From Shaw to Stratford and beyond
You thought the Grimm Brothers’ stories were dark? Take a peek at Stephen
Sondheim and James Lapine’s Into The Woods, which suggests that the tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and others didn’t end happily ever after. Peter Hinton directs the
Stratford Festival production with Peter Donaldson, Susan Gilmour, Bruce Dow, Mary Ellen Mahoney and Jennifer Waiser, with design by Dany Lyne. Runs to October 30, Avon Theatre, Stratford. 1-800-567-1600.
There’s hardly a more mesmerizing figure in American musical theatre than Mama Rose, the real star of Gypsy. The show, by Jule Styne, Ste
phen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents, actually gets its name from Rose’s daughter, who becomes stripper Gypsy Rose Lee. Nora McLellan is a natural for Rose, and in the Shaw Festival production – helmed by artistic director Jackie Maxwell – she’s supported
by Julie Martell, Trish Lindström, Ric Reid, Jeff Lillico and Kate Hennig. Runs
to October 30, Festival Theatre, Niagara-on-the-Lake. 1-800-511-7429.
Though Shakespeare’s early play The
Comedy Of Errors is a farce, with not one but two sets of twins causing comic confusion, it also has a dark side, something that director Richard Rose understands. The Theatre by the Bay production features Brandon Mc
Gibbon and Brendan Murray as the upper-class twins and Kyle Horton and Michael Rubenfeld as their clownish
servants, with Philippa Domville and Kelly McIntosh as understandably confused sisters. Previews from August 11, opens August 13 and runs to September 3 at Heritage Park, Barrie. 1-866735-9243.
In Belle Moral: A Natural History, novelist and playwright Ann-Marie
MacDonald uses a gothic whodunit framework to look at a turn-of-the- century Scottish family who are not quite of their time, what with the women’s involvement in science and feminist philosophy and the men’s preference for eating shortbread over more manly activities. Alisa Palmer directs this Shaw Festival production, with Fiona Byrne, Jeff Meadows, Peter
Hutt and Donna Belleville as the articulate, eccentric characters. Previews from July 7, opens July 16 and runs to October 7 at the Court House Theatre, Niagara-on-the-Lake. 1-800-511-7429.
Look for day-glo colours and unisex costumes in Stratford’s staging of As
You Like It, in which the Bard’s crossdressing plot gets period support from director Antoni Cimolino’s summer-oflove staging, complete with big hair and hippy beads. The cast – including Dion Johnstone, Sara Topham, Graham
Abbey, Sophie Goulet and Stephen Ouimette – cavort to a new score by Barenaked Ladies. Runs to October 30 at the Festival Theatre, Stratford. 1-800-567-1600.
Amy Walsh plays Rapunzel (left) and Susan Gilmour is the Witch in the Stratford production of Into The Woods.