Stage Door News
London: The Grand Theatre announces its 2020/21 season
Monday, March 9, 2020
The Grand Theatre is thrilled to announce its 2020/2021 Season. Running from September 2020 to May 2021, it is a season that includes a grand re-opening of refreshed and updated lobby spaces, performances in ten venues that span both our city and the country, partnerships with Neptune Theatre and Shaw Festival, and the return of a record-breaking, made-in-London production.
It will be a season of what Artistic Director Dennis Garnhum describes as “a highly-eclectic journey to unexpected and unexplored territory. The Grand will be in ten different venues across the country. You will see us in places you would never expect—from a circus tent, to a coffee shop, from intimate studio theatres, to the largest national stages—it is a season of bold and exciting theatre that we are proud to present.”
HIGH SCHOOL PROJECT
September 10 - 20, 2020
Opening Night September 11, 2020
Off-site at the Western Fair – during the Fair!
Music by Cy Coleman
Lyrics by Michael Stewart
Book by Mark Bramble
Directed and choreographed by Cameron Carver
Musical Direction by Andrew Petrasiunas
"Barnum's the name. PT. Barnum. And I want to tell you that you are going to see—bar none—every sight, wonder, and miracle that name stands for!" Barnum traces the career of America's greatest (and highly controversial) showman from 1835 to the year he joined with James A. Bailey to form The Greatest Show on Earth. Step right up to witness jugglers, clowns and all the spectacle of the circus including Jumbo, the largest elephant in the world as well as real life personalities including Jenny Lind, and General Tom Thumb. Barnum’s his name, and miracles are his game!
What’s the best way to experience this musical performed with all of the wonder and spectacle of the circus? Easy. In partnership with the Western Fair, and featuring our talented high school students, we’ll join forces under one spectacular circus tent for a one-in-a-lifetime theatre experience. Come to the fair (literally) and witness the talent of tomorrow with us!
Neptune Theatre’s Production of
THE EAST COAST KITCHEN PARTY
October 13 - 31, 2020
Opening Night October 16, 2020
Conceived and created by Jeremy Webb and Ian Sherwood
Directed by Laura Caswell
Celebrate a Maritime tradition! The East Coast Kitchen Party offers an authentically Nova Scotian experience. It’s a concert celebration set in a kitchen, where the instruments come out, and friends start to play—kick back as we toast some of the best music that the East Coast has to offer. Each performance will see the stunning cast of Maritimers joined by our very own local London, Ontario musicians, who will drop in to the kitchen to give it a very local flavour. This is the perfect opportunity to grab your friends and family, raise a glass, and celebrate a new season in our fantastic newly-renovated theatre.
We will invite a rotating group of performers from our city to not only join the show–immediately following the performance our local artists will keep the party going in our newly created Drewlo Lounge to christen it in the best way possible.
WHAT'S UP DAD? AND OTHER DANGEROUS QUESTIONS
Special Workshop Presentation under the COMPASS New Play Development Program
October 27, 28, 30, 31, 2020
Join Gavin Crawford, host of CBC Radio’s Because News, as he takes on this one-person, multi-character show about living in these divisive times—from the standpoint of a gay lefty and his redneck, Wexit father. This production, workshopped through the Grand’s COMPASS New Play Development, will open the Auburn Stage in this limited five-show engagement.
USER NOT FOUND
November 17 - December 5, 2020
Opening Night November 18, 2020
Offsite at CommonWealth Coffee Co. – right across the street!
By Dante or Die
Written by Chris Goode
Directed by Daphna Attias
You enter CommonWealth Coffee Co. and receive a set of headphones and a smartphone. Several tables away, a man is grappling in real time with something deeply private. Questions arise: what happens to your online presence after you’re gone? If there were a magic button, would you choose to delete your online history? User Not Found is about our digital lives after we die. Become a fly-on-the-wall to peer into the life of a man in this intimate and funny live performance about a stranger’s profound experience. This is a story that gently interrogates our emotional dependence on our screens.
This incredibly original production is only performed in coffee shops. I am delighted that the theatre company Dante or Die will travel from England, and set up shop across the street from our theatre. It’s a play that the New Yorker recently called “quite touching...in more ways than one."
November 24 - December 27, 2020
Opening Night November 27, 2020
Book by Thomas Meehan
Music by Charles Strouse
Lyrics by Martin Charnin
Directed by Dennis Garnhum
Leapin’ lizards! The world’s best-loved musical is coming to London for the holidays!
With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie charms everyone's hearts despite her next-to-nothing start in Depression-era New York City. Forced to live in an orphanage run by the embittered and tyrannical Miss Hannigan, Annie’s hard knock life is turned upside-down when she escapes to the wondrous world of NYC—and to a fairy tale holiday with famous billionaire industrialist, Oliver Warbucks. Featuring fun-filled adventures, Annie is the perfect family-friendly musical for the holidays.
Annie began life as a comic strip in the 1920’s and features an 11 year old girl who is a great inspiration to everyone she meets. It became a Broadway sensation in the 1970s. I look forward to directing this gorgeous musical, and I’ll be using my 11 year old daughter as inspiration as I work. Annie’s right: the sun will come out tomorrow.
