Tim Hortons musical announces theatre production that will ‘surprise’ Canadians

Tim Hortons musical announces theatre production that will ‘surprise’ Canadians

In honor of Tim Hortons’ 60th anniversary, the company has hired an Olivier Award-winning and Tony-nominated producer to Come from far awayMichael Rubinoff, to produce the new Canadian musical The Last TimbitStarring Chilina Kennedy, who played Carole King in the musical Nice on Broadway, and Degrassi: The Next Generation former student Jake Epstein, The Last Timbit promises to be a musical like you’ve never seen before.

“We’re going to surprise people in the best way possible,” Rubinoff said Yahoo Canada“I think people will really respond to the music.”

“There are uptempo, really catchy songs. There are some beautiful power ballads and I’m really convinced that people will leave the room humming and singing.”

The Last Timbit is inspired by a true story from 2010, when people in Sarnia, Ontario, were trapped in a local Tim Hortons store for nearly 24 hours during a snowstorm.

In the musical, these strangers come together in a unique exploration of connection and community as they ride out a snowstorm, all the while competing to get their hands on the last Timbit: a birthday cake Timbit.

“At the center of this is a mother and a teenage daughter who are going through a rough patch, which I think is relatable to parents and teenagers about figuring out those relationships,” Rubinoff teased. “We have best friends who have flown in to go to the party of the year and their cab driver has abandoned them, and they want to try to get away and go to this party. I think they find a lot of comedic relief and a lot of fun for us.”

What attracted Rubinoff to this project was that the famed producer emphasized that Tim Hortons has been a fixture in Broadway shows for years.

Come from far away has Tim Hortons represented after the opening number, the first scene is in a Tim Hortons,” he pointed out. “The other Broadway show … that has a Tim Hortons logo in the background, which people find surprisingThe Book of Mormon.”

“Tim Hortons was a part of the Broadway musical, so for me it was so exciting to have the opportunity to work with this iconic brand and tell a story, a Canadian story. It was a really exciting opportunity.”

A Tim Hortons employee hands out Timbits to a customer in Mississauga, Ontario, on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan DenetteA Tim Hortons employee hands out Timbits to a customer in Mississauga, Ontario, on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

A Tim Hortons employee hands out Timbits to a customer in Mississauga, Ontario, on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

While there is certainly a marketing element to it, The Last TimbitThere is still power and impact in a company like Tim Hortons funding theatre in Canada and creating jobs for all these talented artists and theatre crews.

“What’s been really extraordinary for me on this journey is the fact that I believe so deeply in our Canadian talent,” Rubinoff said. “Tims really wanted to find a new way to celebrate their 60th anniversary and in doing that, they also found a really great way to support artists.”

“What that has achieved, and what I think people will see in the show, is that when we give our talent and our creatives the support that they deserve, what they can create is extraordinary. And when they are working at the height of their powers, I think the result is truly inspiring.”

But for Rubinoff, that also meant that a quick visit to Tim Hortons for a cup of coffee became more of a research project.

“Tim Hortons are centers of community across the country,” he said. “These are people coming together to talk about really exciting things in their lives, really difficult things in their lives, gathering their kids, and it’s just people from all walks of life that you really see this Canadian tapestry.”

“I think the writers captured a lot of that and people are going to see that on stage. … For me, as a producer, it was really heartening to not just run in and get some Timbits and a cup of coffee and run out, but to sit down and kind of look around and see so much of your community around you. … I have to say, it was great research. It was fun research.”

It is expected that The Last Timbit will likely draw the attention of people who have never been to a musical and might never consider seeing live theatre, but there is a connected Canadaiana that many people across the country will identify with while also supporting live theatre.

“In a time when we’re increasingly isolated and connected to our devices, I don’t think there’s anything that beats coming together in person to experience live theater,” Rubinoff said. “I don’t think there’s anything as exciting and unique as consuming culture together as a community.”

“I think that’s what excites me so much The Last Timbit. But a lot of people have a love for Tim Hortons, who may have never been to a musical, … never been to the theater, and I’m really excited that they’ve fallen in love with the theater and hopefully use this as a springboard to go see more of it. So we can’t wait to welcome audiences.”

The Last Timbit will be at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto from June 26 to 30.