“A Day in the Life” with Local Toronto Creative Adrian Marchuk

I’ve known Adrian Marchuk since 1999. What strikes me now is that’s a long time!

We met when I was guest teaching and directing at the University of Windsor’s School of Dramatic Art, where Adrian was a student. After he graduated we became friends, have at times been roommates and professional colleagues, and have shared what’s becoming a decades long conversation about art and theatre, teaching and learning, love and life.

Over the years I’ve watched his artistic journey as he worked on stage, first at the Shaw Festival, then at theatres around Ontario, and eventually in Jersey Boys, in which he played Frankie Valli in Toronto and Las Vegas. And lately, it’s been great to see him develop into an accomplished and respected teacher of voice and of acting, passing on what he has learned to students at St. Clair College, Randolph Academy of Performing Arts, and Sheridan College, as well as to his private students.

I guess the other thing that I’d want to include here is that Adrian has somehow also managed to find the time to pay tribute to the creators of some of our favourite music by creating a wonderful concert shows: Any Dream Will Do, The Sweetest Sounds, and Over the Rainbow.

-Geoffrey Whynot – Actor/Teacher/Director and one of Adrian Marchuk ’s oldest friends.

Adrian Marchuk
The best thing about working in this business is the people. The incredible artists you get to share your time, passion, energy, and voice with. This picture was taken backstage at the Mady Centre in Barrie when we were performing Any Dream Will Do – The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Having the crowds leap to their feet every night at the end of a show you’ve brought to life…there’s nothing quite like it. And getting to share that moment with these lovely people is the icing on the cake. Or the cherry on the sundae. Darn it, now I’m hungry.
Adrian Marchuk
A dog is 100% a man’s best friend. Sheldon is looking very regal here at the family cottage, but in Toronto he’s the biggest goof in the world, whether he’s romping in High Park, futilely chasing the squirrels in the backyard, or snuggled up on our bed. He never tires of loving and being loved by us. He is one of the best ways that I know to stay grounded in this career that can sometimes make you worry and fret about what’s to come. Sheldon stays in the moment. That’s all he knows.
Adrian Marchuk
Theatre can change your life in unexpected ways! Years ago I was doing a production of The Music Man at the Thousand Islands Playhouse and my scene partner Ramona had her family come out to see the show. She snapped a picture of me with her sister Alexa and her niece Bailey.
Well, five years later I ran into Alexa again in Toronto. Two years after that Alexa was my wife, Bailey was my step-daughter, and my scene partner Ramona was now my sister-in-law! She found this picture last year, and now it looks like a glimpse of our family-to-be in the future. I’m so thankful to have them now, but part of me wishes that I could have started my life with them back when this picture was taken!
Adrian Marchuk
After Jersey Boys finished, I had the chance to perform one of my all-time favourite shows, The Light In The Piazza. Samantha Hill and I were the only two actors not from Vancouver, and we were thrilled to be there in the only two months of sun they had all year! Sun-drenched Vancouver gives sun-drenched Italy a run for its money, I’m sure.
Getting the chance to do ‘dream roles’ is an opportunity that doesn’t come around for every actor. I feel very fortunate to have had so many great opportunities! – Photo David Cooper
Adrian Marchuk
At the end of last summer I was given the chance to perform my new concert show, Any Dream Will Do – The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber as a one-night benefit concert for refugees. This was an event sponsored by Windermere United Church, where my wife is the minister, and which does incredible work to help refugees find sanctuary in Canada. The artists from the show donated their time to raise nearly $5K for refugees in a single night, and bring an audience to tears with some of the best music ever written for the stage. What we do as artists gives us the chance to move people, but also to use our public presence to bring awareness to social justice issues and reach out into our communities – Photo by Chad Jeffries
Adrian Marchuk
Playing Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys was never something that I planned on! I saw the show on Broadway and loved it, but honestly didn’t really see myself ever being in the show. What a gift my three years on the show were, not least of all because it was on that show that I met my vocal coach and mentor, Katie Agresta. I’ve trained with her for nearly a decade now, and am fully teacher-trained in the same techniques she has used to train Jon Bon Jovi, Cyndi Lauper, and actors playing Frankie Valli everywhere from Las Vegas to Australia. And my castmates Michael Lomenda, Quinn VanAntwerp, and Dan Sullivan were all the best guys to spend time with and sing with each night.
Big shows can be life-changing. Not just for your career, but for every aspect of your life. Jersey Boys changed me as a singer, as a performer, and as a person…all for the better!
Adrian Marchuk
Being born and raised in Thunder Bay, I’m not by my nature a big-city-dweller, and one of the joys of my early career was getting to travel to quiet Ontario cottage towns in the summer and spend time by the lake. I don’t like to travel away from my family these days, so I was thrilled to get the chance to finally see the East Coast this summer. Cape Breton is truly a magical place, with landscapes to refresh the soul, music to make the spirit soar, and food, glorious food to give you a good night’s sleep! We stopped at a seafood shack next to this lighthouse on the shore, and it was all I could do not to jokingly ask the waiter if the lobster was fresh!
Adrian Marchuk
Of course, travelling is all the better when you have the right person to do it with. My wife, Alexa, is the perfect travel companion for any adventure from haute cuisine to mountaintop hiking. Now that our daughter Bailey is off at University, we love to take long drives together, and she doesn’t even mind when I get us lost!

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What is your favourite hood in Toronto?

Roncesvalles. When I got engaged to my wife I moved in to her place in Roncesvalles. Walking the dog in High Park, meeting a friend at Lit Espresso Bar or Extra Butter Coffee, eating at one of the dozens of first-class restaurants, taking in a movie at the Revue, seeing live music at Gate 403 or Hugh’s Room, attending the hymns and carols Christmas Eve service at Roncesvalles United, biking down to the Lakeshore, and walking my nephew to and from preschool. The sense of community life in the neighbourhood is palpable, and it’s becoming a more diverse neighbourhood day-by-day. We own a home in the Silverthorn neighbourhood now, but we still head down to Roncey a couple of times a week to see family and stroll through the old ‘hood.

What do you do?

I’m an actor, singer, singing teacher, writer, producer, loving spouse, and step-parent.

What are you currently working on?

Any Dream Will Do – The Music Of Andrew Lloyd Webber is a show I created for Theatre Collingwood and which is now making its Toronto debut at the Toronto Centre For The Arts from March 30 – April 1. My next concert show, Over The Rainbow – The Harold Arlen Story, will premiere in Collingwood, Barrie, and Toronto in August and September of this year.

Where can we find your work?

www.adrianmarchuk.com

 

 

About Joel Levy 2141 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography