Your guide to summer theatre
16th ANNUAL ATLANTIC FRINGE FESTIVAL
Where: Downtown Halifax.
When: Aug. 31 to Sept. 10.
What: 45 shows including drama, comedy and dance in six downtown
Halifax venues. Application deadline is July 7. Call 435-4837; www.atlanticfringe.ca
ATLANTIC THEATRE FESTIVAL
Where: Festival Theatre, Wolfville.
When: July 21 to Sept. 3.
What: Noises Off, Michael Frayn’s London hit, originally written in
1982. Made into a movie with Carol Burnett and Michael Caine in 1992,
the comedy about a theatre company that the audience sees both on stage
and back stage has been revived dozens of times, returning to the West
End and Broadway in 2002. Artistic associate Nigel Bennett directs
Patricia Zentilli, Graham Percy, Sherry Lee Hunter, Stacy Smith, Linda
Goranson, Doug MacLeod, Stephen Sparks and Bill Fisher. Runs July 21 to
Aug. 20, and Aug. 26 to Sept. 3 at 8 p.m. with weekend matinees at 2
Summer Laughter! Series:
Cabaret Surprise!, a feast of fun and music, Aug. 22 to 25, 8 p.m., Old Orchard Inn.
Appearances at the Festival Theatre by stand-up comedians Craig
Lauzon, Aug. 7; Steve Patterson, Aug. 14, and Bette MacDonald, Aug. 28,
all at 8 p.m.
Readings of comic writing at the Festival Theatre by Michael
Bawtree, reading from Jerome K. Jerome’s Three Men In A Boat, July 29,
10 a.m., and July 30, 8 p.m.; Richard Donat reading from Stephen
Leacock, Aug. 5, 10 a.m., and Aug. 6, 8 p.m., and Nigel Bennett reading
from Mark Twain, Aug. 12, 10 a.m., and Aug. 13, 8 p.m.
Subscriptions and single tickets on sale now.
Call 542-1515; 1-800-337-6661; www.atf.ns.ca.
CHESTER PLAYHOUSE SUMMER FESTIVAL
Where: Chester Playhouse.
When: July 7 to Sept. 2.
What: Berlin to Broadway: The Musical Voyage of Kurt Weill, directed
by Mary Lou Martin with Réjean Cournoyer, Cliff Le Jeune, Martha
Irving, Kirsten Howell and Ann Doyle, July 7 to July 21.
A Pitiful Ambition, a new Lorne Elliot comedy, directed by Chris
Heide, about Aiden Purcell, a man of the theatre who dreams of fame and
fortune. Outraged by a bad review, he pursues a conflict with the
critic. Starring Tom Gallant and Singalong Jubilee’s Catherine
McKinnon. Runs July 25 to Aug. 5.
Marion Bridge, Daniel MacIvor’s play about sisters re-connecting and
fighting at a time of their mother’s illness, directed by Anthony Black
with Amanda Jonz, Jennifer O’Brien and Samantha Madore, Aug. 8 to 12.
Chester Theatre Summer School’s production of Cheaper By The Dozen Aug. 16 to 19.
SHROOM! The Last Musical, book by Malcolm Callaway and Jan Morrison,
music by Dawn Harwood-Jones and Konrad Pluta, a Chester Drama
Society/Ruby Shoes production, Aug. 22 to Sept. 2.
Call 275-3933; 1-800-363-7529; www.chesterplayhouse.ns.ca.
EASTERN FRONT THEATRE
Where: Neptune Studio Theatre.
When: through July 1.
What: The Satchmo’ suite, Eastern Front Theatre’s jazz musical by
Hans Boggild and Doug Innis, in which Jeremiah Sparks stars as Louis
Armstrong and Andrew Moodie portrays cellist Hubert Clements in a story
about Hubert’s struggle with a piece of music and his life. Also
performing are jazz pianist Paul Simons, classical cellist Colin
Matthews and trumpeter Rick Waychesko.
Call 429-7070; www.easternfronttheatre.ca.
Where: Bauer Theatre, St. Francis Xavier University campus, Antigonish.
When: July 7 to Sept. 3.
What: Educating Rita, the award-winning comedy by Willy Russell
about a hairdresser who dreams of a better life and selects a cynical
English literature professor for her tutor, directed by Jean Morpurgo,
starring Genevieve Steele and Jan Filips, opening July 7.
The Woman in Black, Stephen Mallatratt’s spine-chiller about a ghost
seeking vengence on Victorian lawyer Arthur Kipps and his family for
the death of her young child, directed by Ed Thomason, with Jeremy
Webb, Andrew Musselman and Shelley Thompson, opening July 14.
Good Things, by Liz Lochhead, in which Shelley Thompson plays a
Cinderella figure for 40somethings in a comedy about love the second
time around, directed by Ed Thomason, with Jan Filips, Genevieve Steele
and Jeremy Webb, opening July 21.
