Like a Fly in Amber – Toronto Fringe 2016 Press Release

From Press Release

photo of Amber Karen Kelm and Judith Chertkow Levy

A new Canadian musical, “Like a Fly in Amber”, by Vancouver writer Karen Kelm, debuts at the 2016 Toronto Fringe Festival. Through breaking hearts and belly laughs, the show dares the audience to laugh in the face of the inevitability of deterioration and death, and cry for their own missteps on the relationship path.

The plot explores the relationship between 62-year-old Iris and her 89-year-old mother, Grace. Trapped in her failing body and mind, Grace exudes maternal love; Iris juggles feelings of love, frustration and helplessness at her mother’s decline.

Traditional musical theatre-style songs range from the poignant and dramatic to the cheekily comedic. The audience will leave the theatre humming the tongue-in-cheek “Ain’t It Great to Be Senile” or the wistful “I Can Lend You an Angel”.

Writer Karen Kelm (Iris) has performed in musical theatre productions including the revue “Way Off Broadway” at Old Angelo’s Dinner Theatre, Toronto, in the 1980s. “Like a Fly in Amber” is Kelm’s first original musical. “My songs are anachronistic,” says Kelm, “I bow to Irving Berlin, the Gershwins and Meredith Willson.”

     Judith Chertkow-Levy (Grace) has performed internationally in opera and musical theatre. Currently, she serves as a cantor in Jewish worship services; she brings passion and virtuosity to her singing. “This musical brings back wonderful moments from the past,” says Chertkow-Levy, “the depth of the songs brings tears to my eyes.”

Director Susanne de Pencier, herself a seasoned musical theatre performer, completes the trio of life-long friends who have brought this creation to fruition. “The challenge of creating this show was irresistible,” says de Pencier, “making the experience professionally and personally rewarding.”


VENUE: Tarragon Theatre Mainspace, 30 Bridgman Ave

June 30 (8:30pm), July 2 (5:45pm), July 3, (1:15pm), July 4 (9:45pm), July 6 (5:15pm), July 9 (5:45pm), July 10 (1:45pm).

Photo of Karen Kelm, Judith Chertkow-Levy by Victor Dezso