About Me

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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
A long-time Toronto-area Actor and Singer, Jeff Madden is now focusing on Teaching acting and singing in the GTA. Jeff starred as "Frankie Valli" in both the Toronto and Australian productions of JERSEY BOYS, winning the DORA award for outstanding performance in a musical by a male actor. Jeff is busy back at school, getting his MEd at U of T's OISE.

Monday, March 24, 2008

New Baby News!

Today was the day!!!

And in this corner, weighing in at an intimidating 8 pounds 12 ounces, measuring over 21 inches tall, in the pink trunks and knitted cap concealing a shock of black hair, Emily Rose Madden!!!

Yes sir, at 5:34am Monday, March 24, 2008, Emily Madden became a citizen of Planet Earth. Both Mother Christine and baby Emily are doing extremely well, resting at home. I couldn’t be happier with my amazing wife and two fantastic girls by my side.

Big sister Sydney, who is just 18 months old herself, is very sweet towards her new little sister. She asked me to pass this note along to you all on her behalf: “It is with prodigious delectation that I welcome Emily into our family unit. With firm conviction, I believe she will possess the facility, willingness and initiative to be an expert servant to my each and every whim, as any younger sister should. Peace out.” Wow, those Baby Einstein DVDs are really paying off, huh?

But seriously folks, it has been a bit of a struggle for us these last few months. As some of you know, Christine had a tougher time with this pregnancy than with the first. Basically, with her being unable to work and care for Sydney full-time, we were extremely fortunate to have the love and support of both of our families for extra help. But, an extra loud shout out must go to Christine’s mother Ilse. We couldn’t have made it through with your tremendous help. Thank you sooooo much to all the Maddens and Bajins!

"So, give me details, Madden! How did it happen?" Well, the discussion begins and ends with Christine. She is Superwoman. Not only did she have the consideration to go into labour on my day off, she was extremely efficient. The labour and birth were finished in near-record time (you won’t believe me, so I won’t bother telling), she ate, rested, recovered, and walked out of the hospital by 5pm. Not bad for a day’s work. Keep in mind, Emily weighed almost nine pounds. Like I said, Christine is Superwoman. Oh, and we’re seriously considering changing Emily’s middle name to Torpedo.

For now, we will take it a day at a time at Christine’s family's home in Oakville. In a couple weeks, we will move back home to Niagara, and try to get back to normal. Whatever the heck that is.

Lucky for me, being sleep-deprived will suit my klutzy awkward character in Wonderful Town just fine. If I happen to incorporate slurring speech and narcolepsy into the mix - no one will know the difference! But, I think I’m screwed in A Little Night Music, which starts rehearsal in a week. Those high B-flat’s scare me - there’s no faking that in rehearsal. Holy crap. One way or the other we will get through this! What a memorable summer it is going to be!

Oh, and stay tuned for thousands of ridiculously sappy baby pictures!!!!

And, with that, in Sydney’s words, Peace Out.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Wonderful Shaw

Greetings to my Taking The Blog devotees! I trust you have all had exciting winters and like me, have come out of hibernation full of energy, ready to Take the Wheel of your lives yet again. Here’s the latest news from all things Madden.

Well, we are already one month into my current season at the Shaw Festival. That’s number eight, for all of you counting out there. Seriously, time does fly when you’re having fun. As I mentioned on a previous blog post, this season I will appear in the musicals Wonderful Town and A Little Night Music.
Wonderful Town starts preview performances in two weeks, and we’ve been busy putting the show together in the rehearsal hall. And so far, things have definitely been Wonderful. With a capital W. (Insert snap here.) The show tells the story of two sisters from Ohio who leave their humdrum lives at home to “make it” in New York City, circa 1935. One is a plain-looking writer, one is a pretty actress, and they meet all sorts of interesting people (read: nut bars that only exist in Musicals, of which I play one) as they gradually succeed in their endeavors.

I must admit, upon first reading the script last year, the show seemed a bit ... oh, I don’t know... bland. But, let me tell you, I was wrong! To me, the show is a perfect afternoon or evenings diversion, full of heart, warmth, and generosity of spirit. I can’t imagine an audience member not enjoying him/herself, not smiling, or not getting on board inside the first half hour. After that, though, its complete crap -- No! Just kidding. It’s just a really sweet show, sure to please the crowds.

Rehearsals started as they always do at Shaw with a focus on learning the music. Although I had not heard any of the tunes before, I was surprised at the number of beautiful melodies and gorgeous harmonies, fitting together perfectly with the witty lyrics. For you Shaw history buffs (or, basically for you, Mom and Dad, who come to every show I’m in 23 times), Wonderful Town lyricists Comden and Green also wrote the lyrics for Shaw’s unforgettable 2003 production of On the 20th Century. Who could forget the image of Bridget Robinson’s religious wing nut hanging on for dear life to the front of the train? Wonderful Town’s Music composer is Leonard Bernstein, the composer of West Side Story’s classic score. Who could forget seeing me onstage with the ballet at the Opera House this past winter doing West Side Story Suite? Oh dear, the ballet. My woo-woo still has the boo-boo from the tu-tu. But I digress...

Back to the program. The other great joy so far has been playing Frank Lippencott, the manager of the Walgreen’s drugstore on 44th Street. Frank is the type of guy who, upon first meeting is totally normal and sweet, the kind you’d bring home to Mom. Then, as you get to know him, you find out he’s a FREAK! My, how I have embraced my inner geek, my inner klutz, my inner awkwardness. I know what you’re all thinking... Inner? My ass! I am an awkward geeky klutz! Huh... What do you know anyway?

So, yeah, that’s about it for now. Do plan on coming to see Wonderful Town this summer - it’ll only play 643 times, so book ahead!!! And when you do come, please send me a note either before your trip or during the show. I always like to know who’s in the crowd. There will be more updates to come, as we get into previews of Wonderful Town and rehearsals of A Little Night Music. You can count on me to keep you posted.