Stage Door News

Toronto: Crow’s Theatre presents Red Velvet by Lolita Chakrabarti November 22-December 18

Monday, October 24, 2022

Crow’s Theatre presents the Toronto premiere of Lolita Chakrabarti’s multi-award-winning play, RED VELVET, directed by Crow’s Theatre 2021 RBC Rising Star Emerging Director Prize recipient, Cherissa Richards, November 22 to December 18, 2002 in the Guloien Theatre.

London, 1833. No Black man has ever starred on a major London stage—not even as Othello—until tonight.

An imagined version of true events, RED VELVET transports audiences to the turbulent backstage world of London’s Theatre Royal in Covent Garden to tell the little-known story of Ira Aldridge, an African-American stage actor. As British Parliament debates the abolition of slavery, Aldridge prepares to make his entrance as Othello. His groundbreaking performance upends centuries of British stage tradition and changes the lives of everyone involved.

The audience is enamoured but the critics are not amused and the Theatre Royal is temporarily shut down. Despite this, Aldridge went on to build a stellar career with an impeccable reputation throughout Europe, but he never returned to a London stage again.

The star-studded cast includes Allan Louis (The Doctor’s Dilemma, Gem of the Ocean, Shaw Festival) as Ira Aldridge; Kyle Blair (Cyrano De Bergerac, Holiday Inn, Shaw Festival) as theatre manager Pierre Laporte; Ellen Denny (Life After, for which she received a Dora nomination for Outstanding Performance, Canadian Stage) as lead actress Ellen Tree; Starr Domingue (Dixon Road, The Musical Stage Company/Obsidian Theatre Company/Canadian Stage, Room, Mirvish Productions/Covent Garden Productions/ Grand Theatre) as Connie a domestic attendant; Nathan Howe (In The Wake of Wettlaufer, Cakewalk, Blyth Festival) as Casimir a stage hand and Henry Forrester an actor; Patrick McManus (Orphans for the Czar, Crow’s Theatre, An Octoroon, Shaw Festival) as Aldridge’s valet Terence, and as actor Bernarde Warde; Jeff Lillico (Sweeney Todd, Talk is Free Theatre, Fairview, Canadian Stage) as Charles Kean, the son of theatre star Edmund Kean; and Amelia Sargisson (Hamlet-911, Stratford Festival, Bad Jews, Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company) as the bright and ambitious Polish journalist Halina Wozniak, also as actress Betty Lovell, and wife of Ira Aldridge, Margaret Aldridge.

The award-winning creative team includes director Cherissa Richards (Assistant Director MixTape, Crow’s Theatre, Harlem Duet, Bard on the Beach); set and props designer Julie Fox (Uncle Vanya, MixTape, Crow’s Theatre); costume designer Ming Wong (Uncle Vanya, Orphans for the Czar, Crow’s Theatre); lighting designer Arun Srinivasan (MixTape, Crow’s Theatre, Where the Blood Mixes, Native Earth Performing Arts/Soulpepper); and sound designer Thomas Ryder Payne (Uncle Vanya, Orphans for the Czar, Crow’s Theatre).

A Crow’s Theatre production


Lolita Chakrabarti Playwright

Cherissa Richards Director

Julie Fox Set and Props Designer

Ming Wong Costumes Designer

Arun Srinivasan Lighting Designer

Thomas Ryder Payne Sound Designer

With Kyle Blair, Ellen Denny, Starr Domingue, Nathan Howe, Jeff Lillico,

Allan Louis, Patrick McManus, Amelia Sargisson

November 22 to December 18, 2022

Opening Night: Friday, November 25, 2022, at 7:30 pm

Guloien Theatre | Toronto Premiere

Ticket Prices*

Previews $45

Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at 7:30 pm $60

Wednesday matinees at 1:30 pm $50

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 7:30 pm $65

Saturday and Sunday matinee at 1:30 pm $60

Sunday Pay-What-You-Can matinee tickets available beginning at noon on the day of the performance

Group, student, senior, arts worker, and under-30 prices available

*All single tickets are subject to a $2.50 service fee and HST

To Purchase Tickets:

call 647.341.7390 ext. 1010

visit 345 Carlaw Avenue (at Dundas Street East) in person

Illustration: Ira Frederick Aldridge as Othello. © 1826 James Northcote.