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James Reaney has covered everything from operas to Neil Young concerts to baseball's World Series in more than 30 years at The London Free Press. Now, he concentrates on London entertainment in his Saturday Today section column and Forest City lore in Thursday 's My London column on Page A2. He is the host of two weekly video. lfpress .com , features, Reaney's Pick, an online platform for London performers, and It's On, a guide to the best of the local scene. James is a passionate supporter of the Jack Richardson Music Awards, which host an annual gala and other free events in London's only not-for-profit recognition of our musical excellence. He is also on the board of the King's University College Centre for Creativity and an active member of the London & Middlesex Historical Society.

The fifth annual James Reaney Memorial Lecture report

- October 20th, 2014

Sarah Polley archives

The Porcupine’s Quill couldn’t afford an image of Sarah Polley as Alice for the cover of the Alice book back in the day . . . so here’s one courtesy of the Stratford Festival archives, taken with trusty BlackBerry

JBNBlog thanks Tim & Elke Inkster of Porcupine’s Quill  for Sunday’s terrific James Reaney Memorial Lecture at Stratford. The annual series celebrates the legacy of my late father, Canadian poet & playwright James Crerar “Jamie” Reaney … Tim’s talk was fascinating.

Deepest thanks to the series organizers, Charles Mountford of Poetry Stratford, & the Stratford Public Library, represented by collections & outreach librarian & topnotch fencer Robyn Godfrey, who handled tech issues deftly  … & to all those who joined us on Sunday.

Tim’s talk with the fifth in the series. Previous speakers include my late mother & London’s greatest poet Colleen Thibaudeau, London author Jean McKay, London creative aces Marion Johnson & Peter Denny, Canadian actor, teacher & impresario David Ferry . . . just fyi, & because it so kewl, David Ferry has been touring Australia in a production of The Last Confession starring David Suchet, a.k.a. PBS-TV’s Poirot.

Next year, it will be Tom Gerry(whose The Emblems of James Reaney is published by The Porcupine’s Quill) on his study of dad’s emblem’s poems & in 2016 the iconic composer & Canadian hero John Beckwith.

Over to QMI Agency colleague Laura Cudworth for the details from Sunday … a bow to Laura & all Beacon Herald allies for their

contributions to arts coverage & so much more in Stratford & Perth County. Yay.

Laura Cudworth

Straford Beacon Herald Staff Reporter

The late James Reaney was a creative writer to be sure, but few may realize he was also a creative typesetter.

Tim Inkster, co-owner of The Porcupine’s Quill with wife Elke, was the speaker at the annual James Reaney Memorial Lecture Sunday afternoon. Inkster’s talk was an “anecdotal bibliography of Reaney’s career in print.”

Fans of Reaney’s work – perhaps many new ones now after a successful production of Alice Through the Looking-Glass at the Stratford Festival this season – may not be aware he had a press in the basement of his Huron Street home, where he put together copies of Alphabet magazine and printed two books–one of his own and the other his wife Colleen Thibaudeau’s work.

It could be argued his dedication to getting the word out is unmatched. He assembled full pages of prose one letter at a time, Inkster said.

In fact, there’s one story about his running into difficulty when he ran out of “Ws” while putting together an essay about being a twin for Alphabet. He had to rewrite parts of it in order to avoid the word, Inkster said.

There are also stories of Reaney transporting monotype precariously on buses and dumping the letters.

Inkster knew Reaney and was in the process of publishing a new edition of the Governor-General’s Award-winning A Suit of Nettles with wonderful illustrations when the poet died. Reaney died in 2008 and never saw the edition.

Inkster called that one of the great disappointments of his career.

He also recalled when Alice Through the Looking-Glass was deep in rehearsals before it’s debut at the Stratford Festival in 1994. It occurred to Reaney a book might be a good idea. He approached the Inksters to print it in May. The play opened in July.

Inkster was in Stratford opening day delivering copies to bookstores.

“The ink was still damp,” he said.

They couldn’t afford to put actress Sarah Polley’s face on the cover – she played Alice – so a design sketch was used instead.

Reaney didn’t like cars or highways. He preferred bikes. He had a sense of the past and certainly a sense of place. While he may be best known for his trilogy about the historic Donnellys, he had a deep understanding of the present.

Inkster recalled the stir that erupted after he wrote The Box Social.

“The story introduced the theme of date rape 30 years before the term was invented.”

Reaney won the Governor-General’s Award three times. In addition to A Suit of Nettles, he won for The Red Heart and Twelve Letters to a Small Town and The Killdeer and Other Plays.

