Stage Door News

Barrie: Talk Is Free Theatre presents a reading of Shaw’s “Heartbreak House” with Len Cariou and Ed Asner

Monday, February 22, 2021

Today, Artistic Producer Arkady Spivak announced Dinner à la Art, a brand-new community partnership project, that will bring five exclusive, online readings with iconic Canadian and international artists to homes around the world from April 7 to 11, 2021.

The first reading is Heartbreak House by George Bernard Shaw and directed by Richard Ouzounian to be streamed on April 7, 2021 at 7pm.  This this one-time event will star Tony Award winner Len Cariou, best known for his portrayal of ‘Sweeney Todd’ in the original cast of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Film, Television and Stage icon Ed Asner. TIFT alumni and star of Royal Canadian Air Farce Craig Lauzon, Stratford and Shaw Festivals leading actor Alexis Gordon and star of TIFT’s internationally acclaimed The Curious Voyage Michael Torontow.  The cast also includes Cynthia Dale, best known for her role as lawyer Olivia Monk in Street Legal and multiple seasons at the Stratford Festival. Joining the cast is Nicole Joy-Fraser, who has performed on West End and across Canada, and debuted her one-person production as part of TIFT’s Plural of She festival last summer.

Four additional works and names of other acclaimed artists will be announced every two days starting February 26, 2021. Please follow Talk Is Free Theatre’s social media channels for updates.

Play readings for Dinner à la Art were selected and curated by Richard Ouzounian.

An important component of this project is to stimulate economic recovery of the region’s hardest hit, privately owned restaurants and retailers. Admission to any of the Dinner à la Art readings will be with the purchase of a meal or a gift card (a $30 CAD minimum). Purchased meals and gift cards can also be donated to a stranger by each participating restaurant.

This project was conceived to bring Simcoe County’s best elements of entertainment, fine dining, and local merchandise together for a unique, community-inspired event.

How it works

Please visit TIFT’s website to see all participating restaurants (dine-in, take-out, and delivery options are available) and retailers. The purchase of $30 CAD or more to any of the participating businesses, an access code will be provided by the chosen outlet to receive a complimentary link from TIFT.  
For more information, please click HERE.
All purchases must be made through the participating restaurant or retailer of choice. After the purchase is made, an access code will be provided by the restaurant and a link to the reading will be provided by Talk Is Free Theatre.


Dinner à la Art runs March 24 to 28, 2021 and includes five exclusive online readings featuring iconic Canadian and international stars of stage and screen.  
Talk Is Free Theatre is thrilled to announce the first reading as part of Dinner à la Art.

April 7, 2021
Ed Asner, Len Cariou, Cynthia Dale,
Alexis Gordon, Nicole Joy-Fraser,
Craig Lauzon,
Michael Torontow

By George Bernard Shaw, Directed by Richard Ouzounian

What happens when socialites, tycoons and drifters collide in the British countryside on the eve of World War I? Shaw's Heartbreak House is a comedy that weaves together the deceptive nature of the ruling class, love triangles, and the fine line between order and catastrophe.  -~Running time is 85 minutes~

Technical Requirements

  • A valid email address.
  • A good internet connection.

For more information about Dinner à la Art, please click HERE.