Wendy also embraces, as do all the Confidential cast members we showcase in these events. We’re beyond grateful for their investment in us, in art and in our close community. Thank you!
Wendy Berkelaar – Musical Director
This show holds a special place in my heart… Guys and Dolls was the first show I conducted for Orpheus, and it was during this show that I played cupid to Nicole (Adelaide) and Chris (Nathan Detroit), which ultimately lead to them getting hitched! As this is the first “classic” that we’ve brought to Ottawa’s Confidential stage, I’m excited and curious to see how the audience reacts to a musical they might already be very familiar with. I dearly hope it’s as rewarding as our past offerings. To our daring cast, I can’t thank you enough for your courage and artistry. Tonight, anything and everything is possible… and it’s all within reach. Take it and own it. See you at the end!
CAST (In alphabetical order)
Kevin Anderson – Calvin
Kevin Anderson has been living in Ottawa for six years. He most recently appeared in the Ottawa Little Theatre production of Dial 'M' for Murder and the 9th Hour production of Narnia: The Musical. Previous roles include 'Cliton' in The Liar during the final 2012 season of the New Edinburgh Players. While not piloting a cubicle against the forces of existential terror, Kevin lately dabbles in acrobatics and gymnastics.
Kathleen Arbour – Hot Box Doll
Kathleen is happy to have a night out where she gets to sing a bit and be carried away. She is looking forward to watching her fellow performers take risks, and to seeing how many she can get away with. Always humbled and grateful to be included on the CMTP's stage. Big love to the kids at home and to Paul, fingers crossed you got a night out too.
Chrissie Baxter - Agatha
This is Chrissie's first experience with Ottawa’s CMTP. This is her first leap back into musical theatre since graduating from St. Lawrence College. Selected St. Lawrence College credits include Erma in Anything Goes and Anytime Annie in 42nd Street.
Kodi Cannon – Sky Masterson
This marks Kodi's second CMTP performance having played Paul in Company. Graduating suma cum laude in Theatre at The University of Ottawa and studying voice with Yoriko Tanno has led to his continued passion for musical theatre performance and directing. Favourite roles include: Dr. Madden Next to Normal, Leo The Producers, Robert Drowsy Chaperone, Bobby Urinetown and Enoch Carousel. Kodi can next be seen as Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors at The Gladstone.
Jennifer Cecil – Miss Adelaide
This is Jenn's third experience with Ottawa's CMTP after taking part in the original cabaret event and then playing Amy in Company. Other recent credits include Capital Cabarets: New Voices (Zucchini Productions), Pericles, Prince of Tyre (A Company of Fools) and Spelling Bee (Indie Women). Thank you to Nicole and Wendy for this wonderful opportunity! Hugs!!
Rachel Duchesneau – Mission Band member
Rachel is both excited and terrified to be a part of her first ever experience with Ottawa's CMTP. After her most recent appearance as Mrs. Banks (alt) in ASNY's Mary Poppins merely weeks behind her, what more could Rachel ask for than to appear on stage once again in an altogether exhilarating foray into the unknown. She hopes that you enjoy the show and that she doesn't shake in her boots too much!
Alison Enid Foley – Mission Band member
Alison is delighted to be part of her first CMTP production. She’s been a fan since the beginning and seen all the Ottawa shows plus a CMTP Jr. show in Toronto. Her daughter was part of that cast. Thanks to Marion for the great idea. Thanks to Nicole and Wendy for having me. Thanks to Brietta and Renée for their constant love and support.
Alex Forster – Nicely-Nicely Johnson
This is Alex's second CMTP ... he's still asking himself why! Why do it to yourself? ... Originally from London UK, Alex is loving Ottawa and all it has to offer! Previous credits include: We Will Rock You, Rent Remixed, Les Miserables, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Sunset Boulevard (London West End).
Anemone Fritzen – Hot Box Doll
Anemone is thrilled (and terrified) to be taking part in her first CMTP production - in part because it motivated her to finally paint the house so she could justify to her family that she'd taken on another theatre project. Recent stage credits in Ottawa include that of a jealous mersister (The Little Mermaid - Suzart), an enchanted napkin (Beauty and the Beast - Greely Players) and a leggy lab assistant (Young Frankenstein - RAPA).
Paul Grant – Rusty Charlie
This is Paul's first show with CMTP. He has performed with a number of theatre companies around Ottawa including Orpheus (Daddy Brubeck in Sweet Charity, John Truett in Meet Me in St. Louis), and Suzart (Cowardly Lion in Wizard of Oz), but this is his first return to the stage in 8 years.
Geoff Gruson – Lieutenant Brannigan
This is Geoff’s debut experience with Ottawa’s CMTP. After a long, long career of acting and directing on every stage in the Ottawa area, it is wonderful to return to his first fervour - musical theatre. What better way to express our deepest emotions at the most innocuous times than with a song, and highlighted with harmony! Thanks to Nikita for the push!
Robin Guy – Sarah Brown
Robin Guy is so delighted to be doing her first Confidential! She was most recently seen on stage last week in Crimes of the Heart at The Gladstone, as well as Jacques Brel…, The Maltese Falcon, Marion Bridge, The Sound of Music, and Anne of Green Gables. She was honoured to have been nominated for Best Professional Actress by the Capital Critics Circle for her work in The Creation of the World with 9th Hour.
Louisa Haché – Mission Band member
Louisa couldn't be happier to step out from behind the tech table to perform in her first CTMP. A local stage manager, event coordinator and designer, this project is the perfect embodiment of her love for the magic of live theatre. Many thanks to Nicole and Wendy for steering the ship, and to her ever-supportive parents, partner and friends for never forcing her to grow up.
