Backstage Pass

Episode 9

Airs Online Sunday, March 27

In this episode, artists Thomas Duplessie, JJ Gerber, Marcus Nance, and Meher Pavri perform some of their favourite songs or scenes and chat with host Alex Mustakas about their life and work in the theatre industry. The Great Community Talent Search continues with the final contestants Rezonation Quartet of Kitchener-Waterloo. Plus, Neil Aitchison (a.k.a. Constable Archibald F. Inkster) pops by to make audiences laugh with the Smile of the Day, and funnyman Wade Lynch makes a royal appearance. Get your “Backstage Pass,” and join us from the comfort of your home for this fun-filled episode packed with enlightening conversations, engaging performances, and a few surprises.

Sneak Peek Photos

Marcus Nance in Backstage Pass
Photo credit: Marcus Nance
Thomas Duplessie performing in Backstage Passs
Photo credit: Thomas Duplessie
JJ Gerber performing in Backstage Pass
Photo credit: JJ Gerber
Meher Pavri in Backstage Pass
Photo credit: Meher Pavri

Appearing in this Episode

(In order of appearance)

Thomas Duplessie Thomas Duplessie
Drayton Entertainment: A Few Good Men, Twelve Angry Men, The Miracle Worker, The Birds & The Bees, Death of a Salesman, Brighton Beach Memoirs. Other theatre: The Cider House Rules (Talk Is Free - reading), Provenance/Suitcases (Canadian Stage - workshop). Film/TV: Jump, Darling (starring opposite Cloris Leachman), In The Dark (CW), Murdoch Mysteries (CBC), Man Seeking Women (FXX), Heroes Reborn (NBC), Bitten (Space/Syfy), Reign (CW). Thomas is a graduate of the Randolph College for the Performing Arts.
JJ Gerber JJ Gerber
Drayton Entertainment: A Few Good Men, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Anne of Green Gables. Other theatre: Prince in Hollywood Hits, Soul of Motown (Stage West), Richie alternate in A Chorus Line, Hypochondriac (Stratford), Eddie in Mamma Mia! (Citadel), Hairspray (Aquarius), Fred Casely in Chicago (Globe Theatre), Parade (Lincoln Centre), Gilbert Blythe in Anne of Green Gables, Simon alternate in Jesus Christ Superstar (Charlottetown), Sonny alternate in Grease (Winter Garden). Film/TV: Ollie's Pack, RocKidsTV, Dance Breakdown. Finalist on CBC's Searchlight. JJ Gerber is also releasing music under his artist name JonoJosh. Instagram: @jonojosh

Marcus Nance Marcus Nance
Drayton Entertainment: Aladdin: The Panto, Disney's The Little Mermaid, The Mikado. Other theatre: Jesus Christ Superstar (Broadway, Stratford), La Boheme (Broadway), The Music Man, Guys and Dolls, HMS Pinafore, Carousel, Crazy For You, Man of La Mancha, Moby Dick, My One and Only (Stratford Festival), Sweeney Todd, Alice in Wonderland, Floyd Collins (Shaw), Evangeline (Charlottetown Festival), Kismet, Of Thee I Sing (New York Encores!), Cinderella (New York City Opera), Jesus Christ Superstar (La Jolla Playhouse), The Wizard of Oz, Beauty and the Beast (The Grand), Dark Star Requiem (Luminato), Porgy and Bess (Toronto Symphony), Dora nominee for Elsewhereless (Tapestry), Showboat (Livent). Film/TV: Prodigal's Son, The Producers.

