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How I Lost One Pound, The Musical July 2012, Toronto


“How I Lost One Pound, The Musical”

Written & Performed by Lesley Carlberg

Inspired by true events, this comedic romp is about one woman’s obsession with the scale, body image and the epic quest to find the Holy Grail of weightloss.

Featuring the talents of Barbara Weigelt, Chiamaka Ugwu, Kate Abrams, Lauren Wolkowski, Melissa Verwey, Megan O’Kelly, Michelle Paré, & Rosaleen Kavanagh.

Music composed by Hillary Thomson, Stephen Targett, Tony Smith
Theatre Pass Muraille 16 Ryerson in Toronto (northeast of Bathurst & Queen W)
Thursday, July 5, 2012 – 8:15pm
Friday, July 6, 2012 – 5:15pm
Sunday, July 8, 2012 – 12:00pm
Monday, July 9, 2012 – 10:30pm
Tuesday, July 10, 2012 – 6:15pm
Friday, July 13, 2012 – 2:15pm
Saturday, July 14, 2012 – 10:30pm
phone Number 416.531.1827

Lesley Carlberg : Writer/Director

Lesley began her career as a creative artist at the age of three as a dancer and then as a musician five years later. She graduated with an HBA in dance & choreography at York University, Toronto and studied writing for the stage & screen at George Brown College with Nika Rylski. For many years, Lesley studied and performed improv & clowning at Second City and with the infamous Canadian clown duo, Mump & Smoot. Although she studied Writing & Performance in Comedy at Humber College, Lesley is an eternal student of comedy making her family, friends and even strangers laugh on a daily basis. It all started (sort of) when Lesley was the emcee at Janet d’Eon’s wedding and had the guests laughing and laughing. Afterwards, Janet said to her “You should be a stand-up comedian”. Yea! So Lesley began her stand-up comedy career in New York City actually stepping on stage for the first time as a comic at Stand-up New York with Janet in the audience! Lesley regularly performs in theatre as well. Her first and favourite role was Suzette in the farce “Don’t Dress for Dinner”. Lesley also teaches piano to children and improv & stand-up comedy to wannabe comedians & actors as well as workshops in humour and creativity to business people along with running her own graphic design company with her husband, Freddy. For Toronto FringeKids, Lesley has written and performed in two children’s musicals “Zucchinis! Zucchinis! Everywhere!” and “The JellyBean Forest”. For FringeGrown-ups, Lesley wrote and performed with Barbara Jensen in the variety show called “When I Grow Up: a personal narrative”. The idea for this current musical all started when Lesley wrote her first book, “How I Lost One Pound”. When she grows up, Lesley would like to record a song, make a video and be a “One Hit Wonder” because, like she tells her children, rock stars don’t really have to sing that great. 

Barbara Weigelt : ACTOR

My name is Barbara Weigelt, and I will be 65 next month! I love to act (the fool) and have had some amateur experience over the years. In high school I was a member of the Drama Club and also studied acting with Josephine Barrington for two years in her studio in Toronto. Some of the productions I took part: “The Merchant of Venice” (Portia), “Twelfth Night” (Maria) and Charlie’s Aunt” (Kitty) and of course others which I can’t remember because I am now old. As an adult I have been studying at Ryerson University’s ACT II Studios, which is a part of The Chang School of Continuing Studies. ACT II provides a series of acting classes for the over 50 crowd, and has been providing relevant theatre both locally and internationally for the past 20 years. Through ACT II I have played several roles, including “The Admiral Creighton” (Agatha), “The Final Assessment” (student written) (Assessor Lange), and most recently “A Man and Some Women”, (Hilda) a version which will be on the Shaw Festival’s spring lineup. My passion is Restoration Theatre. The Mississauga Players is also a group with whom I am involved, and have had a part in Feydeau’s “Love By the Bolt” (Mme. Pomponette).The most exciting for me, of course, is being involved with Lesley Carlberg’s production of “How I Lost One Pound, The Musical”. Now here’s the thing, I can’t sing. But I will try to make a joyful noise or maybe lipsync. My philosophy includes getting out of my comfort zone, so this is my big chance. I know the great cast will pull me through! My educational background is in Fine and Commercial Art, and I have a small business restoring oil paintings and framing. I attended OCAD and the Banff School of Fine Arts. Love to travel, paint, read, write, act and hike.
C’est tout!

