John DeYoung

Carolyn Flower Agency

“It was my absolute pleasure to promote this piece of musical theatre "Canadiana". Singer/actor John de Young weaves us on a truly inspiring journey through the country East to West landing in the North with wit and sentiment of song, with folk favourites researched from long ago mixed with new music & lyrics. JOHNNY CANUCK is a one-man pilgrimage, a history lesson with a loving twist of tale, that warmly reminds us of our Canadian heritage and roots. Canuck’s story combines family history and his present day mission cross-country to find his wife Beth who has left him and his daughter and run off with another man and uses cleverly mastered photographic images projected onto the screen, the only "set" (except for Johnny himself, his guitar, hat and a coat rack). A true gem of a show produced and directed by John Stark (John Stark Productions, Los Angeles), this show has delighted audiences in New Mexico, Vancouver and moves on to Toronto next week. Don't miss the last performance of playwright Jovanka Bach's JOHNNY CANUCK, playing tomorrow night only at the Crowley Arts Centre in NDG. Tickets available at the door, and are 2/1 for tomorrow evening's performance at 8 p.m. Don't miss out on the pride this show has to offer.” Carolyn Flower, Publicist and Communications Specialist.

Sharman Yarnell on Facebook

“I saw this tonight as well - and I have to tell you that I felt a burst of love for this country of ours, CANADA. This is a heart-warming, charming one hour show with lovely visuals, and songs of Canada by Johnny de Young. Speaking to the miners of our country (have we forgotten them?), the native people, the Maritimes, the wheat fields of Saskatchewan - he plays a Ukrainian man searching for his wife throughout Canada. If you need a little reminding about how special this country is, how wide and culturally diverse it is, and how universal its music of world culture infests its being and holds it all together. It's on tomorrow night - last show!!!! Crowley Arts Centre.” Sharman Yarnell, radio broadcaster and host of “SHOWTIME”, CJAD Montreal.

Examiner, Montreal

Johnny Canuck (by Jovanka Bach) stars Mr. John DeYoung as a wandering troubadour who returns home from a nightclub engagement to find that his wife Beth has run off with another man. In Beth's farewell letter to Johnny, she asks him not to follow her, but Johnny is determined to win his wife back, so he leaves his dear daughter Lilly Sue with their Aunt Marie and begins a trek across Canada, in search of his wife. In this musical odyssey, the tale is told through song and story by Johnny Canuck. It's a one-man-show; detly illustrated with a series of backdrop projections showing all the clubs and locations that Johnny travels to in search of Beth. Many of the musical compositions are original pieces by John DeYoung (with lyrics by Jovanka Bach) while others are timeless folksongs that reflect various cultures and eras. As Johnny follows Beth's trail, he learns that she is being gravely corrupted by Bert (the other man) leading her down a dangerous path. Little by little, Johnny's rage escalates into thoughts of violence. He then procures a gun and plots Bert's demise and has to face himself in the process. “DeYoung is the heart and soul of this play...He is a charming performer with a strong stage presence and an enchanting voice. Paying close attention to his audience, he makes a lot of eye contact and feeds on the crowd” ~ The Independent, August 2011 New Mexico

Presently playing at the Crowley Arts Center, near the new MUHC, patrons can see a great play on a great stage. Nostagically historic, and historically nostalgic, this Canadian musical "rag" illustrates the grand search of a Canuck from sea to shining sea. Citing Canadian musical lore, we are brought into a piece of art that rolls us into a tale of social and national history, through the gift of narrative combined with guitar, a true Canuck "rag". Tickets are still available for Sunday's show! Crowley Arts Centre 5325, ave. Crowley, Montreal www.crowleyartscentre.org Continue reading on Examiner.com Johnny Canuck, a Maple Leaf Rag - Montreal event photography 

Review Vancouver


John Stark Productions
Johnny Canuck by Jovanka Bach

Dates and Venue 1 - 4 September 2011 at 8pm | Waterfront Theatre, 1412 Cartwright Street, Granville Island

Director John Stark Lighting & Multimedia Design Joe Morrissey

Reviewer John Jane


Johnny Canuck is a one-man-show written by the late Jovanka Bach and brought to the stage by her husband John Stark. Part revue and part musical odyssey, it’s a tale of an aging troubadour who returns home from life on the road to find a “Dear John” letter from his wife Beth. Our hero is baffled as to why Beth would desert him, so he leaves the couple’s 13-year-old daughter Lilly Sue with an Aunt and treks halfway across Canada in search of her.

The show’s narrative is driven by a combination of incidental dialogue and sixteen songs equally split between traditional Canadian folk tunes and original compositions by the playwright and the show’s only live performer, John DeYoung. Deyoung has a pleasant enough voice and generally does well with most of the songs that are sung and played in the same tempo; though he’s phrasing is forgivably lacking on Sans Ton Amour (without your love).

