BURLINGTON PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE
What do you get when you combine a rock and roll guitarist with an orchestral percussionist and an accomplished musical theatre performer? You get The Rowdymen, a band devoted to sharing the music of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Rowdymen are professional guitarist Gerry Finn, east-coast musician Greg Hawco and Canadian musical theatre stalwart George Masswohl, who have come together to keep the beloved music from the acclaimed musical Come From Away alive, while treating audiences to traditional and contemporary music and culture from “the Rock”.
Come From Away, the smash-hit musical based on the true story of 7,000 stranded airline passengers on Sept. 11, 2001 who were welcomed and cared for by the people of Newfoundland, was created by David Hein and Irene Sankoff and produced by Michael Rubinoff. The musical has toured around the world and the songs such as Welcome to the Rock and Screech In have found a special place in hearts and homes across the globe. These songs, as well as many other traditional Newfoundland classics and some original work will reverberate through the Burlington Performing Arts Centre’s Main Stage Theatre on Saturday Feb. 11, 2023 at 8 p.m.
“Introducing The Rowdymen to the people of Burlington is such an enormous pleasure and privilege for me," says BPAC executive director Tammy Fox. “I have known both George Masswohl and Greg Hawco for many years, personally and professionally, and I leapt at the opportunity to include their exciting new project in our 2022-23 season. Come From Away creators David Hein and Irene Sankoff have given their blessing to The Rowdymen to include songs from their musical into the band’s repertoire, which I know our patrons will love, however any fan of traditional east coast music is guaranteed a high-energy, rollicking good time!”.
The Rowdymen guarantee to impress. George Masswohl, originally from St. Catharines, Ont., played Mayor Claude in Come From Away in Toronto. The pandemic shut down the show but Masswohl went back to Newfoundland and led a guided tour company, sharing many of the actual sites and even people that inspired the musical. It is in Newfoundland that Masswohl and two others formed The Rowdymen. As George Masswohl says “We formed this band to play Newfoundland music but in a new way. Our sensibilities all come together and create something different”.
Originally from Bell Island, Nfld., and now a resident of Hamilton, Ont., Greg Hawco, brings eclectic percussion, mandolin and bouzouki to the group, along with his passionate east-coast vocals. Hawco is well established as a musician and composer and his music has been enjoyed on shows such as Republic of Doyle (starring his brother Allan Hawco) and Caught, and his classical compositions have been performed around the world. Greg performed in the live band during the Toronto run of Come From Away.
Juno Award winner and multiple nominee, Gerry Finn, has been playing guitar across the globe for over 25 years. He has received multiple gold and platinum album awards here in Canada and abroad. Some of the bands he has shared the stage with include; Killer Dwarfs, David Usher, INXS, Iron Maiden, Bruce Cockburn, Burton Cummings and more! Originally from St. John’s, Nfld., he’s known for his powerful heavy-metal guitar skills, which energize the East Coast sounds of The Rowdymen.
BPAC’s 2022-23 Season Sponsor is Mercdes-Benz Burlington.