Meher Pavri Meher Pavri
Drayton Entertainment debut. Other theatre: Maria in West Side Story (LOT, Windsor Symphony Orchestra, Niagara Symphony Orchestra), Savitri in Savitri (Against the Grain Theatre), soloist in 88 Keys (Soulpepper Theatre), roles in the world premiere of The Overcoat (CanStage, Tapestry Opera, Vancouver Opera), Idomeneo (Opera Atelier), Canadian premiere of Bend it like Beckham (Starvox), soloist in Mahabharata (Shaw Festival workshop), Messiah (Against the Grain Theatre). Film/TV: Coroner (CBC), Pixels (Columbia Pictures), Private Eyes (Global), Mayday (Discovery Channel), Wedding Season (Netflix). Meher Pavri is a proud graduate of Western University. You can follow her journey at @meherpavri on social media



Alex Mustakas Alex Mustakas (Host)
Drayton Entertainment: Alex has directed over 100 productions for Drayton Entertainment and other theatre companies across Canada including Rocky: The Musical, Kings & Queens of Country, Rock of Ages, Million Dollar Quartet, Beauty and the Beast, the world premiere of Marathon of Hope, Legends of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Spamalot, Les Misérables, Twist & Shout and more. Alex holds a Master’s Degree in Arts Administration from City University in London, England, and an Honorary Doctorate from Wilfrid Laurier University. He is the recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Media & Entertainment, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Maggie Bassett Award from Theatre Ontario, and the Governor General’s Meritorious Service Medal.

Neil Aitchison Neil Aitchison (Constable Archibald F. Inkster)
Drayton Entertainment: Canada 151: Better Late Than Sorry, Canadian Legends, Sorry ... I'm Canadian, Canadian Toonie, Canadian Loonie, Bending the Bows. A former radio personality, Neil was also the CTV Romper Room Santa for 14 seasons. He is currently a construction executive, as well as a sought-after speaker. He is an avid community builder, and the recipient of The Waterloo Award (2015), The Citizen of the Year Award (2016), and the Queen’s Golden/Diamond Jubilee Medals (2002/2012). Born in Harriston, Neil was the first graduate of Conestoga College, and now lives in Waterloo with his first wife, Helen, whom he thanks for her unwavering support of his wacky lifestyle. This show is dedicated to Neil’s four favourite grandchildren Patrick, Rebecca, Tanner and Brier.

Wade Lynch Wade Lynch (A Royal Minute)
Drayton Entertainment: Annie, Hairspray, The Music Man, The Last Resort, Director/Little Big Man in A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline, Director for Look, No Hans!, Tony in Shear Madness, Sancho in Man of La Mancha. Other theatre: Director for Anne of Green Gables, Dear Johnny Deere, Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, Stones in His Pockets (Charlottetown Festival); Playwright/Director for On the Road with Dutch Mason (Charlottetown, Bishop’s); Director for Speech & Debate, L’Affaire Tartuffe, Seven Stories (Bishop’s University); Director for I Love You You’re Perfect Now Change (Segal Centre); Professor in 2 Monkeys, 1 Grape (Centaur).

Steve Lavoie Steve Lavoie (Accompanist)
Drayton Entertainment: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Canada 151, Hairspray. Other theatre (selected): Sister Act (CCMP), Dogfight (First Act), Evita, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Man of La Mancha, Damn Yankees, Spamalot, Sweeney Todd, Urinetown, The Who’s Tommy (Scarborough Music Theatre), Les Misérables, Ragtime (Etobicoke Musical Productions). In addition to music directing, Steve is an audition and rehearsal accompanist with over 20 years of experience. He has accompanied over 50 shows in and around the Toronto area. Find him online on YouTube or visit


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Backstage Pass is available for purchase as a collective series or by the episode. Buy individual episodes for $20 each or purchase the complete Backstage Pass series for only $150 ... that's a savings $50! Plus, each episode will feature one of the nine finalists in The Great Community Talent Search, so series buyers will have the opportunity to see all those performances and vote for the winning act. Get 10 weeks of entertainment to watch from the comfort of your home for one low package price when you buy the series.

Tickets for Backstage Pass are sold by the household, so gather your crew and enjoy weekly episodes of this exciting series on Sunday nights from January 30 to April 3. And if Sundays don't work for you, no problem! Each episode is available for 7 days after it airs. During that viewing period, you can watch it whenever you want, as many times as you want. There’s no business like show business, so get your “backstage pass” and join us from the comfort of your home for this special digital series packed with enlightening conversations, engaging performances, and a few surprises. Click here to buy the series now. To puchase this episode, click the buy button below now.

Funding provided by the Government of Ontario. The views expressed in this program do not necessarily reflect those of the Province of Ontario.