You’re the Dish
A War-time Romance Told in Song
Starring Louise Pitre & Joe Matheson
A young couple discovers that hope can transcend geographic obstacles and tumultuous times as they explore the potential of true love beyond the uncertainty of war. Set in the early years of the Second World War, a sailor’s letters turn to liaison as Toronto’s Royal York serves as backdrop to anticipation and passion. COULD YOU WAIT? explores a romantic journey to melt the most cynical heart. Starring real-life couple, award-winning performer Louise Pitre (MAMMA MIA!, LES MISERABLES) and theatre veteran Joe Matheson (Stratford Festival, Shaw Festival, Mirvish Productions).
A sailor meets the girl of his dreams just before shipping overseas in World War II, the play’s title being the implied question on his departure — Could You Wait? Many weeks and letters later, he decides she’s ‘the one’. Wanting to pop the question while on leave, he ends up taking her for a spectacular meal in the sumptuous Imperial Room at The Royal York Hotel. What ensues is an enchanted evening of entertainment where the sweet awkwardness of young love will crack the toughest heart with knowing grins.
I Will Wait
Inspired by his parents’ own war-time experiences, Joe Matheson has collaborated with Louise Pitre and Musical Director, Diane Leah, to create four original songs for the production. COULD YOU WAIT? also features familiar forties tunes like I’ll Be Seeing You, Steppin Out With My Baby, The White Cliffs of Dover and I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now, sung as you’ve never heard them before by the incomparable Louise Pitre.
Once, during a particularly heartbroken period of my life, my father told me that he had been engaged when he left home to fight in World War II. When he returned she was married to someone else. He was hurt, but it turned out all right.
I took that to mean, “if I’d married her, you wouldn’t be here.” Which was true. But part of me wished I could rewrite the end of the story. He was a romantic at heart – he deserved it.
Over the years, as I listened to my mother singing the songs of Vera Lynn and Rosemary Clooney, I read countless stories of heartbreak and reunion during the Second World War. I suppose at one point I decided that it was time – time to put all these elements together.
This show is both a tribute to my mother’s love of these wartime songs and an homage to my father and his generation – brave enough to enlist when they thought Hitler was on our doorstep, naive and romantic enough to think that a bunch of country boys from Saskatchewan could change the course of history. And fall in love in the process.
I started this project after my mother had passed away. I finished it after my father had followed. I hope they are watching it together now. I know if they are, my father will want my mother to dance , she’ll want him to behave, and I’ll be lying awake in my room listening to the laughter and singing, wishing they’d let me stay up late enough to join in. I’ll be seeing you.
– Joe Matheson
“I recommend Could You Wait…? at the Grand. Louise (aforementioned Broadway star) Pitre is great as always, Joe Matheson is funny and touching and the perfect foil and Diane Leah, my old classmate, is on stage at the piano. . . and I like the charming anachronisms in the trio’s own songs which complement the Second World War classics like Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree.
– James Reaney, London Free Press
“I loved the show – your own music blends well with the old tunes. It has a bright future.”
– Dan Needles, Playwright (“Wingfield”)
“I loved the songs and the writing and everything. It certainly was a great accomplishment in this day and age. Hurray for you.”
– Marlene Smith, Toronto Theatre Producer
“You have a beautiful, sentimental show. What has happened to sentimentality? I know this show has a future.”
– Bob Missen, Producer and Talent Manager