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The Wizard of Oz heading to Sin City

The current Canadian production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production of The Wizard of Oz will take up residence at Las Vegas’s Smith Center for the Performing Arts beginning September 10.  Currently at the Ed Mirvish Theatre in Toronto, they will wrap up on August 18 as they prepare to head to south.  Most of the current cast will make the journey, which will be the beginning of a North American tour ending on July 20, 2014 at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre.

Mirvish Productions celebrates 50 years

The theatre world doesn’t often have the chance to celebrate a producer with such staying power as Toronto’s Mirvish Productions.  This season 2013/2014 celebrates 50 years since Ed Mirvish purchased the Royal Alexandra Theatre and over the years turned King Street West into the vibrant theatre district it is today.  This season brings back a favourite, Les Miserable, with a predominately Canadian cast.  Toronto will host the pre-Broadway production of Disney’s Aladdin.  Also on tap is the Canadian premier of the Tony-winner Once, a new production of Cats as well as the world premiere of the “tango rock opera” Arrabal from Toronto native choreographer Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys).  It looks like Toronto theatre goers will have reason to celebrate this half century of Mirvish presentations.  For a full list of the upcoming season visit www.mirvish.com.

Les Miserables..returning to Toronto this year

The latest report has the iconic musical Les Miserables returning to Toronto in September.  With all the excitement surrounding the recent feature film, it just makes sense to capitalize on the continuing popularity of Les Miz.  Casting has not been confirmed however expect a stellar gathering since Toronto is a city that continues to have a deep love affair with this musical.  Will keep you posted as additional information becomes available.

War Horse Tixs for Canadian Vets

In recognition of Remembrance Day, Mirvish Productions is offering complimentary tickets to War Horse to any Canadian veteran or member of the armed forces from November 13 to December 2.  Companion tickets can be purchased from $39 to $69 at the Princess of Wales Theatre.  This is an amazing offer to a memorable production…a great way to recognize their service.

Dancap….exit stage left…

July 12 marks the last opening night for Dancap Productions…ending a five-year ride that saw great highlights as well as lows.  Once again the Toronto commercial theatre landscape has shrunk…which doesn’t bode well since healthy competition keeps everyone on their toes.  Theatre is one of those businesses that can see great success one day then bankruptcy the next.  It is a credit to Aubrey Dan that he hung in there this long….through some very tough times.

It was a pleasure working on Dancap’s first foray into the marketplace, Jersey Boys.  A terrific team was behind bringing this production to Toronto audiences and proved to be one of my career highlights.  Wishing Dan the best in whatever his next chapter is….and thanks for the memories.

War Horse extended in Toronto

As expected, no sooner did the stunning War Horse production open, the producer announced its stay at the Princess of Wales Theatre is extended until September 30.  Although I’ve only seen a dress rehearsal (seeing the show on April4)I knew it was going to be a hit with critics and audiences alike…and it is!  It is a stunning production…what theatre is all about.  Thrilled it’s sticking around…and who knows…maybe even beyond September 30th.

The Blue Dragon…Brilliant Theatre

I had the opportunity to see the current production of The Blue Dragon at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto recently…and what a delightful surprise.  Having no expectations entering the theatre the play transported the audience, as theatre should, to a land far away.  The clever set gave the feeling of more than three characters on stage throughout the almost two hour performance.  The creators Marie Michaud and Robert Lepage have delivered one of the finest theatrical experiences in recent memory.  The Blue Dragon continues until February 19th. Let’s hope this piece reaches beyond a Canadian audience.

Mary Poppins…Simply Magical!

I had the pleasure of attending the Toronto opening of Mary Poppins, the musical produced by Disney and Cameron Mackintosh…and what a night it was.  Right from the first note it was an enchanting ride with stellar performances by all characters especially Mary and Bert.  In the second act Bert has a gravity defying number that has to be seen to be believed.  It doesn’t matter what your age is…this is production delights and promises to deliver a magical night of theatre.  The show is only in town until January 8 and is playing at the Princess of Wales…

Private Lives…a real romp!

The 1930s Noel Coward comedy Private Lives opened recently at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto to excellent reviews.  Canadian stars Kim Cattrall and Paul Gross do not disappoint with their on stage chemistry.  The sets are stunning and inventive…no penny pinching here.  On stage until October 30, this is definitely a great theatre event not to be missed.

Stratford Superstar heading south

It was recently announced that the critically acclaimed Stratford Shakespeare Festival production of Jesus Christ Superstar will be heading the San Diego’s La Jolla Playhouse in November.  Stratford artistic director Des McAnuff has very close ties to La Jolla with  stints as its artistic director from 1983 to 1994 and again from 2000 to 2007.  Recent visits from creators Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice begs the question….can a Broadway date follow their La Jolla engagement?