.... "CUPID 911 ... a pop epic"
This musical theater revue was first staged at the National Arts Centre 4th stage in Ottawa, Canada, in June, 2004. Its strong story, strong lyrics, strong composition, stunning vocals and strong instrumentals sparked producers' interest into developing a full blown musical. This has yet to happen for real -- the usual finances story. But thanks to CD Baby you can listen to the music and appreciate why "Cupid 911" has been a musical theater revue hit in Ottawa!
* QUICK TOUR? Start listening @ Track 9 ("The Storm Inside") & continue to the end. Listen to the music!!
* Most popular downloads -- "Jen" and "Cupid 911"
* Sam the Record Man (Toronto) Indie 2005 compilation: "The storm inside"
* What do others say? Check out reviews at the bottom! *****
***** SINGING CREDITS *****
Roll the dice on the red -- Becky Abbott
It could have been you -- Stacey Ingrey
Peace -- Brianna Szarka
Cupid 911 -- Becky Abbott
Jen -- Becky Abbott
Flying to you -- Stacey Ingrey
Love has made it all right -- Brianna Szarka
So far from the flame -- Stacey Ingrey
The storm inside -- Becky Abbott
Too hard to hold -- Brianna Szarka
Give it everything -- Stacey Ingrey
Drive baby drive -- Becky, Brianna and Stacey
***** WHAT WILL YOU HEAR? WHAT'S THE STORY? *****
This high-concept CD links songs with a storyline in a pop/Broadway fusion and is the brainchild of popular Ottawa musician, composer and Ph.D. Larry (Dr. L) Tarof and lyricist/TV veteran, Lila Rose.
Predicated on the notion that modern love is so challenging that even Cupid himself dials 911 today, Cupid 911 will take audiences on a roller coaster ride with songs such as "Roll the Dice on the Red", in which a thrilling one-night stand is alluded to with gambling metaphors - only to result in the crash and burn of the morning after via the upbeat, yet ruefully insightful title track, "Cupid 911". From the joy of a wedding day to the secrets of adultery this CD and story also explores the friendships that get us through, and the human spirit's stubborn insistence on continuing to strive in "Drive Baby Drive (the road of your dreams)". There is no seatbelt in the fast lane of love.
Featuring three young rising-star Ottawa singers who perform as 'characters' with the monikers: The Impulsive Heartbreaker, The Other Woman and The Woman Scorned, Cupid 911 offers stunning lead vocals by Becky Abbott, Stacey Ingrey and Brianna Szarka. All three are "frequent-flyer" winners at Ottawa's prestigious Kiwanis Festival. Cupid 911 was premiered live at Canada's National Arts Centre (4th Stage) to standing ovation. This performance also included an exclusive performance of the 'story behind the songs' narration by Jenny Tarof.
***** THE PLOT *****
Story?? Have we got a story for you! This is a concept CD, after all :).
Synopsis: Three beautiful bridesmaids stand on the sidelines of romance unaware that they are about to slam into love like a blown tire on a highway. The Impulsive Heartbreaker Maren is headed for heartbreak. The rational Doctor Jen is losing her head over an unavailable old flame and risks becoming The Other Woman. The bouquet catching, devoted fianc�e Quin is in danger of becoming The Woman Scorned.
Friends since high school, all three think they have a road map to happiness. Yet no amount of bravado, intelligence or good intentions protects them from falling for the unattainable, unavailable or unfaithful. Love = roadkill and soon everyone's dialing Cupid 911. Only, Cupid's not answering.
He's got a love emergency of his own.
Oh sure, he used to get his kicks on Valentines Day, but Cupid's been sliding downhill ever since he stuck himself with his own arrow and fell in love with Psyche.
They had a big, splashy wedding. Too bad the marriage blew up in his face. It's been 2500 years since their 'trial separation' and Cupid's worried she wants a divorce. Now hooked on alcohol and anti-depressants, Cupid is arrested for shooting his famous arrow under the influence.
He's sentenced to two years of community service. Even worse, he's gotta do his time in the mortal world where he infiltrates the lives of the three bridesmaids and wreaks havoc.
