A total of six plays figure as highlights in the Royal Alexandra Theatre's 2000/2001 season. The schedule has just been announced by Royal Alexandra's David & Ed Mirvish, and the season comprises a variety of pieces, from classic farce to contemporary drama.
The season begins with the North American premiere of Mamma Mia! by Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Catherine Johnson. This new musical was originally produced -- and is still running -- in London. Based on the songs of the '70s rock sensation, ABBA, the show is said to have audiences dancing and singing in the aisles at every performance. This show runs May- Oct., following the theatre's current production, Enigma Variations starring Donald Sutherland and John Rubinstein.
Also scheduled at the Royal Alexandra Theatre this coming season are the following productions:
Barry Humphries' Dame Edna: The Royal Tour, which features delightful audience interaction. In this passive-aggressive whirlwind, comic genius Humphries holds forth as Dame Edna, society's leading "housewife, humanitarian, chanteuse, swami, adviser to British royalty, spin doctor and megastar." Popular with audiences in New York, Dame Edna's show cumulatively involves more audience members on stage than there are in the cast. (Nov. - Dec.)
Beginning the year in 2001 is Stones In His Pockets by Marie Jones, an Irish comedy about a Hollywood film crew invading a small village in County Kerry. Original Irish stars Conleth Hill and Sean Campion play local extras on the movie set -- as well as a lot of other characters -- who come to resent the way their country is stereotyped. (Jan. - Feb.) The Soulpepper Theatre Company will then present A Flea In Her Ear by Georges Feydeau. Written in 1907, this play has become something of a model for stage comedies and films. (Feb. - April).
Next is The Drawer Boy by Michael Healey, which involves a self absorbed urban actor researching country life, only to discover he is getting a much bigger lesson that he was looking for. This Canadian play recently earned the Governor General's Award for Drama. (April - June)
Finally, The Drowsy Chaperone by Lisa Lambert, Greg Morrison, Don McKellar and Bob Martin will be staged. This show spoofs old-time musicals and was a hit at Theatre Passe Muraille. (June - July)
The Royal Alexandra Theatre season is available on subscription. Prices for the entire six-show package range from $59 - $369. The Royal Alexandra Theatre is located at 260 King Street West in Toronto. To subscribe call (416) 593-4225 or (800) 771-3933 or visit www.mirvish.com.