The Last of the Mohicans, a new musical based on the popular James Fenimore Cooper novel, will not begin performances July 23 at Toronto's St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts' Bluma Appel Theatre, as previously announced. The production has been postponed owing to financing problems, according to a production spokesperson, but "we are confident it will be back on the boards in the not-so-distant future," possibly before the end of the year.
Last of the Mohicans, the second of the "Leatherstocking Tales," is set during the French and Indian Wars in which Native Americans, the French and the British fought for control of the American colony. Alice and Cora Munro, trying to rejoin their British commander father, are thwarted by Magua, a Huron leader allied with the French. Magua, in turn, is besieged by the heroic Natty Bumpo (aka Leatherstocking or Hawk-eye), Uncas, the last of the Mohicans, and his father Chingachgook.
Composer Julian Ronnie and lyricist-bookwriter Paul Miller are the team behind the musical. David Taylor directs with Daniel Ezralow as the choreographer. Jerome Sirlin will design the show, which will incorporate three-dimensional projections.
Miller stresses that special attention is being paid to the Native American musical. Members of the Cherokee, Tuscarora, Lumbee and Iroquois tribes have all given their support for the book and music and a Native American consultant, Ray Littleturtle, has been added to the show's staff.
The Last of the Mohicans is on the web at http://www.mohicans.com. *
The Bluma Appel Theatre houses the Canadian Stage Company and saw the world premiere of Kiss of the Spider Woman.
-- By Christine Ehren