Canadian Stage Company's 1998 Berkeley St. season is showcasing three Canadian premieres and one fresh look at a Russian classic.
First, at the end of this month, comes Colleen Murphy's new play Beating Heart Cadaver, a Necessary Angel presentation. This dark comedy is about a car crash that paralyses a man, kills his daughter and leaves his wife heartbroken. Into this hideous situation, Murphy injects a tenacious grandmother, a brother suspected of being a member of the IRA, the ghost of the dead daughter and the pathological president of the group "Parents of Young Accident Victims of Canada." Intriguingly, this show is being billed as entertaining.
Next is a collective creation by the artists of the wacky and always inventive Theatre Columbus. Leah Cherniak, Oliver Dennis, Maggie Huculak, Robert Morgan and Martha Ross have joined forces with playwright Sean Dixon to create The Betrayal, a comedy about a happy marriage thrown into chaos over an affair. It previews March 17.
In April the iconoclastic team of Daniel Brooks and Daniel McIvor unleash their newest collaboration, Monster. It's the third in an award-winning series that includes House and Here Lies Henry. In Monster we follow a partly comic, partly horrifying story of teenage revenge, as McIvor performs a series of overlapping characters.
And finally, in May, Theatre Columbus and Theatre Smith Gilmour combine forces to take a new look at Chekhov's Cherry Orchard. The production will offer "tumbles, flying galoshes, tear, squashed hats, squeaky shoes and departures," all within Chekhov's marriage of comedy and tragedy. The season:
Beating Heart Cadaver (Jan. 22 - Feb. 7)
The Betrayal (Mar. 17 - April 4)
Monster (Apr. 21 - 25)
The Cherry Orchard (May 13-30)
Canadian Stage Berkeley St. Box Office: 416-368-3110.
----By Mira Friedlander