Chiamaka Ugwu : ACTOR

Chiamaka Ugwu is an actor, writer, poet, singer, recovering hoarder, exercise junkie, weave-obsessed African Queen and wannabe chef. She is currently entering her third year of Theatre and Drama Studies in University of Toronto Mississauga and Sheridan College’s joint theatre program, also minoring in Diaspora and Transnational Studies – a fascinating relevant course that no one’s ever heard of. In her spare time Chiamaka loves talking to herself and singing aloud in public places, thinking of new recipes and hairstyles, dreaming, and pretending not to be single. She has been successful in all but the latter-most activity, though she still tries…desperately. In her future, Chiamaka wants to continue being active in the theatre/performance/entertainment “industry” as a writer, actor, director, coach, educator, dramaturge, producer, and front-of-house-extraordinaire. She hopes that one day our world will become a completely loving and inclusive space, that going to theatre will be as common as going to the movies, that people pronounce her first and last name properly, and that you ENJOY THE SHOW! Cheers!

Melissa Verwey : ACTOR

At a young age it was clear that Melissa Verwey excelled at two things; eating paste and performing. Forced to choose between her two passions, she chose to pursue a life of performance and never looked back. Melissa has fond memories of writing, producing, starring, and forcing her one woman shows on her family during the holidays, PA days and even snow days. In high school, Melissa got a taste of performing for audiences that contained more than just the Verwey’s- and liked it! Her roles in ’42nd Street’ and ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brother’s’ fueled her on. She continued her studies at George Brown College in the Performing Arts Careers program as well as Conestoga College where she specialized in Broadcast Television. Upon graduation, she dove back in to training at Second City, Bad Dog and Sears and Switzer, enjoying many roles in plays, musicals, children’s shows, indie films, improv and sketch comedies. People have been rolling their eyes at Melissa’s earnest belief that if you can dream something; you can do it, for as long as she can remember. She is excited for her first time performing at the Toronto Fringe Festival and has had such a great experience working with this immensely talented team. Enjoy the show!

Michelle Pare : ACTOR

Born and raised in Brampton, Ontario, Michelle decided she wanted to be an actress after seeing Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin in “Big Business.” She discovered she was funny in the 8th grade, after imitating Mike Myers for her classmates. After that, it was school plays, drama classes, a degree in theatre from the University of Ottawa, and a comedy program at Humber college (where she met Lesley). Now she is very proud to be part of “How I lost One Pound (the Musical)”, a subject matter very dear to her heart and waist. You may recognize her from her co-emcee job at her cousin’s wedding, and her work as an extra in “The Incredible Hulk”, starring Edward Norton. On her bucket list? being in a single-digit pants size, being in a Tim Burton movie and marrying Kiefer Sutherland (or just meeting him, whatever). She enjoys baking and reading and memorizing movies. She also loves the Muppets. And she speaks French! un gros merci à toutes les filles dans cette production, qui ont fait de cette expérience quelque chose de très spécial! Merde et bon show!

Hillary Thomson : COMPOSER

Hillary Thomson holds a degree in composition and music education at York University and a B.Ed from the University of Toronto. She has composed and has been musical director for theatre productions including Caryl Churchill’s “Vinegar Tom” (Royal Porcupine Prods). Brecht’s “Fear and Misery” (Deus XM), “The Blackheart Princess” (Sunny Leo Productions) and with Megan Liley and Kicky Little Thing “Radioplay” and “Graffiti Highway”. Hillary produces and directs her own multi-disciplinary productions with Rock n Roll Puppetshow Productions with Toronto artist Kendra Sartorelli.  She was also the musical director for the 2011 Nuit Blanche installation, “1972-1976”, in partnership with Toronto artist Jonathan Brett and the historic Campbell House Museum. Hillary is completing a short chamber opera for Evil Diva Productions.  She is interim musical director for the popular “Lunacy Cabaret”, communications director for the Association for Canadian Women Composers and works as a music teacher in partnership with initiatives to support at-risk communities!


Tony’s obsession with music began at a very young age. Although he was very interested in music as a fetus, he didn’t truly begin playing until his neck became strong enough to support his large, baby head. As a child Tony studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music with Dianne Werner and Antonin Kubalek. As a young man he studied with Reginald Miller for a couple of years before returning to the conservatory to study with Pete Zarins.
After receiving his grade ten piano, Tony decided to put off working toward his A.R.C.T. (the material was getting pretty hard) in favor of attending Humber College’s jazz program where he studied with many musical heavyweights including a two year span with jazz great Don Thompson.
After four years at Humber College Tony went to work as a pianist for Carnival Cruise Lines, began teaching, and accompanied various artists. It was at this time that Tony started becoming more diverse as a musician. He began singing, playing chromatic harmonica, and eventually found the guitar. While continuing to write modern jazz and neo classical music, Tony began to grow (or shrink) into a songwriter in the more traditional sense; he continues to study and explore music everyday.