Anita Krause in The Sound Of Music. Yay.

- October 20th, 2014

Anita Krause LFP_20130422_02Orchestra

Anita Krause rehearses with Orchestra London conducted by Alain Trudel at St. Paul’s Cathedral on Monday April 22, 2013

TO GO WITH STORY BY JAMES REANEY  . . .  MORRIS LAMONT The London Free Press

The hills are alive with the sound of Orchard Park mezzo Anita Krause … the London singer is to be Mother Abbess iin the 2015 Stratford Festival production of The Sound of Music …  A Western Don Wright music faculty member, Anita has been a Jack Richardson Music Award winner & guested with Orchestra London & was in a recent Jeffery Concerts event.

Other Sherwood Forest-Orchard Park residents who have been part of the festival include Rob and Karen Stone … are they still in the fest orchestra? Maybe they can all car pool up to the fest in 2015.

Other local heroes in the 2015 casting announced Monday include Stephen Ouimette and Deborah Hay.

The season starts with the great Jonathan Goad, a honorary Londoner (hey, he was at the Fanshawe theatre space in CitiPlaza as a teacher a while back!) a.k.a. Jake Doyle’s troubled brother, as Hamlet.

Here are the details from Festival media ace Ann Swerdfager . . .

 

October 20, 2014… Casting for the 2015 season of the Stratford Festival is under way with a number of key roles in place.

 

Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino is delighted to welcome back: Graham Abbey, Sarah Afful, Matt Alfano, Gabriel Antonacci, Matthew Armet, Maev Beaty, Carla Bennett, Evan Buliung, Jacqueline Burtney, Lally Cadeau, Ben Carlson, Shane Carty, Stephen Cota, Keith Dinicol, Sara Farb, Barbara Fulton, Ryan Gifford, Jonathan Goad, Sean Alexander Hauk, Deborah Hay, Alexandra Herzog, Randy Hughson, Peter Hutt, Robin Hutton, Bonnie Jordan, Krista Leis, Monique Lund, Chad McFadden, Yanna McIntosh, Seana McKenna, Gordon S. Miller, Marcus Nance, Cory O’Brien, Denise Oucharek, Stephen Ouimette, Lucy Peacock, Gord Rand, Glynis Ranney, Jennifer Rider-Shaw, Tom Rooney, Steve Ross, Tyrone Savage, Jason Sermonia, Mike Shara, Ian Simpson, Scott Wentworth, Brigit Wilson, Jonathan Winsby, Geraint Wyn Davies and Joseph Ziegler.

 

Mr. Cimolino is also pleased to welcome newcomers Alex Black, Alexis Gordon, Alana Hibbert, James Kall, Anita Krause, Ethan Lafleur, Melanie McInenly, Stephanie Rothenberg, Cynthia Smithers and Robin Evan Willis.

 

“I am excited about the quality of these players,” says Mr. Cimolino. “We have an unparalleled company of actors who have been working together for a number of years. They know one another and the trust is there, which means they can push the boundaries.

 

“Our audiences find great joy in watching them work together over time in various combinations. For instance, the relationship between Seana McKenna and Geraint Wyn Davies that began with Mary Stuart and grew as the love interest in Mother Courage will continue – with great electricity – in Hamlet and The Physicists next year. As with others in the company, the level of trust between these two extraordinary actors allows for a sense of improvisation, a sense of freedom.

 

“We also have a number of exceptional people who come and go each year, and this serves to reinvigorate the company, while also providing actors with opportunities to experience new things. Then there are the younger actors, who have been here for a few seasons and are now hitting their stride, and they are joined by even newer faces making their Stratford debuts. If you look at theatre over the years, you see that it is this style of company building that allows you to do significant work.”

 

FESTIVAL THEATRE

SUPPORT FOR THE 2015 SEASON OF THE FESTIVAL THEATRE IS GENEROUSLY PROVIDED BY

CLAIRE & DANIEL BERNSTEIN

 

Jonathan Goad to play Hamlet in the season opener

 

HAMLET | BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

DIRECTED BY ANTONI CIMOLINO

PREVIEWS START MAY 1 | OPENS MAY 25 | CLOSES OCTOBER 11

PRODUCTION SUPPORT: DRS. M.L. MYERS & THE LATE W.P. HAYMAN,

JANE PETERSEN BURFIELD & FAMILY, ESTHER & SAM SARICK IN HONOUR OF

ANTONI CIMOLINO, BARBARA & JOHN SCHUBERT, AND CATHERINE & DAVID WILKES

 

Highly regarded for his profoundly emotive performances, Jonathan Goad will take on the role of Hamlet in the 2015 season opener, directed by Mr. Cimolino. The production’s stellar cast also features Seana McKenna as Gertrude and Geraint Wyn Davies as Claudius and the Ghost.