IN THE WAKE OF WETTLAUFER
Jan 19 - 31, 2021
Opening Night January 22, 2021
By Kelly McIntosh and Gil Garratt
Directed by Megan Watson
Featuring R. H. Thomson
Set in London, Ontario, this play centers around a group of siblings who realizes that the care home where their father has been placed is the same one where Nurse Elizabeth Wettlaufer committed multiple murders. Troubled by the court’s findings, but galvanized by the love of family, the siblings try to understand how all of this could happen. Created with compassion from interviews with some of those most closely affected, this play asks: can our community can ever be the same? A hard-hitting, but life-affirming story of compassion, family, and hope for change.
This play premiered at the Blyth Festival and boldly addresses the true story about this tragedy that happened nearby in Woodstock. When I first saw this play, I knew that I was in the presence of a great new work. It left me devastated, uplifted, angry, and inspired all at once. I can’t stop thinking about it.
SEXUAL MISCONDUCT OF THE MIDDLE CLASSES
February 2 - 13, 2021
Opening Night February 4, 2021
by Hannah Moscovitch
Directed by Diana Donnelly
An author and star professor, wracked with self-loathing after a third divorce, catches himself admiring a student—a girl in a red coat. It turns out that the girl is a huge fan of his work. She also lives just down the street and gets locked out one afternoon…
The latest work from acclaimed Canadian playwright Hannah Moscovitch, Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes takes an archetypal scenario, the “student-teacher romance”, and turns it on its head, re-envisioning it for our post-#MeToo era.
It’s a dangerous play—and you will know exactly why as you witness the story unfold—and notice how intense your reactions are. This extraordinary playwright soars again.
Shaw Festival's Production of
CYRANO DE BERGERAC
February 16 - March 6, 2021
Opening Night February 19, 2021
Translated and adapted by Kate Hennig
By Edmond Rostand
Starring Tom Rooney
Directed by Chris Abraham
Cyrano de Bergerac is a swashbuckling 17th century swordsman who can do anything…except tell Roxane, the woman he loves, how he feels. He’s just too self-conscious about his unusually large nose. Roxane is in love with words, so when Cyrano is offered the chance to ghostwrite love letters to her from an inarticulate, love-struck cadet, he takes it—but can he ever reveal himself? Could she ever love him for who he is? A breathtaking tale about the exquisite torture of loving from afar, for anyone who has ever stood beneath a window.
This Shaw Festival production was a major hit of the 2019 season. It’s an honour to have this entire production tour here. It’s the festival at its best—a contemporary translation, stellar direction, beautiful costumes and scenery, and some incredibly fine actors visiting our stage with one of the most romantic stories ever told.
BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND
March 17 - April 10, 2021
Opening Night March 18, 2021
Book by Joe Masteroff
Based on the play by John Van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood
Music by John Kander
Lyrics by Fred Ebb
Directed by Dennis Garnhum
“Wilkommen, bienvenue, welcome.” Follow Sally Bowles downstairs once again as she navigates the nightclub underworld of Berlin on the edge of fascism. Be drawn into the excesses and decadence of a time where everything was possible—until it wasn’t. Returning to the Grand Theatre after its sell-out run in 2019, Cabaret will see the Auburn Stage transformed once more into the gritty and intimate Kit Kat Club. “Come to the cabaret”—if you dare.
We sold out a six week run the first time we presented Cabaret—and it is so popular that we’re taking it on a national tour across Canada. We’ve included a return visit to the Grand because you never know what will happen on any given night at our Cabaret. Immerse yourself all over again and share in the celebration of one of the greatest musicals ever.
From the creator of HAMILTON
IN THE HEIGHTS
March 23 - April 10, 2021
Opening Night March 26, 2021
Music and Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Book by Quiara Alegria Hudes
Conceived by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Before Hamilton took over the world, there was In the Heights, Lin-Manuel Miranda's exuberant portrait of Manhattan's Latinx community in the neighbourhood of Washington Heights. Winner of a Grammy and four Tony Awards, the musical follows a cast of characters from three generations, all of whom dream, hope, and work for a bright future in changing times. Blending salsa, merengue, soul, hip-hop, and rap music, In the Heights is a dazzling display of Miranda’s songwriting talents that will win you over with its life-affirming story and hot tunes.
Lin-Manuel Miranda is the most celebrated musical theatre creator currently on the planet. We are so thrilled that we have secured the rights to present a made-in-London version of his earlier Broadway hit. When I saw it in New York, I was enveloped in the warmth of this thrilling, refreshing music. I remember thinking how excited I was to imagine what he would write next...
Kidoons in association with Theatre Calgary and the 20K Collective presents
April 20 - May 8, 2021
Opening Night April 23, 2021
Written, Directed and Performed by Rick Miller
Picking up where Boom left off—at Woodstock in 1969—Boom X tackles the music, culture, and politics of Generation X. Surrounded by stunning visuals, Rick Miller plays more than 100 famous people—musicians, celebrities, politicians—in his own story of growing up and trying to navigate the tangled legacy of the Baby Boom.
I remember sitting in a restaurant talking to Rick about his new show Boom many years ago. I programmed the premiere and it took off and has been touring the world for years now, including a wildly successful stop at the Grand. This is his follow up piece, and again we’ll see Rick doing what Rick does best.
JEANS ‘N CLASSICS
Peter Brennan’s Jeans ’n Classics presented by VersaBank returns with a brand new five-concert series performing the best of rock and pop.