Premieres Galore as the Music Theatre Season Blasts Off by Sarah B. Hood An astonishing number of new musicals launch in and around Toronto this month, some with unexpected themes and subjects, like old age, depression and duelling. From October 18 to November 18, Heinar Pillar Productions is launching a show called Wrinkles, subtitled "A New Musical Revue Where Age is the · Rage" at the Winter Garden. Pillar was Artistic Director of Neptune Theatre in Halifax and founded what is now the Grand Theatre in London before becoming chair of George Brown's well-thoughtof Theatre program. Now in his 6os, he's been making forays back into directing and producing again. This new project is a revue compilation of songs and sketches about the state of being so or older. Material comes from Canadian playwrights Norm Foster and David French, satirist Nancy White and a handful of other television and stage writers of note. As mentioned briefly last month, Workman Theatre Project is presenting a new musical called Joy from October 5 to 15. Based in the Joseph Workman Theatre of the Queen Street Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the company has produced a powerful series of theatre productions and related arts events about mental health. Often (and in this case) the performers are a combination of profes, sional actors and people who have lived with mental illness. Joy is about a woman nearing the age of 40 who must exami~e her life and her character to find the secrets of a sadness that does not seem to lie· in the circumstances of her comfortable, secure present life. It was written by Maja Ardal, the passionate and energetic former Artistic Director of Young Peoples Theatre. The music is by Joey Miller, who won a Dora Award for That Scatterbrain Booky, an adaptation of a popular series of children's books, in 1991. Excerpts from The Last Duel -- a brand-new opera -- will be performed on October 24 at Waiter Hall; a full production runs from November 2 to 5 at the MacMillan Theatre, also on the University of Toronto campus. Music is by Gary Kulesha and the libretto is by Michael Patrick Albano, while Raffi Armenian conducts. The subject is the last duel of honour that took place in Canada. I'll save a fuller discussion of Nostalgia for the November issue Gust in case the pickings aren't so good by then), but it's another 20 Wholenote OCTOBER 1, 2000 - NOVEMBER 7, 2000 Grease at the Elgh:i, with Rick Miller as Danny and Ma Anne Dionisio as Sandy. premiere of note. From November 1 to 4, Arrayn1usic presents a "premiere workshop" at Harbourfront of this new opera by composer Robert W. Stevenson. An hour west of Toronto, Hamilton's Theatre Aquarius presents the world premiere of On Albert Street from October 25 to November 11. It's a story about love and struggle in the lives of three Italian immigrant families living in Welland, Ontario in the period between the wars. Book and lyrics are by Maryjane Cruise, with music by Glenn Morley. Meanwhile, the world premiere of Brad Fraser and Joey Miller's Outrageous, discussed last month, continues at 26 Berkeley Street until October 21, while Buddies in Bad Times presents the Toronto premiere of When We Were Singing, a recent Vancouver musical about gay and straight urban life. Meanwhile, as the younger family members are settling back into the school year, the music theatre scene is presenting a number of good reasons to stay up late on a school night-- and maybe inspiration for a Hallowe'en costume or two. In case you 'haven't noticed, Grease has become a cult classic for the pre-teen set. Kids who literally weren't born when the show made its Broadway debut are as familiar with the Rydell High alumnae as they are with the other kids on their own block. A recent New York revival