An excited crowd of Mirvish subscribers and media gathered this morning at the Royal Alexandra Theatre to witness the reveal of Mirvish Productions’ 2014/2015 Season. With a few known entities, a few special events and a few mystery musicals to be revealed, nobody knew exactly what they were in store for when Elvis Stojko walked out onto the stage to share the full roster of shows Mirvish will be bringing to Toronto over the next year.
Want the quick-and-dirty version? Here’s a list. If you want more details (including dates, venues, cast) continue scrolling.
Mirvish Mainstage Season:
1. TITANIC The Musical.
2. THE HEART OF ROBIN HOOD.
3. OUR COUNTRY’S GOOD.
4. ARCADIA (The Shaw Festival’s production).
5. BLITHE SPIRIT (starring Angela Lansbury!!).
6. KINKY BOOTS (Note: This will be a sit-down Canadian production!).
1. BUYER & CELLAR.
3. SONYA & VANYA & MASHA & SPIKE.
2. BOOK OF MORMON.
3. BEST OF THE EDINBURGH FESTIVAL.
4. DONNY & MARIE: A BROADWAY CHRISTMAS.
5. JERSEY BOYS.
6. BLADES ON STAGE.
7. DAME EDNA’S GLORIOUS GOODBYE – THE FAREWELL TOUR.
8. ONCE (With its very own Canadian cast!)
Now, the longer version:
Mystery musicals, you say?
Yup! Mirvish had always said that there were two musicals which would be part of the season, but had yet to reveal them. Here they are:
1. TITANIC The Musical
Music & Lyrics by Maury Yeston Book by Peter Stone Directed by Thom Southerland
May 20 to June 21, 2015 Princess of Wales Theatre
The haunting tragedy of the great ship Titanic is transformed by composer and lyricist Maury Yeston (Nine, Grand Hotel) into a riveting musical in which the hopes and dreams of rich and poor, heroes and cowards, lovers and foes are woven together in a celebration of the human spirit. (Note: This was originally supposed to be part of the season, and was then cancelled. But now it’s back!)
2. THE HEART OF ROBIN HOOD
By David Farr Music by Parsonsfield Lyrics by Parsonsfield and David Farr Directed by Gisli Örn Gardarsson
December 23, 2014 to March 1, 2015 Royal Alexandra Theatre
In this spectacular rendition of the fabled tale, Robin and his very unmerry gang of cutthroats may steal from the rich, but it’s never occurred to them to give anything back to anyone! But, as the wicked Prince John threatens all, bold Marion steps up to protect the poor… and convert the thuggish Robin from outlaw to hero. (Note: Parsonsfield performed a few numbers, and this show has some really catchy indie-folk-rock vibes to it!)
The rest of the mainstage season:
3. OUR COUNTRY’S GOOD
Directed by Max Stafford-Clark By Timberlake Wertenbaker Based on The Playmaker by Thomas Keneally
September 13 to October 26, 2014 Royal Alexandra Theatre
In 1788, Britain opened Australia’s first penal colony with 734 men, women and children—criminals—sent into exile “for our country’s good.” This brilliant historical drama tells the powerful, true story of a ragbag cast of those first convicts who put on a play under the guidance of an earnest young marine officer. As the barriers between captors and captives break down, they start to discover each other, both onstage and behind the scenes.
4. David Mirvish presents the Shaw Festival production of
By Tom Stoppard Directed by Eda Holmes
November 4 to December 14, 2014 Royal Alexandra Theatre
You are in for a dazzling Tom Stoppard tale of secrecy and intrigue that’s been hailed by critics as a masterpiece. It’s a mystery wrapped in a love story, wrapped in a scandal. In its unraveling, the play zigs and zags from mathematics to poetry, from sex to gardening! It’s a time and mind-bending roller-coaster ride that is also one of Stoppard’s funniest and most moving plays.
5. Angela Lansbury (Editor’s note: ANGELA LANSBURY!!!!!!) starring in
Noël Coward’s BLITHE SPIRIT
Directed by Michael Blakemore
February 11 to March 15, 2015 Princess of Wales Theatre
Following the internationally acclaimed sold-out engagements on Broadway and London’s West End, theatre legend, Oscar-recipient and five-time Tony Award-winner ANGELA LANSBURY returns to the stage this winter in her Tony Award®-winning role as Madame Arcati, in Michael Blakemore’s revival of Noël Coward’s timeless comedy, BLITHE SPIRIT. Don’t miss what New York Times hails, “A laugh machine sheathed in satiny sophistication!”
6. Daryl Roth & Hal Luftig
By arrangement with David Mirvish present
Book by Harvey Fierstein Music and Lyrics by Cyndi Lauper Directed & Choreographed by Jerry Mitchell
Based on the MIRAMAX MOTION PICTURE KINKY BOOTS written by Geoff Deane & Tim Firth
Begins June 24, 2015 Royal Alexandra Theatre
Broadway’s high-heeled hit! KINKY BOOTS tells the story of Charlie, who has inherited his father’s nearly bankrupt shoe factory. Trying to save his family business, he finds inspiration—and much more—in the form of Lola, a fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos. With direction and Tony®-winning choreography by Jerry Mitchell, a book by four-time Tony® winner Harvey Fierstein and a score by Cyndi Lauper, this red-hot musical smash has sold-out audiences dancing—and strutting—in the aisles every night! Winner of six Tony® awards including Best Musical and Best Score!