 

Mr. Goad is well remembered for his impassioned portrayals of such key characters as the Bastard in the 2004 production of King John, Iago in the 2007 production of Othello, Mark Antony in 2009’s Julius Caesar and Hippolytus in Phèdre that same year. This season, he was lauded for his Kent in King Lear, and for his remarkable versatility as he alternated the roles of Titania and Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. His other Stratford highlights over 12 seasons include Harold Hill in The Music Man, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Angelo in Measure for Measure, Leo Katz in Pentecost, Quarlous in Bartholomew Fair, Frondoso in Fuente Ovejuna, and the title role in Pericles. Mr. Goad has performed at theatres across the country and has worked on numerous films and television series, including the hit CBC show Republic of Doyle, in which he plays Christian Doyle.

 

The production will also feature longtime Festival favourites Tom Rooney as Polonius and Mike Shara as Laertes.

 

Stephanie Rothenberg to play Maria with Ben Carlson as

Captain von Trapp

 

THE SOUND OF MUSIC | MUSIC BY RICHARD RODGERS, LYRICS BY OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN II

BOOK BY HOWARD LINDSAY AND RUSSEL CROUSE

SUGGESTED BY “THE TRAPP FAMILY SINGERS” BY MARIA AUGUSTA TRAPP

DIRECTED AND CHOREOGRAPHED BY DONNA FEORE

PREVIEWS START APRIL 21 | OPENS MAY 26 | CLOSES OCTOBER 18

PRODUCTION CO-SPONSOR: UNION GAS LIMITED

PRODUCTION SUPPORT: THE HARKINS/MANNING FAMILIES IN MEMORY OF

JAMES & SUSAN HARKINS AND BY RIKI TUROFSKY & CHARLES PETERSEN

 

Stephanie Rothenberg, who recently played Rosemary in the Tony-nominated Broadway revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, will make her Stratford debut as Maria in The Sound of Music. Ben Carlson will mark his eighth season with his first role in a Stratford musical, playing Captain von Trapp. The production will be directed and choreographed by Donna Feore.

 

Ms Rothenberg made her Broadway debut in 2011 in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying starring opposite Nick Jonas after appearing as a member of the ensemble in the original Broadway cast with Daniel Radcliffe. She followed up her Broadway run by originating roles in four world premières: Young Irene Castle in Castle Walk at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, Elinor Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility, The Musical at the Denver Center Theater Company, Princess Anne in Roman Holiday at the Guthrie Theater and Princess Clementine in Frog Kiss, The Musical at Virginia Stage Company. Ms Rothenberg grew up in Nashville, TN, recording for country music artists, animated shows and Walt Disney. She recently filmed an episode of Tina Fey’s upcoming show, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, starring Ellie Kemper and Jane Krakowski.

 

Mr. Carlson’s musical abilities are a secret to no one. For his recent role in the Canadian Stage production of London Road, he shared in a Dora Mavor Moore Award. In 2011 he played a singing and guitar-playing Feste in Des McAnuff’s rock-and-roll Twelfth Night. This season, in addition to playing the Chaplain in Mother Courage and Her Children, he also played guitar and bass in the production, and he performed a one-man musical about the life of Noël Coward for the Forum. Mr. Carlson brings to the role of Captain von Trapp his considerable skills as a dramatic and comedic actor. His Stratford credits include Octavius Caesar in this season’s Antony and Cleopatra, Burleigh in Mary Stuart, Charles Condomine in Blithe Spirit, Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, Fluellen in Henry V, Alceste in The Misanthrope, Leontes in The Winter’s Tale, John Worthing in The Importance of Being Earnest, and the title role in Hamlet, a part he also played at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, winning a Joseph Jefferson Award.

 

Ms Rothenberg and Mr. Carlson will be joined by Shane Carty as Max Detweiler, Anita Krause as the Mother Abbess and Robin Evan Willis as Elsa Schraeder.