capitalized shamelessly on the birthday party crowd by run- - ning sos dance competitions and awarding dress-alike prizes onstage before mati. nees. My then-ten-year-old stepdaughter declared it to be totally cool. A new production coming to the Elgin Theatre goes a step further by incorporating some of the songs that were written for the movie version (the Olivia Newton-John ballad "Hopelessly Devoted to You" and the Newton-John/Travolta finale duet "You're The One That I Want"). Since most youngsters got to know the show through endless rewindings of the video version, this will be closer to their idea of how it should go. The squeaky-clean Sandy is played in this production by Ma Anne Dionisio, who was Toronto's first Miss Saigon. Bad-boy Danny Zuko is Rick Miller, who cut a swathe at this year's Edinburgh Festival with his own one-man show MacHomer, in which he performs Shakespeare's "Scottish Play" with the voices of the Simpsons characters. Rizzo is Katie Emme Mcininch, who played Mags Abernathy, the star of Global1V's popular Student Bodies. My sources tell me that Pokemon has peaked. You know longer have to tell Charmander from Pikachu or Meowth from Jigglypuff, but various business interests will be trying to ride the tail end of the phenomenon to the bank before it's completely sealed up in the cavern with the pet rocks and the mood rings. Pokl~mon - Live! is one such effort. It's a multimedia musical about the familiar human and monster characters of the Pokemon canon that runs at the Hummingbird Centre from October 18 to 22, with multiple matinees on most days. Members of the creative team have been chosen from other largesize theatre spectacles, like Radio City Music Hall's Christmas touring shows and The Lion King. . More to my own taste is a revival of the Broadway show You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown, based on the comic-strip characters of the recently deceased Charles M. Schultz. The energy went out of the strip some years ago, but it sustained huge popularity throughout several decades: initially for its softspoken, homespun, humorous wisdom, then fgr its 1V-special spinoffs; later for the insouciant madness of the beagle Snoopy, and so on. The musical dates from 1967, an early period of the comic strip:s history, when Lucy's psychiatry booth and her crush on the toy-piano-playing Schroeder, Linus' blanket, and the histrionics of feeding the dog were staple elements. A sweet, gentle production with some real laughs, the show opens on October 25 for what the producers no doubt hope will be a good long run at theN ew Yorker Theatre on Yonge Street. I'll be surprised if the show doesn't appeal to both kids and parents as much as it did when it was first produced.
· Ms1c THEATRE •!• LISTINGs: > ARRAYMUSIC. Nostalgia. Premiere October 12: 8:00; regular run begins October 25 Henry lngram & other perfonners. Gala benefit workshop production of opera by Robert W. [Indefinite run). Tuesday-Saturday: 8:00; concert. October 29:2:30. Jane Mallet! Theatre, Stevenson. Michael Donovan, Stuart Howe, Joel Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday: 2:00. New Yorker 27 Front St. East. 366·7723. . Katz, Shari Saunders & Eric Shaw, performers; • Theatre, 651 Yonge St. 872-1111. .50 to · > > Opera Ontario. Puccini· Madama Ryan Wagner, director. November 14: 8:00. du .50 (group rates). Butterfly. Cynthia Lawrence, Odette Beaupre, Maurier Theatre Centre, 231 Queens Quay West. > >Living Arts Centre Mississauga. forever Miguel Olano, John Avey & other performers; 9734000. ,. Plaid. Written, choreographed & directed by Stuart Hamilton Philhannonic Orchestra; Daniel Lipton, > > Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. When We Ross. Tribute to The Four Aces, The Four conductor. October 14,19 & 21: 8:00 at Great Well! Singing. Written, composed & directed by Freshmen, The Four lads. October 21: 2:00. Hall, Hamilton Place, 1 Summers lane, Hamilton; Dorothy Dittrich; Jennifer Rayner, Marc Richard, Hammerson Hall, 4141 Living Arts Drive. 