The Stratford Festival has announced casting for next season, with heavy hitters in the two shows heading south to New York's City Center after the season closes (see story, Stratford Fest... in U.S. News).
Both Much Ado About Nothing and The Miser feature the powerhouse combination of Martha Henry and Bill Hutt, with Brian Bedford joining in for Much Ado as Benedick. In choosing older actors for the reluctant lovers, director Richard Monette is turning this Shakespeare script into a sunset, pastoral comedy, which could give the production an unusual poignancy.
Other casting highlights include Cynthia Dale as Helen Keller's teacher Annie Sullivan in The Miracle Worker and Dale as Aldonza, partnered by Juan Chioran as Don Quixote in the musical Man of La Mancha. Chioran is a sensual, gifted musical theatre performer and if the chemistry between them is right, this could be a heart-breaking version of the impossible dream.
Tom McCamus and Stephen Ouimette get to reprise their inspired performances in Beckett's Waiting For Godot and then they both turn to Shakespeare's Julius Caesar as Marcus Brutus and Cassius, respectively. Benedict Campbell gets Mark Antony with dad Douglas Campbell directing.
Director Antoni Cimolino tackles Tennessee Williams' steamy Night Of The Iguana and faces the challenge of replacing memories of the film with Lally Cadeau, Pat Collins, Geordie Johnson and Bill Needles. And while actress Diana Leblanc directs her life-long friend Martha Henry again in Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, Brian Bedford puts on the director's hat for Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale.
The Stratford Festival season opens June 1. For ticket information and a brochure call: 1-800-567-1600.
By Mira Friedlander