Ben Carlson and Deborah Hay star as Petruchio and Katherina

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW | BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

DIRECTED BY CHRIS ABRAHAM

PREVIEWS START MAY 11 | OPENS JUNE 5 | CLOSES OCTOBER 10

PRODUCTION SUPPORT: LARRY ENKIN & FAMILY IN MEMORY OF SHARON ENKIN,

AND BY MARTIE & BOB SACHS

 

Ben Carlson and Deborah Hay will reunite on the Festival stage as the sparring lovers Petruchio and Katherina in The Taming of the Shrew, directed by Chris Abraham. Sparks last flew between the pair when they played Benedick and Beatrice in the Festival’s 2012 production of Much Ado About Nothing.

 

Ms Hay, who this season lit up the stage as Sally Bowles in Cabaret and Dorothea in A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur at the Shaw Festival, will return for her sixth Stratford season. She was last seen at the Festival in 2013 as Milady de Winter in The Three Musketeers and Emilia in Othello, a part for which she received great critical praise. Her previous Stratford credits include Alice in Henry V, Bianca in The Taming of the Shrew, Audrey in As You Like It and Katharine in Love’s Labour’s Lost. Ms Hay’s highly acclaimed Shaw Festival roles also include Eliza Doolittle in the hit production of My Fair Lady, Hesione Hushabye in Heartbreak House and an unforgettable Billie Dawn in Born Yesterday.

 

Mr. Carlson and Ms Hay will be joined by Sarah Afful as Bianca, Peter Hutt as Baptista, Gordon S. Miller as Biondello, Tom Rooney as Tranio and Mike Shara as Hortensio.

 

Love’s Labour’s Lost to feature Mike Shara

 

LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST | BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

DIRECTED BY JOHN CAIRD

PREVIEWS START JULY 30 | OPENS AUGUST 14 | CLOSES OCTOBER 9

PRODUCTION SUPPORT: LARRY & SALLY RAYNER

 

Mike Shara, who in just six seasons has become one of the Festival’s best-loved performers, will play Berowne in Shakespeare’s vivacious comedy Love’s Labour’s Lost, directed by John Caird.

 

Mr. Shara had a remarkable season this year, giving three indelible performances on the Festival stage: a vicious Cornwall in King Lear, a dreamy Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and a scheming Aimwell in The Beaux’ Stratagem, whom he played with marvellous comedic flair. Since joining the company in 2009, he has played such memorable roles as Roderigo in Othello, Aramis in The Three Musketeers, Cornelius Hackl in The Matchmaker, Cloten in Cymbeline and Christian in Cyrano de Bergerac. Mr. Shara is also a veteran of the Shaw Festival and has performed across the country. His television work includes Whatever, Murdoch Mysteries, Little Mosque on the Prairie and Queer as Folk.

 

The production will also feature Tom Rooney as Holofernes.

 

AVON THEATRE

SUPPORT FOR THE 2015 SEASON OF THE AVON THEATRE IS GENEROUSLY PROVIDED BY

THE BIRMINGHAM FAMILY

 

Sara Farb to play Anne Frank

 

SCHULICH CHILDREN’S PLAYS PRESENTS

THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK

BY FRANCES GOODRICH AND ALBERT HACKETT | ADAPTED BY WENDY KESSELMAN

DIRECTED BY JILLIAN KEILEY

PREVIEWS START APRIL 22 | OPENS MAY 28 | CLOSES OCTOBER 10

 

After playing two of Shakespeare’s most significant young women – Cordelia and Jessica – rising star Sara Farb will take on one of the 20th century’s most iconic figures: Anne Frank. Lucy Peacock will play her mother, Mrs. Frank, with Joseph Ziegler playing her father, Mr. Frank, in a production directed by Jillian Keiley.

 

Having made a great impact with her Stratford debut as Jessica in The Merchant of Venice and Doña Estefania in The Three Musketeers, Ms Farb took on two key roles in 2014: Cordelia in King Lear and Cherry in The Beaux’ Stratagem. For her recent portrayal of Natalie in Citadel Theatre and Theatre Calgary’s co-production of Next to Normal, Ms Farb won a Calgary Critics Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. She played Adele in The Passion of Adele Hugo at Eastern Front Theatre, and had roles in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Canadian Stage and The Sisters Rosensweig at Harold Green Jewish Theatre. She will next be seen in Theatre Passe Muraille’s production of R-E-B-E-C-C-A, a unique solo piece that she has written about her younger sister.

 

The production will also feature Yanna McIntosh as Mrs. Van Daan.

