What’s happening all over? I’ll tell you what’s happening all over. Productions of Guys and Dolls are popping up everywhere like clover.
That’s what’s happening all over – or, to be a little bit more specific, that’s will happen at the Shaw Festival next season.
Frank Loesser’s classic Broadway musical about gangsters and missionaries has upcoming outings in Montreal (at the Segal Centre) and Barrie (in a cross-gendered version at Talk is Free Theatre), but the biggest Canadian production will arrive in the spring in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., directed by Poland’s Tadeusz Bradecki.
The Shaw Festival’s first production of Guys and Dolls was revealed as the festival announced its full 2013 lineup on Monday.
Sharing the Festival Theatre stage with Nathan Detroit et al will be Enchanted April, Matthew Barber’s adaptation of Elizabeth Von Arnim’s 1922 novel about four Englishwomen on vacation in Italy. Artistic director Jackie Maxwell will be in charge of that one – a kind of Eat, Pray, Love of the 1920s.
And, following up his chilling production of When the Rain Stops Falling two seasons ago, Peter Hinton will return to direct Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan on Ontario wine country’s most illustrious stage.
Over at the Royal George theatre, director Morris Panych will be back to shepherd W. Somerset Maugham’s Our Betters to the stage, while former intern director Craig Hall will get his big shot with Brian Friel’s Faith Healer.
In the Studio Theatre, ever-popular British playwright Tom Stoppard will makes his long overdue Shaw debut as Eda Holmes stages the metaphysical musings of his 1993 play, Arcadia.
Instead of a single lunchtime show, there will be a double-bill next season at Shaw, both by American playwrights associated with the Provincetown Players: Susan Glaspell’s much-anthologized play, Trifles (1916); and Eugene O’Neill’s very first work for the stage, A Wife for a Life (1913).
Of course, the Shaw Festival wouldn’t be the Shaw Festival without a fellow named Bernard Shaw. Peace in Our Time: A Comedy – a rewrite of Shaw’s problematic 1938 League of Nations satire by John Murrell – will play at the Court House Theatre. (Murrell will also have a play in the Stratford Shakespeare Festival’s 2013 season; has any Canadian playwright ever managed that trick before?)
Finally, at the Royal George, Maxwell will direct GBS’s good old reliable comedy, Major Barbara, in which an officer from the Save Our Soul Mission sets out to reform a handsome gambler. Or, wait, am I mixing it up with something else?