Skip to main content

Beverley Knight in The Bodyguard.Paul Coltas

The pre-Broadway run of the Newfoundland-set musical Come From Away, the latest spectacle from Quebec circus troupe The 7 Fingers, a thriller from Toronto playwright Nicolas Billon – and Canadian stage legend Fiona Reid as Queen Elizabeth II.

All feature prominently in the 2016-2017 Mirvish Productions lineup announced on Tuesday morning, one that gives fans of Canadian theatre plenty to celebrate.

Commercial producer David Mirvish's main seven-show subscription series features five musicals in total – starting with the final pre-Broadway stop of Come From Away, a heart-warming musical from the Toronto-based husband-and-wife team of David Hein and Irene Sankoff, set in Gander after planes from around the world were diverted there on 9/11.

Two West End musicals adapted from movies arrive next in February, 2017: The Bodyguard, based on the 1992 romantic thriller starring Whitney Houston; and Mrs Henderson Presents, adapted from a 2005 Judi Dench movie about a widow who adds nudity to the bill at a London theatre during the Second World War.

In April, 2017, Strictly Ballroom: The Musical – created by the Australian director Baz Luhrmann based on his popular 1992 film – will have its North America premiere. Then in July, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical – a hit jukebox musical about King and other songwriters working in the famed Brill Building – will tour to Toronto The two non-musical plays in Mirvish's main subscription season will both be Canadian productions. Cuisine and Confessions, a culinary-themed circus show from the Quebec troupe The 7 Fingers (a.k.a. Les 7 doigts de la main), will visit in November.

Then, in January, 2017, Peter Morgan's The Audience – a play about the Queen's weekly meetings with British prime ministers from Winston Churchill to David Cameron – will have its Canadian premiere with Fiona Reid in the lead role. Former Shaw Festival artistic director Christopher Newton will direct this co-production with the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre.

Mirvish Productions also offers a three-show season of edgier fare called Off-Mirvish. In March, 2017, it will bring Nicolas Billon's excellent thriller Butcher to a wider audience in Toronto – with a remount of the Why Not Theatre production directed by Weyni Mengesha recently seen at the Theatre Centre.

In February of that year, director Joel Greenberg's Studio 180 theatre will again collaborate with Mirvish Productions on the belated Canadian premiere of Kevin Elyot's My Night With Reg, a 1994 Olivier-winning British comedy set during the AIDS crisis of the 1980s. The Off-Mirvish season will also feature Fight Night – an immersive show from the Belgium theatre collective Ontroerend Goed that takes the form of an actual election.

Four bonus, off-subscription shows round out the Mirvish offering: A new production of Forever Plaid presented with Starvox Entertainment starting this May; the second return of The Book of Mormon in February 2017; the Broadway magic show The Illusionists; and a touring production of Cabaret. For more details, visit mirvish.com.