Louise Pitre Will Be Rose in Ontario Gypsy Concert, Part of Talk Is Free Theatre Season

News   Louise Pitre Will Be Rose in Ontario Gypsy Concert, Part of Talk Is Free Theatre Season
Mamma Mia! star Louise Pitre, a Tony Award nominee for that ABBA-scored pop musical, will play stage mother Rose in a concert production of Gypsy during the 2009-10 season of Talk Is Free Theatre (TIFT) in Barrie, Ontario.
Louise Pitre
Louise Pitre Photo by Aubrey Reuben

TIFT artistic producer Arkady Spivak announced the new season, which will feature three productions at the new Downtown Theatre in Barrie, one site-specific production and two musicals in concert at Barrie's larger Gryphon Theatre.

The season will begin on Oct. 22 with the world-premiere adaptation of Nikolai Gogol's novella A Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich and Ivan Nikiforovich Had a Fight. It's billed as "a hilarious and darkly satirical story of how two former best friends quarreled and ended up fighting out their differences in the courts."

The production is adapted and directed by Aleksandar Lukac and will run to Oct. 31 at the Downtown Theatre.

The 50th anniversary concert production of Gypsy, the American musical by Jule Styne, Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents, will be seen in three performances Nov. 25-26 at Barrie's Gryphon Theatre. Richard Ouzounian, theatre critic for the Toronto Star and director of TIFT's Emily, Anyone Can Whistle and Variations on a Nervous Breakdown, will direct.

Adam Brazier will direct a new production of Assassins, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by John Weidman. The dark musical examines the personalities and motives behind assassinations (or attempts) of American presidents. It will play at the Downtown Theatre Jan. 21-30, 2010.

Fridays with Frieda by Christian Lloyd, a critically acclaimed hit from the 2008 Summerworks Festival in Toronto, will play the Downtown Theatre Feb. 25-March 5, 2010. In it, "Frank and Frieda meet randomly on a park bench. He's there for lunch, she's meeting her nephew. A week later, Frank returns to find Frieda still waiting for her nephew. She has no memory of the week before. Over the next few Fridays, Frank becomes obsessed with her situation, losing himself in the developing mystery surrounding her nephew."

A concert production of Jim Betts' musical, Colours in the Storm, will be given three performances at the Gryphon Theatre April 28-29, 2010. It offers "the story of Tom Thomson, one of Canada's best-loved painters. Thomson's landscapes of Algonquin Park — including 'The West Wind,' 'The Jack Pine' and 'Northern River' — are among the most famous paintings ever done in Canada. But Thomson is perhaps as famous for the controversy of his death as he is for the strength of his paintings. He died in mysterious circumstances in the waters of Canoe Lake, and in the 75 years since his death there has been endless speculation about who may have murdered him."

The season will conclude with the site-specific production of the world-premiere musical Red Fightin' Blue, written by ensemble member Grant Tilly. Based on his earlier Toronto Fringe Festival hit, The Christian Republican Fundraiser in Dayton, Tennessee, "this expanded version is about a group of left-wing activists who, posing as the band, God's Country, have infiltrated the Christian Republican Fundraiser in Dayton, Tennessee. Armed with only 'three chords and the truth,' they are intent on having their opinions heard."

It's "a musical about country music, politics, and the values that can bring together even the most disparate groups."

Red Fightin' Blue will be performed May 6-15, 2010, with location to be announced at a later date.

For more information visit talkisfreetheatre.com.

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