 

Alexis Gordon and Jonathan Winsby take the leads in

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel

 

RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN’S CAROUSEL

MUSIC BY RICHARD RODGERS, BOOK AND LYRICS BY OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN II

BASED ON FERENC MOLNAR’S PLAY “LILIOM” AS ADAPTED BY BENJAMIN F. GLAZER

ORIGINAL DANCES BY AGNES DE MILLE | CHOREOGRAPHED BY MICHAEL LICHTEFELD

DIRECTED BY SUSAN H. SCHULMAN

PREVIEWS START MAY 5 | OPENS MAY 29 | CLOSES OCTOBER 11

PRODUCTION SUPPORT: CEC & LINDA RORABECK

 

After stealing hearts as Lancelot in 2011’s Camelot and touring to Broadway in Jesus Christ Superstar, Jonathan Winsby returns to play Billy Bigelow in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel. Firmly by his side will be Alexis Gordon, making her Stratford debut as Julie Jordan. The production will be directed by Susan H. Schulman.

 

Though he made his Stratford debut in 2006 as Stewpot in South Pacific, Mr. Winsby has spent most of his career at the Arts Club Theatre in Vancouver, playing such roles as Galahad in Spamalot, Enjolras in Les Misérables, Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, Chris in Miss Saigon and Paul in Company. Mr. Winsby recently played Captain von Trapp in Gary Griffin’s The Sound of Music in concert at Carnegie Hall.

 

Ms Gordon was most recently seen in the world première of The Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble at Factory Theatre/Obsidian Theatre Company, as well as in the workshop production of Nicole Brook’s Obeah Opera at Nightwood Theatre Company. Other credits include roles in Recurring John and Paradises Lost at SummerWorks Festival, Canada Sings and Godspell at Victoria Petrolia Playhouse, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Driftwood Theatre.

 

The production will also feature Evan Buliung as the evildoer Jigger Craigin, Sean Alexander Hauk as Enoch Snow, Alana Hibbert as Nettie Fowler and Robin Evan Willis as Carrie Pipperidge.

 

Lucy Peacock, Joseph Ziegler team up as

Mr. & Mrs. Hardcastle

 

SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER | BY OLIVER GOLDSMITH

DIRECTED BY MARTHA HENRY

PREVIEWS START MAY 16 | OPENS JUNE 4 | CLOSES OCTOBER 10

PRODUCTION SUPPORT: DR. DESTA LEAVINE IN MEMORY OF PAULINE LEAVINE

 

Together on the Stratford stage for the first time since 2009’s The Trespassers, Lucy Peacock and Joseph Ziegler will play Mr. and Mrs. Hardcastle in the hilarious Oliver Goldsmith comedy She Stoops to Conquer, directed by Martha Henry.

 

Ms Peacock is on a bit of a comic roll at the moment, having played the leads in two delightful productions this season – Judith Bliss in Hay Fever and Mrs. Sullen in The Beaux’ Stratagem. Ms Peacock has long been a shining star at Stratford, with a career studded with remarkable performances, including, most recently, her stirring portrayals of Mary Stuart in the 2013 runaway hit, Elora in the world première of Judith Thompson’s The Thrill and Nana in For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again. Her credits also include the colourful Mrs. Munsch in Wanderlust, the leads in Hello, Dolly!, The King and I, and My Fair Lady, and her tour-de-force performance as all of the characters in The Blonde, the Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead. She has played more than 65 key roles at Stratford and has organized dozens of unforgettable cabarets, in particular the Late Night with Lucy Forum series, in which she performed and showcased the talents of her fellow company members.

 

Mr. Ziegler was seen most recently in this year’s electrifying production of Twelve Angry Men at Soulpepper Theatre. He has enjoyed a long and varied career in Canadian theatre, television and film. He first joined the Stratford company in 1983 and played many prominent roles over his first five seasons, including Berowne in Love’s Labour’s Lost, Hotspur in Henry IV Part One, Edgar in King Lear, Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night, Claudio in Measure for Measure and Posthumus in Cymbeline. He returned in 2000 to direct Paul Gross in Hamlet and was last seen as Hardy in Morris Panych’s The Trespassers in 2009. Mr. Ziegler, a founding member of Soulpepper Theatre, is the recipient of two Dora Awards.

 

Maev Beaty will play their daughter, Kate Hardcastle, with Sara Farb as Constance Neville and Tyrone Savage as Hastings.