905·306· October 27: 8:00 at The Centre in the Square, Paula Wolfson & Alison Woolridge, Performers. To 6000 .. -. Kitchener. 1·800-575·1381. -. Oct 15. T ues-Sat: 8:00; Sun: 2:30. 12 Alexander > >Living Arts Centre Mississauga. Godspell > > Roy Thomson Hall. Dracula: The Music St. 975·8555. ·, Tues & Sun: PWYC. Music & lyrics by Stephen Swartz. Nov 1& 2:7:30; and film. 1931 film classic with Bela lugosi; > > Burning Passions Theatre.fill!weeds: · Hammerson Hall, 4141 Living Arts Drive. 905·306· original music by Glass; Philip Glass & Kronos Women of the Yukon. Depicts life in the Yukon with 6000. -. Quartet, perfonners. November 7: 8:00. 60 a woman's perspective, from the time of the > > Mirvish Productions. Mamma Mia! Simcoe St. 8724255. to . Klondike Gold Rush to present-day. Written & Musical based on the songs of ABBA. Music & > > Roy Thomson Hall. Richard Margison. composed by Cathy Elliott; directed by laurel Smith. lyrics by Benny Andersson & Bjiim Ulvaeus; book tenor. Opera program of Puccini, Verdi & To October 7. Monday·Saturday: 8:00; Wednesday by Catherine Johnson; directed by Phyllida Lloyd. Massenet. Canadian Opera Company Orchestra; matinees: 1 :00; Saturday matinees: 2:00. Canadian To December 31. Tuesday · Saturday: 8:00; Richard Bradshaw, conductor. November 6: Stage Theatre Upstairs, 26 Berkeley St. 6514514. Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday: 2:00. Royal 8:00. 60 Simcoe St. 8724255 .. to . to ; Mondays & Sept. 13 preview: PWYC. Alexandra Theatre, 260 King St. West. 872 · 1 ~ 12. > > Scarlborough Music Theatre. Mame. > >Canadian Opera Company/Ray Thomson to 5. Music & lyrics by Jerry Hennan; book by Jerome Hall. Dmitri Hvorostovsky Gala Concert. Operatic > > Mirvish Productions. The lion King. Stage Lawrence & Robert E. lee. Nov. 24, 9-11, 16· favourites & world premiere film presentation Don musical of Disney's 1994 animated feature. To Apr 18: 8:00; Nov. 5 & 12: 2:00. Scarborough Giovanni: lepoll!llo's Revenge. Dmitri Hvorostovsky, 1. 2001. Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King St. Village Theatre, 3600 Kingston Rd. 3964049. baritone; Richard Bradshaw, conductor. October 27: W. 872-1212. to 5. , sr/st $,15 on Thursdays & Sundays. 8:00. 60 Simcoe St. 8724255. to . > >Music Theatre Mississauga. The Music > > Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra/Opera > > CDC. Smetana: The Bartered Bride. Eva Man. Music and lyrics by Meredith Willson. Based Atelier.lu//y's "Persee. Soloists and dancers of Urbanova, Miroslav Dvorsky, Benoit Boutet, Dean on a story by Meredith Willson and Franklin lacey. Opera Atelier, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Peterson & other performers; Paula Suoui, director; October 20, 21, 26, 27, 28: 8:00; October 22: Chamber Choir. Herv.e Niquet, conductor. Kenneth Montgomery, conductor. October 4.7: 2:00. Meadowvale Theatre, 6315 Montevideo Rd., October 28, November 2, 4: 8:00; October 29: 8:00; October 1: 2:00. HufTITlingbird Centre , 1 Mississauga. 905·821-0090. .50, .50. · 3:00. Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge St. 872-5555. Front St. East. 872-2262. to 5; to > > Dakville Centre for the Performing Arts. ·. (young person). Martin Oubti. Impressionist Martin Dube & his > >Theatre Aquarius. On Albert Street. > > COC. Verrfi." Dtello. Vladimir Bogachov, interactive musical guessing game. Oct. 22: 8:00. Books & lyrics by Maryjane Cruise;.music by Zveteflna Vassileva, Anita Krause & other 130 Navy St. Oakville. 