Call it Stratford on the Hudson. Canada's Stratford Festival will make its way to New York shores with two plays in repertory next November.
In recent seasons Richard Monette, artistic director of Canada's Stratford Festival, has come under critical fire for not producing enough Shakespeare, but his just-announced 1998 season is placating the grumblers with four works by The Bard spread across all three theatres. One of those, William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, will be on the New York bill, as will Moliere's The Miser. Both will be directed by Monette.
The works will be done at City Center, a coup for Executive Director Judith E. Daykin, who said she expects a couple of well-known Stratford veterans to come to NY with the plays. She also told Playbill On-Line she was hoping the works would be Tony eligible, even though City Center often isn't considered a Broadway space (despite the venue having more than the requisite 499 seats).
Daykin said of the Stratford visit, "Their position as the greatest repertory of classical theatre in North America will be evidenced during their season at City Center next November." Much Ado opens Nov. 13, 1998; The Miser opens Nov. 15. The double-bill will run to Nov. 30, 1998.
As for the Stratford season at home, Monette had this to say, "The tremendous response we've experienced this year to such plays as Coriolanus and Oedipus Rex confirms that our patrons share our commitment to the great works of drama that lie at the core our mandate." The four Shakespeares he's chosen are Julius Caesar, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Much Ado About Nothing, and The Winter's Tale.
Also on the schedule are the musical Man of La Mancha, Robert Bolt's A Man For All Seasons, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, The Miracle Worker, Moliere's The Miser, Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, Tennessee Williams'
The 1998 season continues Monette's formula of international classics, popular musicals, a family show and Shakespeare -- a formula that has pulled the theatre solidly into the black after running a sizeable deficit under previous artistic director, David William.
The Stratford season runs May 11 to Nov. 8, 1998. Casting will be announced at a later date.
-- By Mira Friedlander and David Le /A>