Famous PEOPLE Players Theatre 50th Anniversary Gala

Governor General Mary Simon

By Stephen Weir

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada is the closest thing to Royality in Canada except maybe for Drake. So it’s with some pomp and circumstance that she paid a visit to the Famous PEOPLE Players,  in Etobicoke o Tuesday afternoon.

Arriving at the Evans Avenue dinner theatre, a piper played, the audience stood and cheered, TV cameras rolled, and the Governor General responded with a royal-like wave.

Mary Simon attended the Famous PEOPLE Players theatre to watch a dress rehearsal of the company’s new play, meet with the cast and crew, and enjoy tea with the standing-room-only audience. This visit was particularly special as the Famous PEOPLE Players are celebrating their 50th anniversary next month. The black light musical company has been a beacon of inclusion and integration for half a century, making it one of the longest-running theatre troupes in Canada.

Elvis was a big hit at the event

“I really didn’t know what to expect when I came here today,” said the 74-year-old Governor General. “But now I realize the magic that is happening here!” With tears in her eyes, she met the cast and crew after the black light performance and toured backstage. The new production, “Believe in Magic!” is a musical that commemorates the theatre company’s milestone anniversary.

“The Governor General’s presence underscores the importance of inclusivity and the arts in Canadian society,” said Diane Dupee, the founder of Famous PEOPLE Players. The unique, visually stunning “black light” show is a musical and fun retrospective of the theatre’s accomplishments. Famous PEOPLE Players is renowned not only for the quality of its shows but also for nurturing the creative potential of performers with disabilities.

Since its inception in 1974, Famous PEOPLE Players has captivated audiences with its unique performances, featuring talented individuals with exceptionalities. In addition to its award-winning productions, the organization has launched the Stars of Tomorrow education program, aimed at empowering vulnerable, at-risk youth through the arts.

To mark their 50th anniversary, Famous PEOPLE Players will hold a gala dinner and performance on June 1st. The event will welcome distinguished guests, such as Tom Cruise, who are also lending their support to the musical extravaganza titled “Believe in Magic”.