Welcome to the dark side of Broadway, where Joey Evans is out to get what he can from everyone he meets.
That is, however, until he meets two very different women. The story, a classic musical called Pal Joey, unfolds at Talk is Free Theatre, Oct. 10-19.
“He’s looking to take advantage of any situation, the second he sees someone that he can have fun with overnight or that can advance his career,” said Justin Stadnyk of the character he plays. “He does find Vera, the older woman, intriguing because she doesn’t give him the time of day and he’s not used to that so he goes chasing after her.
“(With) Linda, it’s the first time he’s developed feelings for one of his ‘mouses’ – in the show we call them mouses. He lights up when he sees her.”
The show produced two Broadway standards called “I Could Write a Book” and “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” and was adapted for film starring Frank Sinatra and Rita Hayworth.
It marks the first lead role at TIFT for Stadnyk but not his first show as he previous appeared in The Music Man and Emily. Stadnyk grew up creating songs and performances for teachers on the playground and singing Beach Boy songs for his parent’s friends.
Stadnyk said he’s grateful his parents recognized his talent and enrolled him in classes at a ‘Junior Musical Theatre Company” in Winnipeg. In Grade 9, he landed his first professional role which helped solidify what he wanted to do with his life. Three years at Sheridan College followed and more shows, mostly musical theatre, some plays, across Canada and into the U.S. including a North American tour of Saturday Night Fever.
While he was at Charlottetown Festival, doing Anne of Green Gables, he discovered Moksha Yoga and became an instructor, occasionally teaching at yogo studios wherever theatre takes him, including Barrie in the past.
“It keeps me sane,” he said. “Practicing yoga helps all three disciplines – dancing, for flexibility and strength, my singing for breath control and breath support and acting for the ability to let everything else go in your day and be in the moment – to go moment by moment.”
Two years ago, he moved back to Winnipeg, got married a year ago to a woman he’s known since elementary school. She owns two dance studies with co-directors.
When he’s not acting or teaching yoga, Stadnyk does music editing for choreographers all over the world through his own business, Just Music. He also does mixes for synchronized singing, drag performances, wedding dances, and karaoke tracks.
Evening and matinee performances run Oct. 10-19 at the Five Points Theatre, downtown Barrie. For tickets, see www.tift.ca