Shaw Festival Plans Mack and Mabel, Saint Joan and New Musical Tristan in 2007

News   Shaw Festival Plans Mack and Mabel, Saint Joan and New Musical Tristan in 2007
The 2007 playbill at the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, will boast 10 productions, including the Jerry Herman-Michael Stewart musical Mack and Mabel, Shaw's Saint Joan and The Philanderer and Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke.

The new lineup was announced Sept. 27. Per the fest's mission, the works were written during Bernard Shaw's lifetime or address the period in which the Irish playwright lived (1856-1950).

The Shaw Festival, on the lip of Lake Ontario, 20 minutes downstream from Niagara Falls, presents at the flagship Festival Theatre, the Court House Theatre and the Royal George Theatre.

Artistic director Jackie Maxwell will direct Saint Joan on the Festival stage, while Alisa Palmer directs Shaw's humorous perspective on a very special battle of the sexes in The Philanderer, at the Royal George.

American director Molly Smith of Arena Stage will helm Mack and Mabel, the musical about silent film icons Mack Sennett and Mabel Normand. The score is embraced by fans, and is considered one of Herman's most potent, but it is widely considered to have a troubled libretto. It will play the Festival stage.

Shaw will also present the world premiere of Tristan, a musical adaptation from Thomas Mann's short story set in a spa in the German Alps, with book, music and lyrics by Jay Turvey and Shaw's music director Paul Sportelli, and directed by Eda Holmes. Sharing the Festival stage will be Hotel Peccadillo by Morris Panych, a brand-new adaptation of George Feydeau and Maurice Desvalli?res' wildly comic French farce, L'hôtel du libre échange.

The family tale A Month in the Country by Brian Friel, based on the original by Ivan Turgenev, and directed by Tadeusz Bradecki, will play the Court House season. Revisiting the playwright of the hugely successful Return of the Prodigal, the fest will present St. John Hankin's delicate The Cassilis Engagement – A Mothers Comedy, directed by Christopher Newton (the former artistic director of the Shaw fest).

Also slated are Lady Augusta Gregory's The Rising of the Moon and Spreading the News, two short Irish-kissed works which will form the lunchtime production of The Kiltartan Comedies.

Associate director Neil Munro will stage Somerset Maugham's The Circle, which joins The Philanderer on the Royal George stage. Munro also explores the struggle between puritanism and sensuality with Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke.

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