Automatic Pilot, an award-winning comedy by Erika Ritter about a
woman who writes a soap opera and moonlights as a stand-up comic but
misses out on the reality in between, directed by Ed Thomason with
Genevieve Steele, Jan Filips, Andrew Musselman and Mark Uhre, opening
Family Stage: Bluenose Billy’s Magical Button Box, opening July 18
in the Bauer Theatre, by Ian Pygott, Shelley Thompson, Sheldon Currie
and Anne Simpson, with Richie Wilcox and Courtney Lancaster, a blend of
comedy and fantasy in which the audience chooses the stories.
The Hobbit, based on the book by J.R.R. Tolkien, adapted by Glyn
Robbins, opening Aug. 18 in the St. F.X. Auditorium. Director Jeremy
Webb works with over 30 young people studying theatre.
(Look for an upcoming announcement on the remodelling of the late-night second stage series.)
Call 867-3333 or 1-800-563-PLAY; www.festivalantigonish.com.
Where: Killam Brothers building, 90 Water St., Yarmouth, on the waterfront.
When: July 7 to Aug. 27.
What: Much Too Munsch, three classic Robert Munsch stories,
Mudpuddle, Mortimer and The Paperbag Pringcess. alternating with The
Three Little Fairytales as matinees and evening shows, July 7 to Aug.
Comedy Tonight!, Aug. 1 to 13, 8 p.m.
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged, performed
outdoors depending on the weather, as both matinees and evening shows,
Aug. 18 to 27.
Call 223-5380; www.foghorntheatre.org.
4 MEN IN A TUB
Where: Capri Club, Sydney.
When: July 6 to the end of August.
What: 4 Men In A Tub’s fourth year of music and comedy. The boys
cover everything from jazz to folk, and then they all put on lipstick
and dresses to show you they have a sense of humour. Characters include
fishing buddies, Diggy and Stewie, and Mister and Missus Mucky Martin.
The show is written, directed and performed by Duncan Wells, Brian
Martin, George MacDonald and Shawn MacDonald.
Call 539-6165; www.duncanwells.ca/4men.
LIVE BAIT THEATRE
Where: Sackville, N.B.
When: now to Aug. 27.
What: Rock ‘N’ Roll High, by Charlie Rhindress and Karen Valanne, running through Sunday.
Rise Again (aka Death of a Fisherman), a premiere by Charlie
Rhindress and Karen Valanne, July 18 to Aug. 6, in cabaret style and
dinner theatre, in which the family of Great Uncle Burpee’s holds a
traditional East Coast wake that turns into a séance.
Sexy Laundry, by Michele Riml, Aug. 15 to 27, about a middle-aged
couple coming to terms with their lacklustre sex life by going on a
naughty two-day retreat (comic but with mature subject matter).
Up Close and Personal Series: June 30, John Gracie; July 15, Cathy
Jones, star of This Hours Has 22 Minutes, and Tom Wilson, lead singer
of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, and Aug. 7, The Best of Broadway by
Live Bait’s dinner theatre cast.
LYRICS AND LAUGHTER
Where: Louisbourg Playhouse.
When: Monday, June 26, to Sept. 1, every week night.
What: The Cape Breton music and comedy show, starting its 50-night
run Monday, features Colin Grant, Meaghan Grant, Michelle Mills, Andrew
Tyne, Eric Angus Whyte, and Adam Young. On Monday’s opening night
Lyrics and Laughter is releasing a CD, a best-of album featuring songs
the group has done over the last four summers and songs it will be
doing this year.
Call 733-2996; www.lyricsandlaughter.com.
Where: throughout Nova Scotia
What: Molly and the Oak Island Treasure, July 10, Alderney Landing;
July 15, Antigonish; July 22, 2 p.m., Osprey Arts Centre, Shelburne,
following a two-hour workshop on building marionettes, 10 a.m. to noon;
July 24, Alderney Landing, and Aug. 3, Mahone Bay Wooden Boat Festival.
The Land of the Little People is on July 29 at Ship’s Company Theatre,
Parrsboro. Website: www.maritime-marionettes.com.
METAMORPHIC THEATRE COMPANY
Halifax’s new theatre company takes its production of Marion Bridge
to Chester Playhouse and also to the Evergreen Theatre, Margaretsville,
Sunday, Aug. 13.
Where: Old Red Schoolhouse, Peggy’s Cove.
When: Wednesday to Sept. 4, Wednesdays to Sundays, 2 and 4 p.m.
What: Peggy!: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Peggy From Peggys
Cove (a multi-media history) is a 40-minute theatre performance created
by John Beale and Graham Percy. Having grown up in Peggys Cove in a
quagmire of stories about the origins of the name Peggys Cove, Beale
figured he should take his own, albeit satirical, crack at re-visioning
the romantic myth, and who better to play the dear shipwrecked girl
than he himself. Complete with a live reenactment of Peggys shipwreck,
video clips, a slideshow and a 30-second (complete) history of Peggys
Cove, Beale’s work is full of slapstick and bouffant comedy and is
steeped in the comic traditions of Buster Keaton, Peter Sellers and
Call 823-2099; www.thepeggyshow.net.
SHAKESPEARE BY THE SEA
Where: Cambridge Battery, Point Pleasant Park.
When: July 1 to Aug. 27.
