Bill Murray to read Hemingway, dance the tango, sing Gershwin in new performance art show

The celebration of American art will take place at Toronto's Royal Conservatory

    It’s easy to look at Bill Murray as the playful goofball when he’s opening bars based on his classic films, playing putt-putt with the POTUS, or voicing animated canines. But the man is a true student of art and entertainment, and his depth of talent goes well beyond bartending and comedy. It’s a side he’ll put on full display this fall when he performs a new show celebrating classic American art at Toronto’s The Royal Conservatory.

    On October 13th, Murray will be joined by cellist Jan Vogler, violinist Mira Wang, and pianist Vanessa Pereze for a show called New Worlds. The performance will find Murray reading selections from Ernest Hemingway, Walt Whitman, and Mark Twain; singing pieces by Stephen Foster and George Gershwin; and even dancing a tango. Showcasing “the core of the American values” in art, the show is described as an “evening where music and literature meet in a clash of words and notes.”

    A classically focused Murray might seem a bit strange to those used to his more “Ghostbustin’ Ass” ways — and the actor himself readily admits to being a classical music novice. However, the video below of a New Worlds trial run shot in Berlin last year proves he carries himself with a familiar, steady charm no matter what he’s doing.


    Tickets for the Royal Conservatory performance, taking place at Koerner Hall, go on sale February 10th here. Passes start at $99 (about $75 USD), with available gala dinner packages including a three-course meal and a champagne and dessert reception. Find the full scheduled program below.

    Johann Sebastian Bach: “Prelude” from Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007
    Walt Whitman: from Song of the Open Road and Song of Myself
    Stephen Foster: “Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair”
    Ernest Hemingway: “With Pascin at the Dome” from A Moveable Feast   
    Astor Piazzolla: “La muerte del ángel”
    George Gershwin: “It Ain’t Necessarily So” from Porgy and Bess
    Astor Piazzolla: “Oblivion”James Fenimore Cooper:  from The Deerslayer

    Maurice Ravel: “Blues” from Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 2

    James Thurber: “If Grant Had Been Drinking at Appomattox” from Writings and Drawings, Library of America


    Henry Mancini: “Moon River”
    Mark Twain: from Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
    Leonard Bernstein: “Somewhere,” “I Feel Pretty” & “America” from West Side Story (arr. Stephen Buck)