In spring 2008 the world premiere of a new solo musical by Pierre Brault dawns. The life of jazzman Lenny Breau is explored in 5 O'Clock Bells, "a musical dissection of the tragic life of the world-renowned jazz guitarist."
According to season notes, "5 O'Clock Bells sheds biographical and musical light on Lenny Breau, one of Canada's unsung musical heroes. From the country music of his childhood, to the avant-garde experimentations of the sixties, to bonafide jazz stardom, Breau's life was one long musical wave. Like many jazz geniuses, Breau struggled against drug addiction. His life ended prematurely when his body was found at the bottom of a Los Angeles swimming pool in 1984, in an unresolved homicide. Pierre Brault examines the musical reflection of Breau's life from the bottom of the pool, where liquid wave meets sound wave." Performances will play April 1-20, 2008.
Brian Quirt will direct the co-production by GCTC and Sleeping Dog Theatre.
The 2007-08 season will launch (and the new venue will come alive for the first time) Oct. 9 with the musical The Man From the Capital, a take on Gogol's classic comedy, The Inspector General. Book and lyrics are by Colin Heath, music is by John Millard. Jennifer Brewin directs the Depression-era tale of a corrupt local government, set in the town of Salmon Elbow.
"When Mayor Ira Trout catches wind of an Ottawa inspector's imminent visit, the city council is sent into comic overdrive," according to GCTC. "The mayor mistakes a penniless drifter as the inspector, who ultimately accepts his bribes, eats his food, seduces his daughter, and rides off into the sunset – all just before the real 'man from the capital' arrives." GCTC's mandate is "to foster, produce and promote excellent theatre that provokes examination of Canadian life and our place in the world," according to season notes by artistic director Lise Ann Johnson. All of the plays in the 2007-08 season are either penned by writers from Ottawa, or feature a connection to the nation's capital. (This is being called the Capital Letters season.)
Writer-director Andrew Moodie's acclaimed play The Real McCoy, the story of the 19th-century African-Canadian inventor Elijah McCoy, will play Nov. 13-Dec. 2, 2007. It's a joint production with the Factory Theatre in Toronto.
The Optimists, Morwyn Brebner's quirky and popular comedy about the challenge of remaining optimistic against the odds plays Jan. 29-Feb. 17, 2008. Charles McFarland will direct.
The season ends with Michael Healey's Plan B, the political comedy about intimacy and betrayal. Artistic director Johnson will direct, May 27-June 15, 2008.
For more information visit www.gctc.ca.