The all-star staging of The Seagull in Central Park isn't North America's only starry cast of that Chekhov play. The Stratford Festival in Ontario has three of Canada's major players — Martha Henry, Brian Bedford and Peter Donaldson — in a revival beginning previews July 31.
While Meryl Streep plays mother and renowned actress Arkadina south of the border in The Public Theater's Delacorte Theater revival of the Tom Stoppard translation, Martha Henry essays the part on the proscenium Avon Theatre stage at Stratford. The Stratford conpany is also using the Stoppard version.
Brian Bedford, the Tony Award-nominated classical actor whose artistic home is Stratford, plays Sorin (Arkadina's brother), and Donaldson is Trigorin (Arkadina's lover). Michael Therriault is wounded Konstantin (Arkadina's son, who loves Nina), Brian Tree is Shamrayev, Sarah Dodd is Masha and Michelle Giroux is Nina (who runs off with Trigorin).
Diana Leblanc directs the production, which officially opens Aug. 14. Performances continue to Nov. 3. Astrid Janson is set designer, Stephen Woodjetts composed the music.
For information, call (800) 567-1600 or visit www.stratfordfestival.ca. — By Kenneth Jones