Star of Rob Ford musical relieved audience was laughing

Despite concerns about how a musical comedy about Toronto's ailing mayor would be received at this time, a preview show got the laughs it was looking for, says the Saskatchewan-born star of Rob Ford the Musical: Birth of a Ford Nation.

"We had no idea how we would be received," Sheldon Bergstrom told CBC News the morning after the show. "We had the most wonderful audience. They laughed when we wanted them to. I'm still on Cloud 9, 12 hours later."

Show producers were thrown for a loop last week when the real Ford announced he had a tumour in his abdomen and, shortly after, dropped the bombshell that he was withdrawing from the mayor's race for 2016.

The show went ahead, although the writers had to make some adjustments, the Prince Albert-born Bergstrom said. 
"We had to make a few subtle changes," he said. "We want to have fun but like we said, we don't want to kick a person when he's down."

The show at Toronto's Factory Theatre runs until Sept. 28.

Ford was expected to provide an update on his medical condition Wednesday afternoon.
"We do our best at the end of the show to let the Fords know that we are thinking about them and sending them our thoughts and prayers and well wishes," Bergstrom said.