Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience, the witty musical tweaking of Oscar Wilde and his set, opens in a concert revival at the Stratford Festival's Avon Theatre July 28.
The comic operettas of G&S were huge hits for Stratford in the 1980s and prefigured the Ontario company's recent tradition of staging American musicals there. This is the first staging of Patience at the festival.
The operetta concerns two fashionably affected poets who become romantic rivals. Brian Hill makes his Stratford directorial debut, and Berthold Carriere is music director. Designers are Douglas Paraschuk (scenic), Renee Brode (lighting) and Peter McBoyle (sound).
The company includes Lesley Andrew, Craig Ashton, Barbara Barsky, Bruce Dow, Darcy Evans, Michael Fawkes, Barbara Fulton, Jonathan Goad, Christina Gordon, Paul Guitard, Kirk Hansen, Lisa Horner, Robin Hutton, Gerald Isaac, Kim Jamieson, Fred Love, George Masswohl, Marc McNamara, Tracy Michailidis, Steve Ross, Karen Skidmore, Eileen Smith, Reid Spencer, Theresa Tova, Jennifer Waiser and Amy Walsh.
Previews began July 11. Performance continue to Oct. 13. *
Patience is part of the Stratford Festival's "Wilde Celebration" that includes The Importance of Being Earnest; a new play about Wilde's lover, Lord Alfred Douglas, Oscar Remembered; and readings and panel discussions. The year marks the 100th anniversary of playwright poet-essayist-novelist Wilde's death.
July 28 is also the day Uta Hagen and Lorca Simons open in Collected Stories at Stratford's Tom Patterson Theatre, to September 2. They recreate their Off-Broadway roles under the direction of William Carden.
For Stratford information, call (800) 567-1600.
-- By Kenneth Jones