 

TOM PATTERSON THEATRE

SUPPORT FOR THE 2015 SEASON OF THE TOM PATTERSON THEATRE IS GENEROUSLY PROVIDED BY RICHARD ROONEY & LAURA DINNER

 

Seana McKenna, Geraint Wyn Davies and Graham Abbey star in The Physicists

 

THE PHYSICISTS | BY FRIEDRICH DÜRRENMATT

DIRECTED BY MILES POTTER

PREVIEWS START MAY 12 | OPENS MAY 27 | CLOSES SEPTEMBER 20

PRODUCTION SUPPORT: ALICE & TIM THORNTON

 

After their electrifying performances in Mother Courage and Her Children, Seana McKenna and Geraint Wyn Davies will light up the stage once more in The Physicists, playing Fräulein Doktor Mathilde von Zahnd and Johann Wilhelm Möbius. They will be joined by Graham Abbey, playing Herbert Georg Beutler (alias “Newton”). The production will be helmed by award-winning director Miles Potter.

 

Ms McKenna’s heart-breaking portrayals this season of Mother Courage and of Constance in King John were merely the latest in a string of unforgettable performances that have thrilled theatregoers across the country and in the U.S. During her distinguished career she has played almost all of Shakespeare’s leading ladies, as well as his wife, Anne Hathaway, in the one-woman show Shakespeare’s Will. She has twice played Queen Elizabeth at Stratford, in last year’s hit Mary Stuart and in 2002’s Richard III. Renowned for her scorching portrayals of such tragic figures as Clytemestra, Medea and Phèdre, Ms McKenna is equally adept at comic pursuits, recently winning great praise for her Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit and Dolly Levi in The Matchmaker. She also added some sizzle as La Marquise de Merteuil in 2010’s Dangerous Liaisons. Ms McKenna was recently honoured with two honorary degrees, from the University of Toronto’s Trinity College and the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco.

 

At once powerfully persuasive and delightfully entertaining, Mr. Wyn Davies is one of the Festival’s most lauded leading men. In addition to his relentlessly charming Cook in Mother Courage, he gave a gripping performance as Mark Antony in this season’s Antony and Cleopatra. He began his Stratford career in 1986, playing the title role in Pericles and Antipholus of Syracuse in The Boys from Syracuse. Since then, his stage career has taken him throughout North America and the U.K. At Stratford, his recent triumphs include Duke Vincentio in Measure for Measure and the Earl of Leicester in Mary Stuart. He has also played Stephano in The Tempest and Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as well as the title roles in Julius Caesar and Henry V, and Dylan Thomas in the one-man show Do Not Go Gentle. He has dozens of film and television credits, including key roles in Republic of Doyle, ReGenesis, 24, Slings and Arrows, Airwolf, Forever Knight and American Psycho II.

 

Over the course of his 16 seasons at the Festival, Mr. Abbey has given audiences a long string of captivating performances, most recently including his richly drawn portrayals of Philip the Bastard in King John and Count Johan Oxenstierna in Christina, The Girl King this season. Other memorable highlights of his Stratford career include Iago in Othello, Posthumus in Cymbeline, Aigisthos in Elektra, Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, D’Artagnan in The Three Musketeers, as well as Henry V, Macbeth, Romeo and Henry VIII. His extensive television career includes the series lead, Gray Jackson, in The Border, as well as recurring roles in Degrassi, Murdoch Mysteries, Covert Affairs and Republic of Doyle. Mr. Abbey is currently working on The Breath of Kings, a dramatic adaptation of four Shakespeare plays – Richard II, Henry IV Part 1, Henry IV Part 2 and Henry V – developed by him in collaboration with Daniel Brooks and John Murrell through the Stratford Festival Laboratory.

 

The production will also feature Randy Hughson as Richard Voss.

 

Evan Buliung to play Pericles

 

THE ADVENTURES OF PERICLES | BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

DIRECTED BY SCOTT WENTWORTH

PREVIEWS START MAY 8 | OPENS MAY 30 | CLOSES SEPTEMBER 19

PRODUCTION SUPPORT: M. VAILE FAINER

 

Beloved for his heart-rending and richly drawn characterizations, Evan Buliung will play the title role in Shakespeare’s sweeping drama The Adventures of Pericles, directed by Scott Wentworth.

 

Mr. Buliung had an outstanding season this year, giving incredibly nuanced performances as Edgar in King Lear and the alternating roles of Titania and Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, along with a delightful comic turn as Count Bellair in The Beaux’ Stratagem. In his nine Stratford seasons, Mr. Buliung’s highlights include an acclaimed portrayal of Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath, Roger in The Little Years, Mac in King of Thieves, Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet. His credits elsewhere include Dumptsy in Idiot’s Delight and Jamie in Long Day’s Journey into Night at Soulpepper Theatre, Macduff in Macbeth at Chicago Shakespeare, and numerous leading roles at the Shaw Festival. Mr. Buliung also originated the role of Khashoggi in We Will Rock You in Toronto and Aragorn in the world première of The Lord of the Rings, for which he earned a Dora Award nomination.