905-815-2021. .99. Glenn Morley & Maryjane Cruise. Play with performers; Robin Phillips, director, Richard > > Opera in Concert. Tfte Carmen Project. music (world premiere). Previews October 25 & Bradshaw, conductor. October 3: 7:00; October 6: Favourite arias & choruses. Jean Stilwell, Sally 26; regular run October 27 to November 11. 190 8:00. HufTITlingbird Centre, 1 Front St. East. 872- Dibblee, Anthony Flynn, Guillenno Silva·Marin, King William St., Hamilton. 1·800465· 7529. 2262. to 5; to (young person). > > CanStage. Outrageous. Canadian musical. Book & lyrics by Brad Fraser & Joey Miller. To November 18. Mon.-Thurs.: 8:00; Friday 7:00 & '&' 11 :OOpm; Saturday: 3:00 & 8:00. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 368·3110. Q.(regular). > > Curtain Call Players. Anything Goes. Oct 12-14 & 19·21: 8:00; Ott 15:2:00.35 Fairview s·A if)y • .,,. 1 Mall Drive. 703-6181. $ Hi, (group rates). > > Douglas Rice Studio. Mozart: The PHOTOGRAPHY Impresario. Comic opera & other vocal music by Mozart. October 6 & 7: 8:00. Bloor Street United Church, 300 Bloor St. 922-3113. 0. > > Elgin Theatre. Grease. Rock & roll musical. fteaJshots To Del 22. 189 Yonge St. 872-5555. .50·. > > Hamilton Theatre Inc. Vety VaudeVille! October 13·15, 19-22, 26-28: 8:00; October 15: Croups 2:00. Studio Theatre, 140 MacNab St. North, Hamilton. 905·522-3032. . Orchestras > > Heinar Piller Productions. Wrinkles. Musical revue. Douglas Chamberlain, Corinne Conley, Gary Krawford, Denise Fergusson, Judy Marshak & Brian McKay, performers. Previews Oct 5-8: Brampton Heritage Theatre, 86 Main St. North. October 18 to November 18: Winter Garden Specializing in CD / Photography Theatre, 189 Yonge St. 872-5555. .50 to . > > Hummingbird Centre for the Performing Arts. Pokemon live! The Musical. October 18: 7:00; October 19: 1:30 & 7:00; October 20: 1 10:00am. 4:00 &"7:00; October 21: 11:00am. 4:00 Appointment 1 Consultation CALL & 7:30; October 22: 11 :OOam. 2:30 & 6:00. 1 Front St. East. 872-2262. .50 to .50. > > IMP Productions. You're a Good Man. 416-812-6701 Charlie Brown. The Broadway musical. Kevin Bowers, director; Neil Bartram, musical director; Charlotte Moore, Brian Sills, Cara leslie, Gab e · Desmond & other performers. Preview~ from Previews ·; regular ·. > > Tivoli Theatre. A Chorus line. October 11 2:00 & 8:00. Sanderson Centre, 88 Dalhousie Street, Brantford. 1-800·265·071 0. ,,( st/sr). > > Toronto Operetta Theatre. Prince Orlofsky's Gala Benefit Concert. Strauss: Die Fledennaus (abridged version); music of lehar, Romberg & Kern. Gisele Fredette, Kinga Mitrowska, Alexandra lennox, David Pomeroy, Bruce Kelly & Guillenno Silva-Marin, performers. October 22: 2:30. Jane Mallet! Theatre, 27 Front St. E. 366-7723. . > > University of Toronto Faculty of MusictMusicCanadaMusique 2000. The last Duel Opera with music by Kulesha; Michael Patrick Albano, librettist/director; Raffi Annenian, conductor. November 2,3.4: 8:00; November 5: 2:00. MacMillan Theatre, 80 Queen's Park. 978·3744. ,. > >University ofToronto Faculty of Music. The last Duel· A first-Hand look. Music by Gary Kulesha; libretto by Michael PatrickAibano; lain Scott, host. Excerpts from the new opera. October 24: 12:10. Waiter Hall, 80 Queen's Park. 978·3744. Free. > > University of Toronto/University of Western Ontario/Royal Conservatory of Music. John Cage: Europera 5. Darryl Edwards, tenor; lorna McDonald, soprano; Jack Behrens, piano; Noel Martin, vitrola; Daryl A. Chrichton, producer. November 4: 7:30. Ettore Mauoleni Concert Hall, 273 Bloor St. West. 408·2824 ext.321. ,. > >Workman Theatre Project. Joy· a Musical About Depll!ssion. Book by Maja Ardal; music & lyrics by Joey Miller; direction by Patricia Vanstone. October 5 to 15. 1001 Queen St. West. 5834606. , PWYC (limited income). OCTOBER 1, 2000 • NOVEMBER 7, 2000 W1olerbte