Arras Hopkins – Joey Biltmore, ensemble
This is Arras' first encounter with the CMTP and he is excited to be involved with such an incredibly daring project! Arras trained at Brock University and earned a B.A. in Theatre (Honours). He complimented that training with several seasons at the Blyth Festival. His latest project was the direction of Crackers at the 2015 Ottawa Fringe. His beautiful wife Kate co-created his proudest accomplishment, their 3 children Cameron, Jackson and Bernadette, his biggest fans.
Bob Lackey – Arvide Abernathy
This is Bob's second CMTP experience having participated in the inaugural production of Stephen Sondheim's Company in the role of Larry. He is a bit of a groupie having thoroughly enjoyed every other CMTP production, except one, as an audience member. He certainly loves the challenge and purity of these endeavours but also appreciates the opportunity to perform a role in a show he may never have the chance to do. Enjoy the ride.
Axandre Lamours – Benny Southstreet
Axandre is proud to be hitting the stage for his first Confidential show. Ever since missing out on getting tickets to Ottawa’s first iteration and finding out, to his horror, that it was one of his favourite shows, he’s wanted to be part of the magic. He hopes you enjoy the show! Thank you to Wendy and Nicole for putting this crazy thing together, and thank you to the cast for coming along for the ride… whoever you are.
Jasmine Lee – Hot Box Doll
This is Jasmine's first time with Ottawa's Confidential Musical Theatre Project. She is very excited for this opportunity to step out of her comfort zone and to be a part of such a unique experience. She is a recent science graduate from the University of Ottawa and is currently a dance instructor with the City of Ottawa. Select credits include Connie Wong from A Chorus Line and Christmas Eve from Avenue Q.
Scott Lemoine – Big Jule
Scott is thrilled to be rejoining the CMTP Ottawa family for a show he's wanted to do since high school. He has appeared in Capital Cabarets: Bring on the Men, My Favorite Year (CMTP Ottawa), Legally Blonde (Orpheus), The Fantasticks (Ottawa Little Theatre), and in Ottawa's inaugural Confidential Cabaret. His EP, Adolescence, is available at bandcamp.com. Look for him in Indie Women's upcoming production of A Man Of No Importance at The Gladstone in March.
Paul Melsness – Angie the Ox, Drunk
Paul is a newcomer to the whole CMTP experience and is happy to be launching his return to the stage (after a nearly 20 year hiatus) with this crazy and chaotic adventure. Previous stage credits include John Wilkes Booth in the Black Sheep production of Assassins, Prince Charming (Rapunzel's) in the Adela production of Into the Woods and a number of Orpheus shows including The Secret Garden (Uncle Archibald) and Brigadoon (Harry Beaton).
Sonja Milsom – General Matilda Cartwright
Sonja loves all aspects of the world of theatre, and indulges her passion onstage, backstage and from the audience! In May you'll find her channeling her church roots (and a bit of tonight's preparations) as Mother Superior in Suzart's A Sister Act. She's excited to join the brave performers stepping out of the "rehearsed" comfort zone, for her 2nd show with CMTP! Sonja thanks Nicole & Wendy for their continued faith and encouragement of the incredible talent in Ottawa!
J. Taylor Morris – Nathan Detroit
This is J.'s second CMTP Ottawa experience after having last appeared in their premiere, Company 'Peter'. Easily the most fun he has had on stage, it is humbling to be welcomed back. Selected credits: Boeing, Boeing 'Robert Lambert', One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest 'Billy Bibbit', Clybourne Park ‘Jim/Tom/Kenneth’, Monty Python’s Spamalot ‘Prince Herbert’ & Various Characters, The Full Monty ‘Ethan Girard’. As always, thanks and love to Christa. “Sorry I lied to you this time!”
Jamie Rice – Society Max, ensemble
Jamie is now a two-time secret keeper and no stranger to the Ottawa stage. Previously seen as Lucas in Addams Family, Jamie is thrilled to be getting another shot at a Confidential production. Enjoy the show!
Lauren Saindon – Hot Box Doll
Lauren is excited to be part of such a thrilling experience! A musical theatre lover, Lauren has pursued both musical direction and performance. Highlights include: conducting with the US National tour of "Mamma Mia!," touring Japan as a vocal soloist with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra ("Disney on Classic"), keyboard subbing with "Wicked," and music directing "Next to Normal" at the Tarragon Theatre (Toronto). Lauren holds an ARCT in vocal performance, and music and education degrees.
Jeremy Sanders – Liverlips Louie, Hot Box MC
Jeremy is thrilled to finally get to experience the Confidential Music Theatre project. Selected credits include: Tommy Walker in The Who's Tommy, Angel in Rent, Gabriel in Next to Normal and Hugo Peabody in Bye Bye Birdie. Thanks to Wendy and Nicole for the wonderful opportunity!
Kristine Shadid – Hot Box Doll
This is Kristine's first experience with the Confidential Musical Theatre Project. She's only ever been in one musical as a chorus member in Kanata Theatre's production of Mary Poppins (2015) and never had to keep a secret there. Her main schtick is improv comedy. She’s part of two troupes, Crush Improv and Outtake Improv and she’s in a two-woman comedy band called Rhythm and Burgundy with CMTP alumnus, Allison Harris. Thanks for this opportunity!
Dennis Van Staalduinen – Harry the Horse
Dennis Van Staalduinen isn't very Harry, but Horse with enthusiasm for Guys & Dolls - the first musical he saw in high school that inspired him to get involved. Since then, he's done dozens of plays, TV shows, musicals, and light opera - occasionally even getting paid. Most recently, he was Aldolfo in Drowsy Chaperone, Wolf/Prince in Into the Woods, and won a Capital Critics Best Actor Award as Lancelot in Spamalot with Orpheus. He sends love and gratitude to Jeanette and his three kids!