This will be a sit-down Canadian production. Auditions for the cast will begin shortly.
7. Disney’s NEWSIES
Book by Harvey Fierstein Music by Alan Menken Lyrics by Jack Feldman
Directed by Jeff Calhoun Choreographed by Christopher Gattelli
Based on the DISNEY MOTION PICTURE NEWSIES, original screenplay by Bob Tzudiker & Noni White
July 8 to August 16, 2015 Ed Mirvish Theatre
They delivered the papers, until they made the headlines. Direct from Broadway comes NEWSIES, the smash-hit, crowd-pleasing new musical from Disney! Based on true events, NEWSIES tells the captivating story of a band of underdogs who become unlikely heroes when they stand up to the most powerful men in New York. It’s a rousing tale about fighting for what’s right… and staying true to who you are.
Mirvish also produces a few plays that are part of its second stage series, called Off-Mirvish. Here are their three shows for the season:
1. BUYER & CELLAR
The Hit Comedy By Jonathan Tolins Starring Christopher J. Hanke
Directed by Stephen Brackett
November 12 to 30, 2014 Panasonic Theatre
BUYER & CELLAR is an outrageous new comedy about the oddest of odd jobs: “an underemployed Los Angeles actor going to work in Barbra Streisand’s Malibu basement” (The New York Times). Broadway star Christopher J, Hanke plays the lucky actor in this brilliant, hilarious and outrageously inventive comedy.
2. David Mirvish presents the Kdoons and Wyrd Production
Written, Directed & Performed By Rick Miller
January 15 to February 1, 2015 Panasonic Theatre
Part explosive performance, part riveting documentary (and part nostalgia trip), BOOM is a one man tour-de-force that captures the defining moments of the baby-boom generation.
Folding the past into the future with state-of-the-art multimedia, Gemini and Dora Award-winner Rick Miller guides us through 25 years of turbulent history and portrays the world’s most influential politicians, activists and musicians. It’s a mind-blowing experience for audiences of all generations!
3. VANYA & SONIA & MASHA & SPIKE
By Christopher Durang
Directed by Dean Paul Gibson
Starring: Steven Sutcliffe as Vanya, Fiona Reid as Sonia, Jennifer Dale as Masha, Luke Humphrey as Spike, Ellen Denny as Nina, Audrey Dwyer as Cassandra
March 14 to April 5, 2015 Panasonic Theatre
TONY AWARD® BEST PLAY
What’s in a name? It can be quite a lot… if your parents have named you and your siblings for dysfunctional characters in the plays of Chekhov. Middle-aged siblings Vanya and Sonia are so wallowed in boredom, depression, self-pity and resentment that they can’t even change out of their pajamas… until sister Masha comes home with a new boy-toy in tow. Can the hunky Spike deliver these lost souls from misery?
And finally, there were a number of special events and performances revealed that weren’t part of the Mirvish subscription – so-called “Bonus Shows”!
By Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman
Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire Musical Staging by Wayne Cilento
Directed by Joe Mantello
Now On Stage until November 2, 2014 Ed Mirvish Theatre
BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! Long before that girl from Kansas arrives in Munchkinland, two girls meet in the Land of Oz. One—born with emerald green skin—is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. How these two grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good makes for “the most complete—and completely satisfying—musical in a long time” – USA Today.
2. THE BOOK OF MORMON
Book, Music & Lyrics by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone
Co-directed by Trey Parker and Casey Nicholaw Choreographed by Casey Nicholaw
Now On Stage until November 30, 2014 Princess of Wales Theatre
The New York Times calls it “the best musical of this century.” The Washington Post says, “It is the kind of evening that restores your faith in musicals.” Entertainment Weekly says, “Grade A: The funniest musical of all time.” And Jon Stewart of The Daily Show calls it “A crowning achievement. So good it makes me angry.”
3. THE BEST OF THE EDINBURGH FESTIVAL
Every August over a million people descend on the city of Edinburgh in Scotland to partake of over 3,000 different stage shows. Most shows barely make a ripple, but those that manage to captivate audiences often go on to worldwide touring success. The Edinburgh Fringe is unlike any other festival, and in this inaugural mini-festival at the Panasonic Theatre we present two very different shows that highlight what the Edinburgh Fringe does best:
a. JULIE MADLY DEEPLY
Conceived by and Starring Sarah-Louise Young Musical director Michael Roulston
Directed by Russell Lucas
September 30 – October 19 (in rep with THE BOY WITH TAPE ON HIS FACE)
Adored by millions, Dame Julie Andrews is a genuine legend of showbiz around the globe. This charming and cheeky musical show features songs from The Sound Of Music, My Fair Lady, Mary Poppins, Victor/Victoria and many more. Julie’s incredible career is celebrated by a true super-fan: the award-winning singer, West End actress and international cabaret star Sarah-Louise Young, who has been named by Time Out as one of London’s Top Ten cabaret performers. The brilliant songs are linked by stories and anecdotes about Andrews’ own life, from her beginnings as a child star to the recent challenges of losing her famous singing voice. What emerges is a delightfully funny and candid love letter to a true show business survivor.
