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Ottawa theatre companies go note-for-note in the Show Tune Showdown

By Samara Caplan and Laura Gauthier on April 26, 2021

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Laura and Samara spend their days as non-profit unicorns and fill every spare minute exploring the world of musical theatre as BFFs (that’s Broadway Friends Forever). Follow @bffs613 on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.


Members of Zucchini Productions perform at Show Tune Showdown 2021

Members of Zucchini Productions perform at Show Tune Showdown 2021

It’s the best time of year—Show Tune Showdown is back! When we first discovered this local competition we were instantly hooked. Over the years we have built up a giant group of fellow theatre nerds to gather together, enjoy the show and spend hours afterwards talking about our favourite performances over ice cream (it’s the best way to have a post-show debrief—trust us!) We missed it terribly last year and we’re glad to have it back, even virtually, this year.

Never heard of Show Tune Showdown? You don’t know what you’re missing. Brought to you by Tone Cluster-quite a queer choir, and hosted by Bob LeDrew, three groups representing local theatre companies go head-to-head performing songs from some of your favourite productions (or introducing you to shows you may have never come across before). Judges score the performances, and after a few rounds only one group comes out on top.

Members of Ain't Seen Noth'n Yet performa at Show Tune Showdown 2021

Members of Ain’t Seen Noth’n Yet perform at Show Tune Showdown 2021

This year’s competitors include groups from Ain’t Seen Noth’n Yet, Orpheus Musical Theatre and Zucchini Productions, with guest judges CBC’s All in a Day host Alan Neal, choir director Robert Filion and singer-songwriter Lynn Miles. Usually a ticketed one-night-only event, this year Show Tune Showdown has gone virtual and is free! On top of all that, the show will be available to watch until May 7th—that’s two whole weeks for you to catch it (or even do a couple of rewatches).

In this year’s show, you’ll hear performances from popular shows like Dear Evan Hansen and Moulin Rouge! The Musical, as well as some lesser-known (but soon to be loved), shows like Closer Than Ever and The Theory of Relativity. You’ll see six performances total from the contestants as well as two showdown performances, an opening show number from the Tone Cluster choir and two sing-along tunes that you can join in on from home.

Members of Orpheus Musical Theatre perform at Show Tune Showdown 2021

Members of Orpheus Musical Theatre perform at Show Tune Showdown 2021

For their first (and hopefully only) virtual showdown, the tech went off without a hitch. With remote judges, contestants and performances, they managed to maintain a smooth and engaging show.

Don’t miss your chance to catch this must-see Ottawa theatre event. Because it’s never been more true—there’s no business like show business!


Show Tune Showdown is available virtually from April 24th until May 7th. This year’s production is free, but online donations to Tone Cluster-quite a queer choir are appreciated.

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