Artistic Director of Edmonton's Citadel Theatre Bob Baker announced the theatre's 1999-2000 season, March 17. Upcoming offerings include Ben Elton's Popcorn, Conni Massing's Alberta play, The Aberhart Summer, and two musicals: Sondheim's Into the Woods and the Alan Menken-Howard Ashman Little Shop of Horrors.
First on the season will be Steve Martin's Picasso at the Lapin Agile, a comic dissection of a fictional meeting between Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso in a Paris bistro at the turn of the century. Picasso will be directed by Baker and run Sept. 18-Oct. 10 in the Shoctor Theatre.
The Citadel will become the second Canadian company to offer Ben Elton's Popcorn. A hit in London, the violent black comedy about a Quentin Tarantino-esque film director confronted by a couple of killers influenced by his movies runs in the Rice Theatre Oct. 23-Nov. 14. Baker directs.
Next, Baker directs Into the Woods in the Shoctor Theatre Nov. 27 Jan. 2, 2000. The Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine fairy tale musical follows Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack, two Princes, a wolf, a baker, his wife and a witch through the trials of life, a la Grimm.
Conni Massing's Alberta play, The Aberhart Summer, recounts the summer of 1935 when Social Credit party leader William Aberhart promised $25 to anyone who voted for him. The result? One of the town's brightest young men is found hanging from a tree. Suspecting foul play, his best friend leads a murder investigation. Stephen Heatley directs the mystery running Jan. 29-Feb. 20 in the Maclab Theatre. From Alberta into America's deep South, the Citadel presents A Streetcar Named Desire Feb. 26-March 19, 2000 directed by Miles Potter in the Shoctor Theatre. Tennessee Williams' best known play pits faded and fragile belle Blanche DuBois against her brutish brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski. Streetcar is a Manitoba Theatre Centre co production.
The Howard Ashman-Alan Menken retro musical, Little Shop of Horrors takes the Rice Theatre stage March 25-May 21, 2000. Baker directs the musical comedy which features Audrey II, the gigantic man eating plant, a 60's Motown girl group, a geeky horticulturist, the blonde for whom he pines and one sadistic dentist.
The Citadel next stages a dream -- William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Nights Dream, that is. Tom Wood directs the comedy of love and conflict amongst man and the fairies, running in the Maclab Theatre April 22-May 21, 2000.
1999-2000's season will end with 2 Pianos, 4 Hands, May 13-June 4, 2000 in the Shoctor Theatre. A David & Ed Mirvish production and part of an on-going tour, 2 Pianos, written by Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt, is a reworked version starring two women pianists. Greenblatt directs.
During the '99-00 season the Citadel has set several initiatives for itself including a revitalization of the Rice Theatre by opening the theatre to local established companies like Workshop West and Leave It To Jane and Kompany! and a renovation of the Citadel's restaurant and lounge. The Citadel also plans to produce at least one Alberta-based play each season.
For ticket information, call (780) 425-1820. The Citadel Theatre is located at 9828 101A Ave.
-- By Christine Ehren