Stage Door News
Petrolia: The Victoria Playhouse Petrolia opens its 2022 season on May 10
Wednesday, February 23, 2022
The Victoria Playhouse Petrolia is calling it a season worth waiting for.
The theatre’s six shows – slated to run from May to October – are the same productions it was ready to present in 2020 when the pandemic arrived and that season was postponed.
That delay ended up stretching over two seasons, but the outlook for the coming months is promising for live theatre’s return to Petrolia.
“We moved all six shows to this season,” co-artistic director David Hogan said. “If you have a ticket for 2020, they’re valid in 2022.”
Many patrons held on to their tickets from 2020, so a “small but mighty” crew at the playhouse is reaching out by email and phone to confirm new dates for their shows with the aim of matching their original tickets as closely as possible, Hogan said.
“If you bought the first Tuesday of the show, that’s your day and your seat,” he added.
The theatre located in Petrolia’s Victoria Hall is expected to be able to operate at full capacity when the season begins in May, but Hogan said playhouse members are watching for any changes in provincial public health rules.
“We’re just going to take it day by day and be as positive was we can,” he said. “We want everyone to be healthy and safe, as well as entertained.”
Live audiences returned for shows last fall and the recent holiday season at the playhouse.
“Everyone felt safe and comfortable,” Hogan said. “Everyone enjoyed themselves and they came and we were successful. We’re moving on. We’re forging ahead.
“We’re going to be as optimistic as we can but we’re also going to abide by the guidelines.”
Most cast members from 2020 are expected to return this year, including Emmy winner Michael Learned who is starring in On Golden Pond in July, Hogan said.
Well-known local fiddler Jesse Grandmont, who has recently been performing in Dubai, will return for the show, When Irish Eyes are Smiling, in September and October.
“We have lost a few people because of other opportunities or they pivoted out of theatre … but the majority are coming back,” he said, “so we’re thrilled.”
The season opens in May with The Roaring Twenties set on New Year’s Eve in 1929.
The show celebrates music from that decade and is “chock filled with great songs,” Hogan said.
It will be followed in June by the musical-comedy variety show, Dynamic Duos, about well-known duos, including Sonny and Cher, Abbott and Costello, George and Gracie, and the Captain and Tennille.
On Golden Pond follows in July with Learned, who is well-known for her role in the 1970s television show The Waltons.
“She loves Victoria Playhouse, loves Petrolia,” Hogan said.
Learned has appeared in Petrolia and Sarnia productions of Driving Miss Daisy and Love Letters.
The first show in August is Divine Women, celebrating “the great women” of music, Hogan said.
“It’s a song-driven, storytelling show.”
It will be followed that month by Wingfield Lost and Found, the seventh and final chapter in the popular Wingfield Farm series starring Rod Beattie.
“We’re excited to have that,” Hogan said.
When Irish Eyes are Smiling is the season’s “big band show – our party show,” running in September and October, Hogan said.
“We’re going to celebrate Irish music with all our (playhouse) favourites,” he said about the show’s cast.
Christmas shows are also planned for November and December.
Tickets for the 2022 season can also be purchased online at thevpp.ca or by calling the box office at 1-800-717-7694.
By Paul Morden for www.stratfordbeaconherald.com