Megan O’Kelly : ACTOR

Megan is a 20 year old acting student currently attending The University of Toronto and Sheridan College joint Theatre and Drama Studies program. She is working hard to maintain her ability to call herself a triple threat. In order to do so she makes sure to keep up appearances, even if that means giving up other triple threats like soda, fries and a Big Mac or potato chips, a comfy couch and the complete sixth season of The Biggest Loser. Her strengths include yoga, plop downs and F.R.I.E.N.D.S trivia. Her weaknesses include caramel, skittles, booze and waking up before noon. Megan has had several positive theatrical experiences in the past but non quite as delicious as this one! As a health and fitness enthusiast, she is thrilled to be able to combine passions by singing about yoga and laughing about nutrition with you at the fantastic Theatre Passe Muraille! This is Megan’s first time performing in the Toronto Fringe Festival and she his thankful for every drop of sweat that got her here!

Lauren Wolkowski : ACTOR

Instead of gaining the ‘Freshman-15’ during her Fanshawe College’s theatre program, she has gained the ‘Big City 40’.  Hamilton Ontario native, Lauren is now residing in Toronto,
where she has been acting and creating for the past 2 years.  Currently this is her first fringe festival experience, and hopefully not her only pound. After studying at Fanshwe College for theatre arts, and with Second city, Lauren has learned how to network and drink martinis.  Thanks to all the lovely people she has met while acting and creating in Toronto, she must now work on this fringe play and figure out the basics on how to network, without adding the extra sauce.





Rosaleen Kavanagh : ACTOR

Always having a passion for acting, Rosaleen has been involved in improving her craft since the age of ten. Working with excellent directors including Yo Mustafa and Lesley Carlberg, Rosaleen has continued to broaden her range with comedy and drama for film, television and theatre and now musicals!




Kate Abrams : ACTOR

Kate Abrams is an actor, writer, stage manager and dramaturge, born and raised in Toronto. An avid theatre-goer since seeing Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang at at age six, Kate has long been dedicated to supporting and creating Canadian theatre any way she can.  In her spare time she enjoys cooking, reading and the obligatory long walks on the beach.  Kate would like to thank her wonderfully supportive family and friends for being, well, wonderfully supportive!

Stephen Targett: COMPOSER 

Stephen graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Music in (Classical) Piano Performance. He works and performs widely in the Toronto area as a pianist, accompanist, songwriter, arranger, musical director and teacher.

Stephen has also been playing in bands and writing progessive rock songs since he was a teenager! Look for a collection of original material coming out in the fall.






Janet D’eon-Ebos: Musical Consultant

Janet is a high school music teacher, voice coach, choral director, singer and accompanist who dabbles in theatre and music composition from time to time. For many years she fronted the popular Mississauga jazz trio Sax Appeal that has 3 CDs to its credit.  Prior to that she came to the notice of Power Records and released the single,   Anything Like You, which was played in clubs across Canada and made the Top Ten chart of Streetsound Magazine.  The song has recently been released again on two disco compilation albums in Europe. After spending two wonderful summers many years ago as Assistant Music Director at Hamilton Place, Janet is happy to be back in theatre and part of Lesley Carlberg’s heart-warming musical, “How I Lost One Pound”. Even though she freezes in a parka, she is beautiful and awesome!


Sarina Condello: Performance Consultant


Sarina Condello (B.Ed. M.Ed.) has been a teacher, theatre and film director, performer and a motivational speaker for the last twenty years. Her magical tendencies, engaging free spirit and devotion to shifting consciousness through the arts have empowered and enlightened individuals and communities from around the world. Sarina created and has starred in 65 episodes of The Barefoot Dancer (aired in Canada, America, Nigeria, Greece) and 13 episodes of Bravo’s Way Off Broadway, as well as guest appearing on the Canadian national television series Pop Stars and Big Voice. Sarina founded Learning by Heart Studio, a performing arts school for artists, teachers and students, that has been in operating in Toronto for the last fifteen years. Sarina’s award winning documentary, that profiled her arts camp in rural region of Tanzania titled Thank You Tanzania, has been screened at film festivals through North America. Since 2006, Sarina’s charity, The Big Little Caravan of Joy has reached over 3,050 vulnerable and orphaned children in Africa affected by the AIDS epidemic and has trained 81 artists and educators with a child-centric creative methodology.

Sandra Dagovic : Stage Manager

Sandra has been a part of the Arts York Drama Program at Unionville High School for the past four years where she is able to explore a variety of theatre styles. She has been a part of the Festival of Ideas and Creation at the Canadian Stage Company working on an interpretation of Yerma as well as stage managing the University of Toronto production of “Our Town” which has enhanced her love for the theatre. She was the production manager and lighting designer/operator for 13 the Musical and stage managed a show at The Teatron Theatre. Sandra was recently the stage manager/production manager of Big Love, and has had a wonderful time working on How I Lost One Pound, The Musical

Posted on by Lesley Carlberg in Past Productions

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