What: Much Ado About Nothing. The war is over and the men are coming
home; it’s time for young love to blossom. Sparks fly as the
hot-tempered Beatrice, played by the company’s new co-artistic director
Jennie Raymond, spars with Tony Nappo’s sworn bachelor Benedick. Also
starring Nathan Bender, Rhys Bevan-John, Marty Burt, Kevin Curran,
Kevin MacPherson, John O’Keefe and founding general manager and
co-artistic director Elizabeth Murphy as Ursula.
The Wizard of Uh-Oz, an all-new adaptation of The Wizard of Oz
created under the direction of Kevin MacPherson (the Sheriff of
Nottingham in last year’s Robin Hood), a collective creation with Jo
Williamson as Dorothy, opening July 15.
Call 422-0295; www.shakespearebythesea.ca.
SHIP’S COMPANY THEATRE
Where: Parrsboro, in a waterfront theatre incorporating the old M.V. Kipawo ferry boat.
When: June 30 to Oct. 1.
What: World premiere of The Mystery of Maddy Heisler, Daniel
Lillford’s play about Jacob Meisner (Frank MacKay), a washed-up writer
of not-very-mysterious mysteries. His most recent slump is interrupted
when a childhood friend arrives, still haunted by the long-ago
disappearance of Maddy Heisler around the time of the Second World War.
A mystery, a search for identity and a love story that crosses time,
history, and racial divides, it is directed by Pamela Halstead and
stars Matthew Walker Stephenson, Ingrid Rae Doucet, Michael Chaisson,
Frank MacKay and Julia Williams and runs June 30 to July 23.
Lillibet, world premiere, written and directed by Glenda Stirling,
about an elderly woman who thinks she is Princess Margaret’s younger
sister but not the Queen of England, with Matthew Walker Stephenson,
artistic producer Pamela Halstead and Caroline Hetherington as
Lillibet, Aug. 4 to Sept. 3.
Mulgrave Road Theatre’s award-winning production of Lauchie, Liza
and Rory, by Sheldon Currie, directed by Mary-Colin Chisholm, with
Burgandy Code and Christian Murray, Sept. 14 to 24.
Amazing Gracie, a P.E.I. hit featuring the music and humour of 1940s British radio sensation Gracie Fields, Aug. 27 to 29.
Maritime Marionettes’ Land of the Little People, July 29.
Christian Murray’s Fool’s School, Aug. 21
Concert Series: Charlie A’Court, July 10; Kendra McGillivray and
Bruce Rainnie, July 17; Frank MacKay, July 24; Songwriters of Country
Generations, Aug. 7; Paul Cram Quintet, Aug. 14; Susan Crowe and the
Tenderlies, Aug. 21: Gordon Stobbe, Kelli Trottier and Greg Simm, Aug.
28; Celtic Ceilidh, Sept. 9; Man in Black: A Tribute to Johnny Cash,
Sept. 29 and 30; I Saw The Light: The Gospel Music of Hank Williams,
Call 1-800-565-7469; www.shipscompany.com
TANTRAMAR SUMMER THEATRE FESTIVAL:
Where: Dominion Public Building, Amherst.
When: July 3 to Sept. 3.
What: An original show concluding the children’s theatre workshop, first two weeks of July.
World premiere of Head Games, a new comedy about beauty shops, by Amherst playwright Don Miller, July 19 to Aug. 6.
World premiere of Three Cents a Pound, a new musical and romantic
comedy set in the blueberry fields of Cumberland County, by resident
playwright Valerie Fahey, Aug. 23 to Sept. 3.
Call 667-7002; www.tantramartheatre.com.
CentreStage Theatre, Kentville: June 24 to July 29, Oklahoma!, the
Rodgers and Hammerstein musical; The Three Little Pigs, a musical fairy
tale, Aug. 11 to 12; 18 and 19, 25 and 26, and Aug. 30 and 31, An
Evening To Remember, presented by CentreStage Theatre and Glooscap
Curling Club at the curling club, dinner and theatre with The Queen of
Bingo with Chérie and Ernest Zinck, George and Nancy Henry.
Call 678-8040; www.centrestagetheatre.ca.
Dartmouth Players, through Saturday, 8 p.m., 1967 multiple Tony award nominee and musical comedy, Walking Happy.
Call 465-7529; www.dartmouthplayers.ns.ca.
Theatre Arts Guild, Halifax: July 6 to 22, Dial "M" for Murder, a mystery by Frederick Knott, directed by Bill VanGorder.
Call 477-2663; www.tagtheatre.com
Grafton Street: The Winner Takes All, to Oct. 1, inspired by
televised game shows; Rock the Ceilidh, June 29 to Oct. 8. Come for
Grampie MacTavish’s 75th birthday party.
Call 425-1961; www.graftonstdinnertheatre.com.
Halifax Feast: Cape Breton Idle: Season II, to Aug. 19; White Bucks
and Saddle Shoes, Aug. 22 to Nov. 11, a show with 1950s music that in
1990 took Cape Breton and Halifax by storm.
Call 420-1840; www.feastdinnertheatre.com