b. THE BOY WITH TAPE ON HIS FACE
Starring Sam Wills
October 1 – October 19 (in rep with JULIE MADLY DEEPLY)
This unique silent comedy phenomenon has won standing ovations across the globe, including a sold-out season in London’s West End and playing for the Queen as part of the esteemed Royal Variety Performance. Now, The Boy With Tape On His Face comes to Toronto for the first time in this strictly limited season. ‘The Boy’ is New Zealand’s Sam Wills, whose piercing blue eyes stare out above a mouth that remains firmly sealed with gaffer tape throughout the show. Everyday objects are put to incredible new uses, with the help of genius slapstick imagination and a brilliant popular soundtrack. Each carefully prepared scene builds suspense until its hilarious and unpredictable climax… sometimes with the help of audience volunteers!
4. DONNY & MARIE: A BROADWAY CHRISTMAS
December 9 to 21, 2014 Princess of Wales Theatre
In the holiday tradition of the “Osmond Family Christmas” television specials, the legendary Donny and Marie invite you and your family to celebrate the spirit of the season in true Osmond fashion. With a dash of Christmas spirit and their trademark show-stopping production numbers, DONNY & MARIE: A BROADWAY CHRISTMAS features Christmas songs and cheer plus hits from their illustrious careers all mixed with their irresistible chemistry that made them international stars.
5. JERSEY BOYS
Book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice
Music by Bob Gaudio and Lyrics by Bob Crewe Choreography by Sergio Trujillo
Directed by Des McAnuff
December 17, 2014 – January 4, 2015
Ed Mirvish Theatre
“TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE!” raves the New York Post for JERSEY BOYS, the Tony®, Grammy® and Olivier Award-winning Best Musical about Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The Four Seasons: Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi. This is the true story of how four blue-collar kids became one of the greatest successes in pop music history. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds and sold 175 million records worldwide—all before they were 30!
6. BLADES ON STAGE: A Broadway Holiday Spectacular On Ice
Directed & Choreographed by Steven Cousins
Production & Lighting Design by Gary Wilson & Errol Reinhart
Costumes by Denis Pizzacalla
Organized & Produced by Disson Skating
December 24, 2014 to January 4, 2015
Princess of Wales Theatre
Canada’s finest skating artists are being brought from the ice rinks into the legitimate theatre. Elvis Stojko, Shae-Lynn Bourne, Violetta Afansieva & Pete Dack are among the luminaries who will star in this brand new show specifically created for the Princess of Wales Theatre. The massive stage of this state-of-the-art theatre will be frozen to allow these world champions and Olympians to present their brilliant moves to an audience enjoying the comfort of a real theatre. They will be interpreting many of the standards of musical theatre, with a few holiday favourites thrown in. BLADES ON STAGE promises spectacular holiday entertainment for the whole family.
7. DAME EDNA’S GLORIOUS GOODBYE – THE FAREWELL TOUR
April 9 – 19, 2015 Royal Alexandra Theatre
In a side-splitting, historic finale, Dame Edna Everage is capping a spectacular career spanning 50 years of bravura showmanship in this farewell celebratory, sold-out performances show across the world. With her take-no-prisoners comedy and hijinks, Dame Edna is not going out with a whimper: No one is safe from the Dame’s wicked tongue.
Playwright Enda Walsh
Music & Lyrics by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová
Directed by John Tiffany
Begins February 10, 2015 Ed Mirvish Theatre
Toronto fell in love with ONCE in December 2013, when the first touring company of the Tony Award-winning musical played here for a limited run; a critical and popular hit, it sold out every single seat during its six-week run. The Toronto Star called ONCE “a perfect illustration of the magic that musical theatre at its best is capable of.” The Globe and Mail awarded it four stars, its highest rating.
The response to ONCE was so strong, David Mirvish committed to producing a sit-down production starring an all-Canadian cast.
After extensive cross-country auditions, he is delighted to announce the cast.
IAN LAKE will star as Guy and TRISH LINDSTRÖM will star as Girl.
Also featuring STEPHANIE CADMAN as Ex-Girlfriend, NATHAN CARROL as Andrej, EMILY LUKASIK as Reza, JON-ALEX MACFARLANE as Bank Manager, BRANDON MCGIBBON as Svec, STEPHEN GUY-MCGRATH as Billy, LAURIE MURDOCH as Da, BRENDAN WALL as Eamon, JEREMY WALMSLEY as Emcee, BEN CAMENZULI, GABI EPSTEIN, JUSTIN RAISEBECK, ALICIA TONER and SEANA-LEE WOOD.