Blindsided by the fragile complexity of the human heart, all are at the mercy of Cupid's arrow. Maybe if the divine matchmaker could get sober it would be a happy ending. But first Maren will lose her heart, Jen her head, and Quin will go from being the happiest bride in the world to a tough choice between her man and her self-respect.
Desire, friendship, adultery, war. Life in the face of death. Each song they sing is a milestone on the road to their dreams. There's no seatbelt in the fast lane of love.
** Want the story, too? (Limited time offer): buy this CD today, send us an e-mail and we'll send you the narration of the story. With a group of friends, you read the narration and play each track as it comes up in the story! **
We hope you are interested in our story. And you know what to do next -- HAVE A LISTEN!! For the music by itself, we'd start at Track 9, go to the end and then wrap around to the beginning.
***** WHO ARE WE? *****
Larry (Dr L) Tarof (Composer, Arranger, Instrumentalist and Co-Producer): After 20 years as a high tech research scientist and executive, Dr. L is now well-known as an Ottawa-based musician with an established reputation for outstanding arrangements, live performances, and original compositions. His growing body of original work includes pop/rock, jazz and sacred choral music. Classically trained in the U.S., but based in Ottawa, Canada, Dr. L is a top-tier arranger with a gift for complex instrumentation. In addition to being a respected choir director, Dr. L has also performed on CJOH TV, the new RO TV and for Mirvish Productions. He was recently an invited judge on Ottawa's Kiwanis Idol and has recently been profiled on CJOH TV. He has clients in the U.S. and Canada, including over 100 competitors at the prestigious Kiwanis Music Festival annually. He has a loyal following within the Ottawa music scene for original pop/musical theatre arrangements, recordings and competitions. He earned his 'Dr.' moniker from a bachelors in physics, a M.Eng. and Ph.D. in electronic engineering and a CEO stint in the high tech world. It has distinguished him as being uniquely multi-talented with producer/entrepreneurial skills that complement his musicianship and enhance the reputation of his studio and microlabel, Dr. L's Music (www.dr-l-music.com).
Lila Rose (Lyricist, Writer and Co-Producer): Lila Rose has had a distinguished career in the creative development end of the Canadian film and television industry. She has contributed to award winning programs that have aired on Teletoon, CTV, YTV and Global. Her screenplay credits include the romantic comedy feature film WISH, (co-written with Carolyn Hay), which was a finalist for the prestigious Writers Guild of Canada administered, "Charles Israel Award" for best new screenplay. A York University theatre grad, Lila is also a former VP of Development for a Toronto-based production company. She also worked in Vancouver throughout the mid-late 90's for a critically acclaimed Vancouver-based production company. Her credits include co-creator of "RoboRoach" the animated series on Teletoon, as well as creative contributions to series such as "The Adventures of Shirley Homes" and the prime time drama, "Madison", which was dubbed, 'one of the best series ever made in Canada' by the Globe & Mail.
Becky Abbott (Vocalist: Maren, The Impulsive Heartbreaker): Becky has won four consecutive gold medals in the Ottawa Kiwanis Music Festival including both pop and musical theatre categories, and shared the 2005 Mary Louise Burns Memorial Trophy with Brianna. She also fronted the band Factor Eight, which won first place in the Eastern Ontario New Music Festival. She performed solo for 16,000 people at the Corel Centre in Ottawa, Canada for the World Youth Day Ceremonies in 2001 and has appeared at the National Arts Centre in "Carmina Burana" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" with Christopher Plummer. Becky has studied vocals for 11 years and is passionately focused on music, drama and dance. Learn more her fan website (http://sci01.com/rebecca). In Canada, Becky made front page headlines, had many radio interviews, has been an invited radio host and has even judged Ottawa's Kiwanis Idol -- all from her amazing "Moondance" in Canadian Idol 2004 that Canada is still talking about! She always draws an enthusiastic crowd when she gigs live, often with Larry.
