author: mac brock | a&c editor
The theatre-in-the-round is approaching a uniquely Canadian season.
Regina’s beloved theatre-in-the-round announced its Main Stage season for the upcoming year, and the Carillon has the inside scoop on what you’ll be seeing.
Bittergirl – The Musical
By Annabel Fitzsimmons, Alison Lawrence and Mary Francis Moore
Directed by Greg Ochitwa
Globe says: “A hysterically funny and regrettably relatable musical about getting over getting dumped!”
Carillon says: Bittergirl isn’t your typical musical – it’s a medley of ‘60s and ‘70s girl-group hits. It’s far from a heavy-hitting drama, as has become common with Globe’s season-openers (see Million Dollar Quartet and All Shook Up), but with Ochitwa at the helm it’s sure to be a smash. The Carillon covered Ochitwa’s last directing stint earlier this year with western suspense musical Root, Hog, or Die. It’s also worth noting that this is one of two original musicals by Canadian writers in the lineup.
A Christmas Carol
Adapted by Michael Shamata
Directed by Kelli Fox
Globe says: “A late night visit from three ghosts takes him on a journey through his past, present and future, but is it enough to melt his cold heart? Bah! Humbug!”
Carillon says: Traditional theatre lovers will be thrilled to see this pick for the 2017 holiday show. Canadian playwright Shamata’s adaptation has an annual production in Toronto, and has been gaining popularity across the country.
Around the World in 80 Days
By Toby Hulse (based upon the book by Jules Verne)
Directed by Ruth Smillie
Globe says: “A high speed, mad-cap, transcontinental, race against the clock.”
Carillon says: After the huge success of Hound of Baskervilles in 2015-16, Around the World is a smart choice. This high-energy comedy will surely pack houses for a joyful and hilarious evening of theatre. This will be artistic director Smillie’s first time in the director’s seat since Mary Poppins in 2015, the theatre’s highest-selling show in its 50 years.
By Kelley Jo Burke and Jeffery Straker
Directed by Valerie Ann Pearson
Globe says: “an uplifting play about ‘coming in.’”
Carillon says: There’s no bigger win for local theatre artists than seeing Regina-based writers Burke and Straker’s new work on the professional stage. Based on their experiences at Camp Fyrefly, a summer program for teenagers of varying sexual identities, the musical features recognizable and new tunes from nationally-renowned songwriter Jeffery Straker.
I and You
By Lauren Gunderson
Directed by Kelli Fox
Globe says: “a captivating and haunting exploration of youth, life, love and possibilities for extraordinary human connection.”
Carillon says: I and You, written by Canadian playwright Lauren Gunderson, explores the budding friendship between two teenagers in one’s bedroom-turned-hospital room. It’s heartfelt and sincere, with some twists no audience will see coming. Another entry in a wonderfully Canadian season.
Shrek the Musical
Book and Lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire
Music by Jeanine Tesori
Directed and Choreographed by Stephanie Graham
Globe says: “everyone’s favourite grumpy ogre and his wise-cracking sidekick Donkey…on an adventure to rescue the feisty Princess Fiona.”
Carillon says: There’s not much to say – it’s Shrek. Unsure of the idea? There’s a Broadway production of the same show on Netflix, and they are well worth the viewing.
Globe’s 17-18 season has some interesting numbers – three musicals, and four shows by Canadian playwrights. It’s also a great note that Globe is keeping in line with its recent pattern with five female directors on the Main Stage. If you aren’t a musical lover, this season may not be your cup of tea. But with some noticeably bolder dramatic choices, Globe is sure to ruffle some feathers and gain some new, younger audiences.