On April 25th I got to make my theatrical deirectiorial debut in the most dope way. Toronto’s most anticipated boutique hotel The Anndore House and restaurant Constantine officially opened their doors with an unforgettable experience celebrating the property’s stylish design and fascinating history. Built in 1955 as a long-term stay hotel and residence, The Anndore House was a temporary home to some of the city’s quirkiest personalities and visitors, which were on full display for unsuspecting guests.
Best Kept Secrets took over 400 guests by surprise. Paying homage to the quirky personalities of Anndore and three of its most iconic decades—the 50s, 70s and present—the experience encouraged participation and stirred emotion from spectators.
made their way up in the elevators and back in time, where guests were welcomed to the fourth floor by a complete cast from the 50s, including sock hoppers, jazz singers and a forbidden romance. As the performers unravelled the secrets of the building, guests were invited to leave behind their own secret, thereby leaving a piece of their own history with the hotel. On the third floor, guests moved forward in time to the 70s, where a disco dance party began in the halls, a poet typed verses inspired by her visitors, and a fashion photographer took instant photos commemorating the occasion.
The crowds were welcomed back into the present on the second floor, where local drag superstar Lucy Flawless (Eric Rich) told their futures in a slumber party setting, a painter illustrated the city skyline and guests struck their best poses. Throughout all three floors, one scene remained constant: lovers meeting to dance to their favourite record. In the 50s, there was a sense of secrecy and excitement as the pair were young and in love; in the 70s, something had changed between them but their love remained the same; and finally, in the present, they reminisced on past meetings by dancing to the same song they had over 50 years before.
I could not have pulled off this beast of a project without my Theatre By Committee team.