Stacey Ingrey (Vocalist: Jen, The Other Woman): An award winning competitor, Stacey is an Ottawa CJOH Homegrown Cafe winner and has frequently won gold, taken top honors in the Ottawa Kiwanis Music Festival (more than a handful of trophies bear her name) in classical and musical theater, and even placed first at the provincial level. She also won the Young Artists Provincial Tour with the Ontario Registered Music Teachers' Association (ORMTA). She has been a featured pop performer on YTV, has appeared with the N.A.C.'s Opera Lyra and has been a popular fixture with The Company of Musical Theatre. In 2003, she founded the Stacey Ingrey Music Studio based in Kanata, Ontario.
Brianna Szarka (Vocalist: Quin, The Woman Scorned): In addition to winning gold, Brianna is the 2004 and 2005 Ottawa Trillium Kiwanis Club Award winner for the most outstanding performance, pop vocal category, and shared the 2005 Mary Louise Burns Memorial Trophy with Becky. Brianna has been singing since she was 12 years old and is a natural performer having come in 1st in the Ottawa/Carleton public speaking competition when she was 11. She played Widow Corney in "Oliver" in 2004. She was Chava in "Fiddler on the Roof" in 2003 and in also appeared in the "Pirates of Penzance" that same year. She also appeared in the production of "Antigone" in 2004, which was the winning entry into the Sears Festival. In Ottawa, Canada, Brianna's picture could be seen in newspapers for her singing in Canadian Idol 2004.
***** HOW DID WE START? *****
One November day Larry (Dr L) and Lila, who had been friends since high school, were walking together by Lake Ontario. Dr L learned that Lila (when not working on her TV shows) is actually a profound and catchy lyricist, AND couldn't find anyone to put her words to music. And in Ottawa, Canada Dr L was already working with some STUNNING singers: you know -- the singers who win the competitions -- musical theater, pop, classical, whatever. So Lila developed the lyrics and a sense of overall story line. Dr L composed and arranged the music, asked (begged!) the singers, played all the instruments, recorded the singers, mixed/mastered the songs and voila -- the "output" is a musical theater revue -- a "pop epic". The singers -- Becky, Stacey and Brianna -- made every song special and timeless. Produced at Dr L's Music in Ottawa, Canada, all the songs are between 3 and 4 minutes and designed to be "radio-friendly" -- even though there's journey in each song and a story to connect all the songs, each song can stand on its own. Listen to the music!
*** and a bit more information ***
Cupid 911 is the first collaboration between Larry (Dr. L) Tarof and his longtime friend from high school, Lila Rose. Dr. L is the worst kept 'secret weapon' of Ottawa singers intent on top-tier arrangements and accompaniment for career-making competitions. A child-prodigy in piano playing and composition, Dr. L has lived a double life as musician/scientist with a Ph.D. in electronic engineering and a stint as a CEO of a high tech start up. "It was a blast working with Lila and these amazing singers to create songs that were both catchy/radio-friendly and artistically meaningful for me as a composer." Larry (Dr. L) Tarof
Lila Rose has a B.F.A. in Theatre and is the former VP of Development for a Toronto, Canada based Television production company. Over ten years on the creative end of television, she conceived and or contributed to shows on CTV, Teletoon, YTV, and Global. "Cupid 911 is my first 'confictional' - both a confessional autobiography and a universal work of fiction. Everyone I know has dialed Cupid 911 at one time or another. I've got it on speedial." Lila Rose
CD includes lyric insert and story precis.
***** INTERESTED IN MUSICAL TRIVIA? *****
* Stacey Ingrey uses an incredible 3+ octaves of vocal range on this CD.
* The music for "The storm inside" was written while working out at the "Y", was left on the elliptical and then recovered by the "Y" staff.
* All vocalists combined use an incredible 4 octaves of vocal range in "Drive baby drive".
* The music for "Peace" was written in a car repair waiting room, only hours before the recording session with Brianna.
* All 12 songs start in different musical keys.
* No pitch correction software was used in the making of this CD :).
* The crazy piano stuff you hear is also performed live, and even more crazy :).
This is the first release from Dr L's "microlabel". If you like this, then check out "Fearless" by the RadioSirens, also at CD Baby.