The Vancouver Playhouse will celebrate its 35th anniversary season with a world-premiere and a new artistic director.
Glynis Leyshon joins the Playhouse as artistic director after 11 seasons as artistic director at Victoria's Belfry Theatre. Long associated with the Playhouse, Leyshon directed the Canadian premiere of Three Tall Women there in 1996 and is a graduate of the Playhouse Acting School. Other recent directing credits include this summer's The Children's Hour at the Shaw Festival and Toronto's Tarragon Theatre production of Mrs. Klein.
The season opens Sept. 15 with 2 Pianos, 4 Hands, the hit show's final Canadian run before opening at the Promenade Theatre in New York in October. 2 Pianos, 4 Hands is the story of two men and how they became concert pianists. Written and performed by Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt, the show is being rebuilt in Vancouver for its New York run. Gloria Muzio will direct with lighting design by Tharon Musser, and set and costumes by Steve Lucas. The production runs through Oct. 11.
The world premiere of The Overcoat, conceived and directed by Morris Panych and Wendy Gorling and produced in association with Studio 58, opens Oct. 20 and runs through Nov. 15. Based on the Nikolai Gogol short story of the same name, The Overcoat will use dance and music to follow the transformation of an everyman when a very special overcoat enters his possession. Peter Anderson will star in one of largest casts ever at the Playhouse, including 10 senior students from Studio 58.
Leyshon will direct Terrence McNally's A Perfect Ganesh, starring Nicola Cavendish and Patti Allan. A co-production with Winnipeg's Manitoba Theatre Centre, A Perfect Ganesh follows two housewives on a life-changing journey as they search for the perfect souvenir statue of the Hindu god Ganesha. Opens Nov. 24 and runs through Dec. 20. Winnipeg playwright Maureen Hunter's Atlantis opens Jan. 5 and runs through Jan. 31, starring Gina Wilkinson. Leyshon directs this contemporary story of a Canadian man with a past and his love affair with a Greek woman with mystical powers, on the island of Santorini.
Starring Goldie Semple, Allan Gray and Jennifer Clement, George Bernard Shaw's Mrs. Warren's Profession opens Feb. 9 and runs through March 7. Leyshon directs this classic drama about a daughter who discovers her mother once operated a brothel. A co-production with Edmonton's Citadel Theatre.
The season closes with actor, comedian and now playwright Steve Martin's comedy, Picasso at the Lapin Agile. Martin sets young Einstein and Picasso comparing ideas and ideals in a Paris bistro late at night. Alex Ferguson and David Storch star as Picasso and Einstein. A co production with London, ON's Grand Theatre, Picasso at the Lapin Agile opens March 16 and runs through April 11.
For tickets or more information call (604) 873-3311 or call TicketMaster at (604) 280-3311 for single tickets.
--By Laura MacDonald