Thom Allison, last seen as Coalhouse Walker Jr. in the Shaw Festival’s smash hit Ragtime, is an international performer who has appeared in the original Canadian companies of Miss Saigon, The Who’s Tommy and Rent. He is a regular company member at Shaw and Stratford, and has been nominated for a host of awards including two Dora Nominations. Thom is currently appearing as a judge on CBC’s Over the Rainbow
What musical will you always remember for its choreography/dancing?
I was so gobsmacked by Tommy Tune’s choreography (and direction) in Grand Hotel I had to go and see the show twice. It was so smart and creative and athletic and chic while not being gimmicky. I was blown away.
What musical will you always remember for its music?
A Little Night Music will always be my favourite score. I saw the revival with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury and when Angela performed “Laisons”, I just thought, “This must be what God watches when wants to pat himself on the back.”
What musical will you always remember for its book/virtuosic acting?
Well virtuosic acting? Audra McDonald in the recent revival of Porgy and Bess is just about the finest acting I’ve ever seen in a musical. She sang the first line of “Porgy, I’s Your Woman Now” and the tears literally projectile streamed from my eyes. Through the whole show, you could feel at every moment, her relationship to the drug that controlled her life.
What movie would you love to see musicalized?
Kinky Boots. The minute I saw it, I thought “This should be a musical and I need to play Lola”. It’s in Chicago now and moving to Broadway and Billy Porter is playing Lola and is going to be/apparently is brilliant. I can’t wait to see it. But another movie I thought would make an interesting musical is: The Fifth Element.
What showtune makes you stop what you’re doing and bust a groove?
I dare anyone to hear the Rich Man’s Frug from Sweet Charity and not start to Pony. IT’S NOT POSSIBLE!!!