What People are Saying ...
Ted Woloshyn interviews Brad, Rae Ellen and Patti at NewsTalk1010 about the Picture of Happiness show at Toronto's Jazz Bistro on June 29th, 2014, and Rae Ellen and Ted bond over being Ukrainian.
Bill Richardson interviews Patti on June 20th, 2014, at Classic 107 about the three Picture of Happiness shows in Winnipeg in June, and Fred Penner makes a surprise appearance to talk about the popularity of 'house concerts'.
Kevin Prokosh interviews Monica Huisman and Fred Penner - hosts of the shows in Winnipeg in June 2014 - about The Picture of Happiness and their connection with the show.
Drew Rowsome of MGT interviews Brad and Rae about the Picture of Happiness show on Sunday June 29th at the Jazz Bistro.
"It’s what you’d want in a cabaret: it’s personal, it has both humour and heart, and both Brad and Patti are compelling performers." Liz Nicholls, Edmonton Journal, June 8, 2013
FIVE STARS!!!!! "a tour de force of intimate storytelling and musical magic" Drew Rowsome, MGTStage, May 2013
"My motivation for hosting the show at my house was simply to bring this impressive, intimate production to a Winnipeg audience. I saw it three times in Toronto. I really love the show." Fred Penner, Winnipeg Free Press, June 26, 2013
"It took her a lot of courage and 20 years to be able to talk about that photograph. What happened was devastating." GigCity, Edmonton, June 5, 2013
"Treats of the edible kind aren’t just referenced in the show; eating is involved." Liz Nicholls, Edmonton Journal, June 4, 2013
"Patti Loach .... a woman at the top of her powers. Her playing is precise and spirited and her presence - with buzzing energy in a thin frame and wiry blonde hair that threatens to explode - often belies her role as a "mere" background performer." Don Wall, Forever Young News, June 2013
“If you’re in a theatre space you’re sort of one step removed,” explained (Fred) Penner of the experience of watching the show in a home setting. “When you’re in a space like a kitchen… you are literally two steps away from the artist so you’re engaged on a different level than you would be in a more traditional theatrical setting.” Metro Winnipeg, June 26, 2013
"The idea to stage The Picture of Happiness in private homes for a small group grew out of its setting in a family home. The hour-long evening of story and song is typically presented in living rooms and other unconventional spots. 'It's like an old-time party in a kitchen," he (Brad Hampton) says. 'We tell the story and sing some songs. There is no fourth wall. All that stuff has been stripped away. This is like unplugged theatre.'" Winnipeg Free Press, June 26, 2013
“It’s poignant, it’s fun— powerful is the best way to describe it.” Fred Penner, Metro Winnipeg, June26, 2013
"Cozy cabaret elicits big emotions." Drew Rowsome, FAB Magazine, October 2012
"The Picture of Happiness feels like spending an hour... with a very talented friend who revels in the act of (story) telling and also just happens to sing like a dream." Drew Rowsome, FAB Magazine, October 16, 2012
"Brad Hampton's tale of the consequences of keeping family secrets... is tuneful, funny and ultimately heart-breaking." Drew Rowsome, FAB Magazine, October 16, 2012
"Pianist Patti Loach... creates music to illustrate any and all moods... thoughtful and passionately performed..." Drew Rowsome, FAB Magazine, October 16, 2012
"The two have an almost empathic skill... and believe utterly in the pathos and joy of the story." Drew Rowsome, FAB Magazine, October 16, 2012
"Seeing the Picture of Happiness in an intimate setting is a perfect underline to the telling of secrets but also a chance to get close before the show inevitably moves to larger venues." Drew Rowsome, FAB Magazine, October 16, 2012
"30s photograph opens the door to a family's secret." Jon Kaplan, Now Magazine, October 18, 2012
"...a very personal journey inspired by Hampton's family history, interspersed with songs from musical theatre... Hampton and Loach were in excellent form..." John Terauds, Musical Toronto, October 21, 2012
"...every syllable and note (is) delivered entirely in the moment." John Terauds, Musical Toronto, October 21, 2012
