Before we announce the winners of the 2023 MyEntWorld Critics’ Pick Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series.


Outstanding Performance (Musical) nominee Greg Solomon’s performance as Leo Frank in Wavestage Theatre Company’s Parade was a highlight of 2023. Playing an incredibly complex real person and nailing Jason Robert Brown’s taxing score, Greg proved himself more than worthy of his place in this category beside some of Canadian musical theatre’s biggest names on the biggest stages.


Do you remember your first experience with theatre?

My first experience with theatre was in Grade 10. I joined the Sears Ontario Drama Festival production at my highschool, and we did a musical called Colour Our World With All Of Us. We were all crayons. I don’t like thinking about it much.


When did you first start singing? Tell us about finding and developing your voice.

I first started taking singing seriously in grade 12 when I did a production of Rent as a part of the Theatre Aquarius Performing Arts Program (where I met some of my best friends and my now fiancee, Jess Clement). I had never really sung before, but vocal coach Tom Oliver took me under his wing, and taught me most of everything I know about singing.


How did you get involved with Parade?

I received a DM on Facebook Messenger from director Sarah Langford. We’d never met and weren’t even Facebook friends, but I received a message request that was a copy and paste mass message along the lines of “We’re casting Parade!”. Living in Hamilton, I kind of put the idea out of my head, but the thought of potentially playing Leo, my bucket-list role, was too enticing to not throw my hat in the ring,


What are some of the rewards and challenges of playing a real person? Did you do much research while preparing for the role?

Playing a real person immediately raises the stakes, which is a gift for any performer. There’s an added pressure of bringing justice to the individual, and to the story. I did tons of research. I read multiple books on the trial and the life of Leo Frank, and a month before rehearsal, my fiancee and I were driving home from Florida and detoured through Georgia to visit the Leo Frank Memorial Site. It was a really special moment. Unbeknownst to us, we actually visited the site on the anniversary of his lynching. Strange how it worked out that way.


Tell us about the process of learning and performing Jason Robert Brown’s complex score.

Luckily I’ve been a fan of Parade for the last 14 years, so the music was already pretty wired into my brain. It’s an incredibly rewarding experience to analyze the music and motifs. For example, it was embarrassingly late in the game when I realized “How Can I Call This Home” and “It’s Hard To Speak My Heart” are melodically the same. It offers a performer a lot.


Tell us about working with the rest of the cast.

I didn’t know what to expect out of Wavestage. I knew the expectations were high, insisting on being completely offbook on day one, including harmonies. At the first rehearsal, when the group sang the opening number, I swear it sounded like it did when we opened the show. It was the most unbelievable moment. The group is one of the most talented, and kindest, I’ve ever been a part of.


What were some of the most interesting conversations you remember having with your director in developing your interpretation of the role?

Sarah and Rhiannon were very trusting in letting me find my way into Leo’s skin. The one thing they consistently encouraged was to fight the urge to be liked by the audience right away, because then it would give me nothing to work for during numbers like “It’s Hard To Speak My Heart” during the trial. The more alienated I felt from the rest of the characters and the audience, the more terrifying it felt.


Did you have a favourite moment in the production?

If I had to pick one, it would be the picnic scene leading into “All The Wasted Time”. Working alongside Jesse Levy was an absolute blessing, and I’ve never felt more supported on or offstage by a castmate, and ultimately, a friend… but also “Rumblin’ and Rollin’”, because that song slaps and Kanier Hodge and Keena Eloise are amazing.


Do you have anything you’d like to plug?

Not really! There are a couple of cool shows I’ve been workshopping for the past few years with some really exciting creative teams, so find me on Instagram or whatever to keep in touch or see what’s going on!


Do you have anything you’d like to add?

Thank you so much for considering me amongst such an incredible list of performers. I’ve been out of the game for a while now, so it’s very validating to be recognized for my work. I miss stepping into Leo’s shoes very much.