Canadian Stage Company has announced a season strong in Canadian revivals and anniversary celebrations.
The country's largest not-for-profit theatre company is offering six Canadian plays, three of them developed by its own New Play Development wing: The Norbals, which premieres at the 875-seat Bluma Appel Theatre, is a comedy by Brian Drader, about a family in the throes of a Christmas crisis. Both Something Else, the latest offering by horror clowns Mump and Smoot and Man's Guide to Loving Women, by Andrew Moodie, will play at the 250-seat 26 Berkeley Street Theatre (Downstairs).
The really exciting news is the 20th anniversary production of John Gray and Eric Peterson's Billy Bishop Goes To War, the musical story of the most celebrated flying ace of World War 1, which toured Canada and Broadway to huge acclaim when it was first produced. The original production starred its writers and will do so again.
Michel Tremblay's popular Les Belles Soeurs, which has had several incarnations over the years in Ontario, including a hit version at the Stratford Festival, joins a remount of The Stone Angel, a stage adaptation by James Nicol of Margaret Laurence's novel. It's the same version that played Theatre Passe Muraille twice in recent seasons.
Two off-Broadway, New York shows head north. The first is Paula Vogel's How I Learned To Drive, a haunting and complex story of abuse, the second is Moises Kaufman's Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, an off-Broadway hit named one of the top two plays of 1997 by The New York Times. Billy Bishop Goes To War, September 24 to October 31; The Norbals, November 12 to December 12; How I Learned To Drive, January 7 to February 6; The Stone Angel, February 18 to March 20; Les Belles Soeurs, April 1 to May 1; Gross Indecency:The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, June 25 to September 6; Something Else, January 14 to February 14; A Common Man's Guide to Loving Women, March 31 to May 2. Single tickets for Canadian Stage Company's season go on sale September 8, 1998. Subscriptions are now available by calling 416-368-3110.
By Mira Friedlander