Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
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This article was published 27/4/2011 (3394 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Prairie Theatre Exchange will revive the 2009 fringe festival hit musical Altar Boyz next February as part of its 2011-12 season.
In March when the Portage Place-based theatre unveiled next year's playlist it left open the fourth slot as management weighed a couple of options. PTE has chosen to present the Winnipeg Studio Theatre production of Altar Boyz with the same cast and director, Kayla Gordon, from Feb. 23-March 11, 2012.
"We're absolutely ecstatic to do it again and with the same cast," says Gordon.
The Christian boy band spoof was one of the top draws at the fringe and starred Jeremy Walmsley, Joseph Sevillo, Marc Devigne, Michael Lyons and Simon Miron who get jiggy for Jesus on the final stop on their Raise the Praise tour.
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Alter Boyz won't be part of the inaugural Winnipeg Studio Theatre season Gordon recently announced.
In 2006, Gordon formed WST with choreographer Brenda Gorlick with a mandate to present contemporary plays and musicals performed by the city's up-and-coming performers. Their production history involves three fringe festival offerings: Hair (2007), Altar Boyz (2009) and last year The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee in 2011.
This July at the fringe the WST will premiere the musical Hersteria, written by Winnipeg's Sharon Bajer (Molly's Veil), with music and lyrics by Joseph Aragon and Sally Fingerett. It follows the story of four women who are driven to murder after being betrayed by their therapist.
SDLqHersteria was our first project in 2007," says Gordon, a former artistic director of the Winnipeg Jewish Theatre. "It was the reason we started this company."
The centrepiece of the WST playlist is the musical Spring Awakening, which grabbed eight Tony Awards,
including best musical in 2007. Although it deals with angst-ridden young people in 1890s Germany, it pulses with a contemporary alt-rock score. It runs Nov. 24-Dec. 4 at the Warehouse Theatre.
The third and final offering is another musical, My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding, a true story about a divorced woman's journey of self-discovery. It is also slated for the Warehouse May 10-20, 2012.
"We're stepping up next season with four projects," she says.
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Now that the last openings of the regular theatre season are history, attention turns to a surprisingly sunny summer for stage-lovers.
In the next four months the playlist features three of the Top 20 longest running shows on Broadway, including the arrival of Wicked, the most anticipated show to hit the city since the early reign of the mega-musicals. It is still one of toughest tickets in New York where it has been performed 3,000 times since its 2003 debut.
A touring productions will stop in at the Centennial Concert Hall August 24-Sept. 4. Based on Gregory Maguire's novel, Wicked explores the early lives of two witches who meet in Oz and grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good.
Also set to hit the boards here is Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, May 13-15 at the CanWest Performance Arts Centre.
It is the first time it will be professionally performed here and is noteworthy for being the show in which Winnipeg's gift to musical theatre, Len Cariou, won a 1979 best actor Tony Award. The Dry Cold Productions presentation stars Peter Huck and Mariam Bernstein
Rainbow Stage's double-offering of Cats (June 21-July 10) and Hairspray (Aug. 4-21) rank respectively as the second longest playing show in Broadway history with 7,485 performances and the 20th on the list with 2,641 shows.
The 55-year-old outdoor theatre company will present the first professional homegrown production of Cats. It has also brought in a name -- TV star George Wendt of Cheers fame -- to headline its revival of Hairspray.
For Bard-lovers Shakespeare in the Ruins is staging Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2 June 2-25 in its tent at Assiniboine Park. David Warburton will play Falstaff, the swaggering clownish mentor to Prince Hal.
For those who can't wait for the appearance of the fringe festival program, some of the more intriguing titles to look forward to this July 13-24 include the highly regraded This is Cancer, Great American Trailer Park Musical, Cannibal! The Musical, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, The Last Gig of Lenny Breau and the play version of Spring Awakening.
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