Ontario's Shaw Festival will spotlight The Millionairess as its mainstage Bernard Shaw work in the 2001 season, the company announced Sept. 26. The 2001 season continues the troupe's recent tradition of presenting plays by Shaw and his contemporaries as well as works about that period. Thus, the company will present the 1986 Broadway musical, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, inspired by a Dickens tale, on the stage of the music-hall-like Royal George Theatre. The jewelbox Royal George is one of three venues for the famous festival in Niagara on-the-Lake, Ontario, a half hour downstream from Niagara Falls. Christopher Newton is artistic director.
The Shaw Festival will present 12 works, including two short "lunchtime" shows — Noel Coward's musical, Shadow Play, and another to be announced — on the Royal George stage.
The 2001 season will see a return of the 1988 festival hit, Peter Pan, a non-musical version of the J.M. Barrie classic, at the Festival Theatre; Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman's The Man Who Came to Dinner at the Festival; William Inge's Picnic (from 1953) at the intimate thrust stage, the Court House Theatre; Shaw's Fanny's First Play at the Court House; a return of 2000's Six Characters in Search of an Author at the Court House; The Return of the Prodigal, a 1905 family yarn by Edwardian writer St. John Hankin, at the Court House; Vera Caspary and George Sklar's Laura, a 1942 murder mystery, at the intimate proscenium house called the Royal George; Frank Vosper's Agatha Christie-inspired 1936 play, Love From a Stranger, at the Royal George.
The 2001 productions will run in repertory April 5-Oct. 28. General tickets go on sale Jan. 8, 2001. For information about the Shaw Festival, which continues in 2000 to Nov. 11, call (800) 511-SHAW.
-- By Kenneth Jones