April 16 - May 19, 2013

Show Info

In a seaside hotel, 85 year-old Nora sings beside a baby grand, and dances with her aging beau.  Outside, her world is starting to crumble.  Increasingly in need of extended care, and told she must leave her home in the seniors’ residence, Nora resolves to follow her heart and find a solution to her dilemma.

Article – Vancouver Sun – Lessons Learned: Bill Henderson

Running Time: 1 hours and 55 minutes, including one 15-minute intermission

Audience Advisory:  This production contains light use of stage haze.

Cast & Artists

    • Elizabeth Duncan
    • The Girl
    • Vincent Gale
    • Rupert Chase
    • Megan Leitch
    • Claudia Chase
    • Nicola Lipman
    • Nora Chase
    • Donna Soares
    • Lily
    • Alec Willows
    • Murray Sullivan
    • Bruce Ruddell
    • Book & Lyrics
    • Bill Henderson
    • Music & Lyrics
    • Michael Shamata
    • Director
    • Susan Benson
    • Designer
    • Ereca Hassell
    • Lighting Designer
    • Karel Roessingh
    • Accompanist
    • Jessica Hickman
    • Choreographer

The Heart of the Matter

  • 3x3 Interview Carolyn Mark (3 Meaningful Songs)
  • 3x3 Interview Peter Symcox (3 Meaningful Songs)
  • 3x3 Interview Molly Lydon (3 Meaningful Songs)
  • B4Play Gregor Craigie Interviews Bruce Ruddell
  • LET ME CALL YOU SWEETHEART by Bruce Ruddell with music by Bill Henderson
  • Let Me Call You Sweetheart at the Belfry Theatre. Paint like Pastel
  • Let Me Call You Sweetheart at the Belfry Theatre. Behind the Songs


Widow Nora Chase’s world is closing in around her. Her health is deteriorating beyond what her retirement home can support. Rupert, her 40-something son, still doesn’t have his life together; his wife Claudia is on her way out the door.

Despite these problems, Nora is at peace at Autumn Park retirement home. Lilly, a care worker, has become a daughter to her, and, at this late stage of life, Nora has found love again with Murray Sullivan, a piano player much younger than she is. With Murray, she discovers a talent and passion for song. The duo becomes an Autumn Park sensation, performing regular concerts at a local hotel. Through their music, Nora and Murray explore their relationship, values, hopes, and understanding of life.

Music also transports Nora back in time to 1942. Through her failing memories, she reveals glimpses of her sad past, fraught with abandonment, death, and loneliness. In comparison, Autumn Park is paradise; it is the home Nora has spent her life searching for. It is a home worth fighting for.

When her stay at Autumn Park is threatened, Nora must defend her home. Now, near the end of her life, she doesn’t have much fight left in her. But she is not done fighting yet. Murray has equipped her with a new power to defend her home and her dignity— the power of song, and with it, a renewed belief in love and hope.

Audience summary by Jessica Natale Woollard.