 

The production will also feature Deborah Hay as Thaisa, Marina and Antiochus’s Daughter, and Brigit Wilson as the Bawd.

 

Gord Rand to play Oedipus

 

OEDIPUS REX | BY SOPHOCLES

DIRECTED BY DANIEL BROOKS

PREVIEWS START JUNE 30 | OPENS JULY 16 | CLOSES SEPTEMBER 18

PRODUCTION SUPPORT: M.E.H. FOUNDATION

 

Gord Rand will return for his second Stratford season to play King Oedipus in Oedipus Rex, directed by Daniel Brooks. Yanna McIntosh, hot off her powerful performance as Cleopatra in this season’s Antony and Cleopatra, will play Jocasta.

 

Mr. Rand spent this season at the Shaw Festival playing Leonard Charteris in The Philanderer and Charles Bentham in Juno and the Paycock. An actor and writer, he has performed on stages across North America including the National Arts Centre, The Vancouver Playhouse, Tarragon Theatre, Theatre Calgary and Canadian Stage. He is well-remembered for his performance as Uri, a naked Ukranian plutonium dealer, in The Innocent Eye Test at Mirvish, for which he received a Dora Award. He recently toured with the Edinburgh Festival winner Goodness, playing Edinburgh, New York and Vancouver, and just returned from Rwanda. His film and television credits include Republic of Doyle, Lost Girl, Maps to the Stars, Covert Affairs, The Listener, Saving Hope, Flashpoint and Death Comes to Town with Kids in the Hall. Mr. Rand made his Stratford debut in 2002, playing Owen Barclay in Shadows during the Studio Theatre’s inaugural season.

 

Ms McIntosh will celebrate her 10th Stratford season in 2015. Before heating up the stage in Antony and Cleopatra, she was last seen in the company in 2012, with key roles in two of the season’s most highly lauded productions, playing the Queen in Cymbeline and a powerful and highly original Elektra. Other highlights of her Stratford career include Queen Elizabeth in Richard III, Grace in The Little Years, Hermione in The Winter’s Tale, Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Helen in The Trojan Woman, Mme. Volanges in Dangerous Liaisons and Lady Macbeth. Ms McIntosh is a Dora and Gemini Award-winning actor, whose Toronto credits include Condoleeza Rice in Stuff Happens and the title roles in Mary Stuart, Hedda Gabler and Belle. She was recently nominated for the Christopher Plummer Fellowship Award of Excellence.

 

Jonathan Goad, Stephen Ouimette and

Scott Wentworth team up in The Alchemist

 

THE ALCHEMIST | BY BEN JONSON

DIRECTED BY ANTONI CIMOLINO

PREVIEWS START AUGUST 1 | OPENS AUGUST 15 | CLOSES SEPTEMBER 19

PRODUCTION SUPPORT: SYLVIA D. CHROMINSKA, DR. DENNIS & DOROTHEA HACKER,

DIANA TREMAIN AND BARBARA & CHIP VALLIS

 

Three true Festival favourites will team up in Mr. Cimolino’s production of Ben Jonson’s satirical comedy The Alchemist: Jonathan Goad as Face, Stephen Ouimette as Subtle, and Scott Wentworth as Epicure Mammon.

 

Mr. Ouimette will make a late-season return to the Festival after reprising his role in the widely acclaimed production of Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh with Nathan Lane and Brian Dennehy at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in early 2015. Mr. Ouimette gave audiences a Fool for the memory books in this season’s King Lear, and inspired great jubilation as Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In a career filled with unforgettable performances, Mr. Ouimette has played Lucio in Measure for Measure, Estragon in Waiting for Godot, Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night, Sam in The Homecoming, Hysterium in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Canon Chasuble in The Importance of Being Earnest and Touchstone in As You Like It, as well as the title roles in Hamlet, King John, Amadeus and Richard III. In addition to his work in Iceman, Mr. Ouimette is remembered in Chicago for his leading performances in The Taming of the Shrew and Troilus and Cressida. He starred alongside Mark Rylance, David Hyde Pierce and Joanna Lumley in La Bête in London’s West End and on Broadway. He is a celebrated director as well as an actor and has been the recipient of Gemini, Dora and Sterling awards.

