Arts & Entertainment
2 min

Loving Darcy Evans

Veteran Canadian director's Toronto debut will wow musical lovers

Darcy Evans directs I Love you Because.
In the interest of full disclosure, I will state that at no point during our interview did Darcy Evans remove his shirt, a definite disappointment since the hunky theatre director’s publicist assured me Evans was happy to flash his well-defined torso if it meant getting press for his upcoming production of I Love You Because.
 
But when I bring up a potential striptease as part of our conversation, the Kimberly, BC, native just laughs.
 
“For a small company, the question of how to stand out in a crowded theatrical landscape like Toronto’s is always an issue,” he says. “There’s a compelling argument to be made for doing things to grab people’s attention. That said, I hope the strength of the work will create a buzz to get people out.”
 
Despite remaining fully clothed himself, Evans is quick to point out that the off-Broadway musical features plenty of flesh. The sexy, modern twist on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice follows four young New Yorkers falling in and out of bed with each other as they define what love means in the 21st century. Mixing a surprisingly sophisticated musical score with slice-of-life romantic comedy, the show was a hit when it premiered in 2006 and went on to dozens of international productions.
 
“It’s that classic story of mismatched lovers finding their way in the big city, sort of like When Harry Met Sally with music,” Evans says. “I know it comes off as a cliché, but it’s the kind of show even people who don’t like musicals will be touched by in a way that’s surprising.”
 
Beyond a love for the material, the show represents an exciting turning point for Evans. An 18-year veteran of the Canadian theatre scene, including eight seasons at the Stratford Festival and a stint directing in the Big Apple, this production marks his Toronto directorial debut, something harder to come by than it sounds. Despite an explosion of home-grown musicals in Toronto in recent years, many commercial companies still opt to have American directors at the helm when it comes to big productions.
 
“Toronto has a talent pool on par with any other city in the world, but we still end up bringing Americans in for our highest levels of theatre,” Evans says. “It can be good for local artists because we can learn from them. But it also means people who are capable of working at that level never get a shot.”

The Deets:
I Love You Because
Wed, March 28–Sun, April 15

$35–45 
Toronto Centre for the Arts, Studio Theatre
5040 Yonge St