"One more observation last night was on the quality of Loach's playing. This was show music rendered with a grace, subtlety and craft that could put many an art song or opera accompanist to shame." John Terauds, Musical Toronto, October 21, 2012
"(As) Leo Tolstoy wrote, 'Art is human activity having for its purpose the transmission to others of the highest and best feelings to which men have risen.' Mission accomplished." John Terauds, Musical Toronto, October 21, 2012
"Toronto actor Brad Hampton has developed an excellent cabaret show with pianist Patti Loach about a single gay man who finally finds his rightful place in the world, thanks to an old family photograph. Hampton is charismatic, he and Loach have excellent chemistry, the songs are just the right mix of funny, touching and irreverent, and the show's timing is impeccable, thanks to director Rae Ellen Bodie's careful guidance." John Terauds, Musical Toronto, October 15, 2012
"From the first time I experienced Picture of Happiness, I became an instant fan of Brad Hampton and Patti Loach." Fred Penner
"Patti Loach and Brad Hampton were hilarious." Jim Caruso, Jim Caruso's Cast Party at Birdland, New York City, November 14, 2011
"Go see these talented friends, it's a lovely evening." Ted Dykstra, June 2013.
"Part cabaret, part theatre, all heart! A sublimely-moving experience. Every song touched me in one way or another; your last song, "Listen to My Heart", pushed me over the edge. With a set of well-chosen songs, Brad Hampton and Patti Loach invite us to explore with them the hidden truths behind a sepia-toned family photo. Thank you, Brad and Patti, for the luminous performances you gave last night! And thank you, Bill." Joe Ringhofer after The Picture of Happiness/Le Salon Secret, August 2011
"When Brad tells his story, you feel as though you are the only person in the room and he's looking right at you." Beth Hall after The Picture of Happiness/Le Salon Secret, August 2011
"What a delightful evening and a meaningful performance. Thank you so much for including us." Constance Marlatt after The Picture of Happiness/Le Salon Secret, August 2011
"We have both been thinking about Brad and his family, and how difficult it must have been for all of them. How fortunate we are to be living when and where we do..." Sasha Darling after The Picture of Happiness/Le Salon Secret, August 2011
"Still dancing! Thank you for the amazing company and evening." Linda Bradbeer after The Picture of Happiness/Le Salon Secret, August 2011
"Just had to repost and crow a bit about this exquisitely written and performed piece of theatre. Marcia Whitehead, a talented young performer, opened, accompanied by the exceptional and musically polished Patti Loach. Marcia's performance of Adam Gwon's "I'll Be Here" was powerfully honest. Her interpretation was riveting, surprising and delightfully apropos to foreshadow what was to follow. Then, it was time for Brad Hampton, also accompanied by Patti. His warmth and engaging repartee drew us in immediately along with his deceptively simple but delicious opening, set in his Grandmother's basement where we learn of a long-hidden photo of two men. After this brilliant opening narrative we belonged to Brad entirely. We were off on a roller coaster ride of highs and lows with sometimes dramatic and sometimes comedic songs and stories. I love when actors write and I applaud Brad for having the courage and generosity to share his life with us, his pain and joy with us and of course, his peanut butter icing and frozen nanaimo bars with us! This show is a healing and transparent look at what we all need to discover in ourselves: the ability to surrender to love in whatever shape or form it appears to us and to teach others to do exactly the same. Thank you Brad Hampton and Patti Loach (and John Loach). You blew me away!) Did you know that spell-check wanted to change "nanaimo" to "unanimous"? Puh-leeeease!) Bravo." Michelle Giardine, Facebook, October 20, 2013.
"I want to thank you for a beautiful evening last night. Everyone that I spoke with was charmed and warmed by your presentation, as was I... Seriously, Patti, you are a beautiful pianist/accompanist and Mr. Hampton has a gorgeous voice. A very happy combo, indeed." Diane Leah, November 12, 2014.