The best shows just a short drive from T.O.
THE MAJOR FESTIVALS IN NIAGARA- ON-THE-LAKE AND STRATFORD – AND SOME SMALLER THEATRES – ARE READY TO WELCOME STAGE-LOVERS
Playwright Alex Poch-Goldin revisits a largely unknown piece of Canadian history in The Right Road To Pontypool, about a community near Toronto that became a summer watering hole for Jewish Canadians, who were entertained by the likes of Wayne and Shuster. It was Ontario’s version of the Catskills. Directed by Kim Blackwell, the production features Ellen-Ray Hennessy, Allan Price and Dov Mickelson. Runs June 30 to August 1 at 4th Line Theatre, Millbrook. 1-800-814- 0055.
Five framed portraits
The Shaw Festival tackles one of Michel Tremblay’s most nuanced works, Albertine In Five Times, in which we see the title character at five stages of her life in conversation with her sister Madeleine. Patricia
Hamilton, who was an Albertine in the original Tarragon production, here plays Madeleine under director Micheline Chevrier. June 24 to October 10 at the Court House Theatre, Niagara-on-the-Lake. 1-800-511-7429.
Stratford stages another play about a set of siblings, Chekhov’s Three Sisters, in which the title characters deal with small-town tragedies as they yearn for life in Moscow. Martha Henry directs Susan Coyne’s adaptation, with Dalal Badr, Lucy Peacock and Irene Poole as the sisters. Runs to October 3 at the Tom Patterson Theatre, Stratford. 1-800-567-1600.
One of the Bard’s most popular comedies, Twelfth Night, blends laughter, love, cross-dressing and self-deceit.
Theatre by the Bay presents director Brett Christopher’s production, with a cast that includes Jody Stevens, Ben Clost, Eric Woolfe, Michael Rawley and Tim Walker. From August 13 to 28 at the Downtown Community Theatre, Barrie. 1-866-735-9243.
Cramming in Coward
Shaw offers a festival within a festival, entitled Tonight At 8:30, with four programs that present all 10 of Noël Coward’s one-act plays. Three of the playbills comprise three oneacts, and there’s a lunchtime presentation of the singular piece Star Chamber. The mix includes comedy, drama and even a startlingly modern musical ( Shadow Play); theatregoers will recognize one of the scripts as the source for the film Brief Encounter. Through October 31 at various Shaw theatres, Niagara-on-the-Lake. 1-800-511-7429.
Alex Poch- Goldin recalls Ontario’s Jewish social history in The Right Road To Pontypool. cutline