Stage Door News
Niagara-on-the-Lake: Previews for the Shaw Festival’s 60th season begin in April and May
Wednesday, April 20, 2022
The Shaw Festival’s 60th season continues with performances of the romantic musical comedy Damn Yankees, psychological thriller Gaslight and surreal tour de force Too True to Be Good. All three shows will begin welcoming audiences to preview performances in the coming days and weeks.
After a two-year absence, the season’s mainstage musical returns to the Festival Theatre. Brian Hill directs Damn Yankees, with musical direction by Paul Sportelli and choreography by Allison Plamondon. Shane Carty as Joe Boyd, James Daly as Joe Hardy, Patty Jamieson as Meg Boyd, Mike Nadajewski as Mr. Applegate and Kimberley Rampersad as Lola are joined by a cast featuring Andrew Broderick, Peter Fernandes, J.J. Gerber, Élodie Gillett, Gabrielle Jones, Graeme Kitagawa, Caitlyn MacInnis, Allison McCaughey, Kevin McLachlan, Drew Plummer, Alana Randall, David Andrew Reid, Ric Reid, Jade Repeta, Adam Sergison, Olivia Sinclair-Brisbane, Taurian Teelucksingh, Jacqueline Thair, Jay Turvey and Kelly Wong.
Damn Yankees has set and costume designed by Cory Sincennes, lighting designed by Mikael Kangas, sound designed by John Lott and magic and illusions designed by Skylar Fox. Beatrice Campbell leads the stage management team of Annie McWhinnie and Melania Radelicki.
The devilishly clever riff on the Faustian legend, with words and music by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, book by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop and based on the novel The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant by Douglass Wallop; begins previews April 23 and is eligible for review beginning May 19 at The Shaw’s flagship theatre. Recommended for audiences of 12+, it has a running time of approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes, with one intermission.
Over at the Royal George Theatre, Kelli Fox returns to the Shaw Festival to direct the world premiere of Gaslight by Johnna Wright and Patty Jamieson – a reimagining of Patrick Hamilton’s play Angel Street. This dark tale of manipulation and deceit features Julie Lumsden as Bella Manningham, Kate Hennig as Elizabeth, Julia Course as Nancy and André Morin as Jack.
The creative and production team for Gaslight includes set and costume designer Judith Bowden, lighting designer Kimberly Purtell, composer and sound designer Gilles Zolty, stage manager Amy Jewell and assistant stage manager Leigh McClymont.
Gaslight begins previews May 4 and is available for review beginning May 19. It has a running time of 2 hours and 35 minutes, with one intermission, and is recommended for audiences 14+.
Director Sanjay Talwar brings his production of Bernard Shaw’s fantastical tragicomedy Too True to Be Good to the Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatre – the first time a Shaw play has ever been presented in this space. This bizarre and brilliant journey from the depths of the original Shavian mind features Martin Happer as Sergeant Fielding, Marla McLean as the Nurse, Donna Soares as the Patient and Graeme Somerville as the Burglar, with Neil Barclay, Patrick Galligan, Travis Seetoo, Jonathan Tan and Jenny L. Wright.
The 2022 production of Too True to Be Good features movement direction by Alexis Milligan, set designed by Sue LePage, costume designed by Joyce Padua, lighting designed by Nick Andison and original music and sound designed by John Gzowski. The production team includes stage manager Dora Tomassi and assistant stage manager Meghan Froebelius.
Due to COVID-19 related delays, previews for Too True to Be Good have been rescheduled to begin on May 18; however, the show will still be available to review beginning May 26. Sponsored by the William and Nona Macdonald Heaslip Foundation and the Gabriel Pascal Memorial Fund, Too True to Be Good is recommended for audience members 12+ and has a running time of 2 hours and 40 minutes with two intermissions.
The Shaw Festival’s 2022 season runs through to December 23, with a playbill featuring Damn Yankees, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Doctor’s Dilemma, Cyrano de Bergerac, Gaslight, Chitra, Just to Get Married, This is How We Got Here, Too True To Be Good, Everybody, August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean, Fairground, Shawground, A Short History of Niagara, a series of outdoor concerts and events, A Christmas Carol and Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. Tickets are available through the Box Office at 1-800-511-SHAW and online at www.shawfest.com.
Despite the easing of COVID-19 measures, The Shaw will continue to require the use of masks in all theatres and spaces until May 23. This decision is done out of an abundance of caution for company members and patrons. The Shaw’s Duty of Care remains in place. While these measures include a commitment to ensuring the health and safety of audiences, company members and communities, there remains an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 in any public place where people congregate. The Festival continues to work closely with public health experts to ensure all necessary and reasonable precautions are being met to reduce the chances of exposure; however, patrons are encouraged to take what precautions they deem necessary to protect themselves and others, such as not attending any performance if they are presenting any COVID-19 symptoms.
Photo: Shane Carty. © 2021.