DeYoung enters onto the bare stage with a guitar slung over his shoulder, wearing blue jeans and a plaid shirt. Beth, who is never seen onstage, reads her note aloud whilst writing it on video. Throughout the show images intended to help the narration are projected onto a screen at rear-centre stage – some deliberately amusing, others more abstract.

Director/Producer John Stark, who only recently discovered his wife’s manuscript for the play, has obviously made the production a labour of love. He maintains a light touch but steady hand, allowing DeYoung to pace the 60-minute show. Chatting to Stark before the show, he comes across as quite a raconteur, ready with dozens of anecdotes available to anyone prepared to listen. One of his first acting gigs was as an extra in the original 1957 film 3:10 to Yuma, but don’t look for his name in the credits, his part was edited from the final cut.

Johnny Canuck premiered Experimental Theatre in Albuquerque, New Mexico last month. There were barely fifty people in the audience at Waterfront Theatre for its Canadian premiere – the show deserves much better than that.

© 2011 John Jane

The Independent - Edgewood, N.M.

Tijeras resident John DeYoung as Johnny CanuckThe Independent, Aug. 25, 2011, New Mexico

Telling a Sad Story with a Guitar and His Smile: Johnny Canuck

    By Tamara Bicknell

A musical theater show called Johnny Canuck was performed at the University of New Mexico's Experimental Theatre, with an old-fashioned air, using folk songs to tell the story.

The one-man show featured Tijeras singer and songwriter John DeYoung, who tells a sad story with his guitar and his smile. The story is about a man named Johnny, who has been left behind by his wife Beth. They have a young daughter, Lilly Sue, who gets left behind by both parents.

Johnny's songs describe his journey as a musician and his quest to gain back his wife's affection, with each (song) painting the picture a little more than the last. (The first song) "Lilly Sue" explains what happens to their daughter and describes his deep devotion to his kin. Other songs tell of his lost love and why she is lost.

The songs tell the audience a lot about Canadian living in another time. For example, one was called "Life in a Prairie Shack." The backdrop for the performance was provided by a movie screen on stage showing other characters and important locations in the story.

DeYoung is the heart and soul of this play; without his performance this one-man show would not be quite as enjoyable. He is a charming performer with a strong stage presence and an enchanting voice. Paying close attention to his audience, he makes a lot of eye contact and feeds on the crowd.

His songs sounded like original Canadian folk songs, and the program was the only way to tell they are contemporary and written by DeYoung. He also produced an album called Johnny Canuck, A Musical Play by Jovanka Bach: Soundtrack.

... The play premiered in Albuquerque and is headed to Vancouver, Canada next... to the Waterfront Theatre September 1-4. For more information about this production visit: www.johnstarkproductions.com 

The Ojai & Ventura View

HOW DO YOU FEEL by Joel Anderson John DeYoung recently posted a new song which will be on a new EP, hopefully to be released at the beginning of Summer. How Do You Feel, a great song with hauntingly rich guitar and lyrics to put a mellow spell on your scene….. whatever that might be. “I wrote that song with help from Steve Fulton in 2003. Steve and I go way back before our band The Dots….. So Steve was at my home and we were having a party… We were talking about people in other parts of the world being the way we are…. Because everyone has the same needs and wants, no matter where you are. We all want our needs met and to be loved and be fed and have a roof over our heads…. Somehow I said, ‘We’re here in the same way that they’re there’ and that’s how the lyrics came about,” said John. “We were jamming on guitars and I started playing some chords, and the song started to develop…. Then a few years later Steve and I and his son Taylor recorded the basic tracks - Steve playing bass and Taylor on drums….. They also sang a few backup vocals. I played all the guitar tracks. The song basically got shelved for a few years..... last week I pulled up the tracks and re-recorded the lead vocal and some percussion tracks and mixed that in too. Then I remixed it and posted it on myspace.” The Dots was an 80s new wave rock group in which John was a writer, singer, guitar and keyboard player, and Steve Fulton was the bass player. John has been writing, recording and performing music nearly all of his life, and played a variety of styles of music at various venues from small intimate clubs and private functions to concert stages. The Dots many performances included popular L.A. clubs such as Madam Wongs, FM Station, The Troubadour, and many more. They also opened for John Hyatt and “Missing Persons” at the Santa Barbara Bowl. From ‘96 to the present, John has opened for or shared concert stages with the likes of Maria Mckee, Marc Cohn, Arlo Guthrie, David Lindley, Jesse Colin Young, Debra Davis and others. Check out How Do You Feel and other songs posted on www.myspace.com/ johndeyoungandnakedhearts and also three albums at www.cdbaby.com/all/ johndeyoung The music is also available on iTunes, Napster, Rhapsody and many other Music Download sites.