 

This season, Mr. Wentworth played a most memorable Gloucester in King Lear, a suave Theseus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and a slovenly Squire Sullen in The Beaux’ Stratagem. His 2013 season was even more remarkable as he wowed audiences in three unforgettable leading roles: Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, Shylock in The Merchant of Venice and Capulet in Romeo and Juliet. In a career that spans 20 seasons at Stratford, he has played Tom in The Glass Menagerie, Tranio in The Taming of the Shrew, Mark Antony in Julius Caesar, Hubert in King John, Iago in Othello, Bosola in The Duchess of Malfi and Sky Masterson twice in Guys and Dolls, as well as the title roles in Macbeth, Richard III and Henry IV Part 1. He is a Tony-nominated actor, a director and playwright whose work has been celebrated on Broadway, in London’s West End, on television, and in films and theatres across North America. As previously announced, Mr. Wentworth will also take the helm of next season’s The Adventures of Pericles.

 

The production will also feature Randy Hughson as Tribulation and Brigit Wilson as Dol Common.

 

STUDIO THEATRE

SUPPORT FOR THE 2015 SEASON OF THE STUDIO THEATRE IS GENEROUSLY PROVIDED BY

SANDRA & JIM PITBLADO

 

Lead casting for Possible Worlds still to come

 

POSSIBLE WORLDS | BY JOHN MIGHTON

DIRECTED BY MITCHELL CUSHMAN

PREVIEWS START JULY 1 | OPENS JULY 15 | CLOSES SEPTEMBER 19

 

Gordon S. Miller will return for his ninth Stratford season to play Williams.

 

Maev Beaty to play Kate in The Last Wife

 

THE LAST WIFE | BY KATE HENNIG | WORLD PREMIÈRE

DIRECTED BY ALAN DILWORTH

PREVIEWS START JULY 30 | OPENS AUGUST 14 | CLOSES SEPTEMBER 20

PRODUCTION SUPPORT: KARON C. BALES & CHARLES E. BEALL

 

Maev Beaty, who fast won a place as a leading player this season with her highly lauded portrayal of Goneril in King Lear, will play Katherine Parr, the last wife of Henry VIII, in the world première of Kate Hennig’s new play, The Last Wife, directed by Alan Dilworth.

 

Ms Beaty, a stalwart of Toronto theatre, also gave a striking performance as Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. A theatre-maker, actor, writer and voice artist, Ms Beaty is noted for such Toronto credits as Passion Play at Outside the March Theatre Company/Convergence Theatre/Sheep No Wool, La Ronde and Parfumerie at Soulpepper, Civility at Necessary Angel, and Outside the March’s Terminus, which won the SummerWorks Jury Prize and was later presented as part of the inaugural Off-Mirvish season at the Royal Alexandra Theatre. Ms Beaty has garnered seven Dora nominations, winning the award for her work in The Penelopiad. She is Co-Artistic Director of Sheep No Wool and an Artistic Associate of Groundwater Productions and Outside the March.

The production will also feature Sara Farb as Mary and Joseph Ziegler as Henry.

 

Casting continues for the 2015 season.

 

Tickets for the 2015 season will go on sale to Members of the Stratford Festival on Sunday, November 16, 2014, and to the general public on Friday, January 2, 2015.

 

 

Stratford Festival 55 Queen Street | PO Box 520 | Stratford ON | N5A 6V2

519.271.4040 x 2297

Box Office: Toll Free 1.800.567.1600 | Local 519.273.1600

stratfordfestival.ca

 

2014 Season | April 21 to October 12

King Lear | Crazy for You | A Midsummer Night’s Dream | The Beaux’ Stratagem

Man of La Mancha | Alice Through the Looking-Glass | Hay Fever | King John

Mother Courage and Her Children | Antony and Cleopatra | Christina, The Girl King

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a chamber play

Now extended with new performances through to October 25!

Anita Krause LFP_20130422_02Orchestra

 

Rachel McAdams! Garth Hudson! Robbie Robertson!

- October 18th, 2014

 

Rachel McAdams Walk of Fame QMI_TS20141018DA44

Actress Rachel McAdams during the Canada’s Walk of Fame induction at the Sony Centre for Performing Arts in Toronto on Saturday October 18, 2014. Dave Abel/Toronto Sun/QMI Agency

Robbie Robertson Garth Hudson Walk QMI_TS20141018DA15

The Band’s Robbie Robertson and Garth Hudson during the Canada’s Walk of Fame induction at the Sony Centre for Performing Arts in Toronto on Saturday October 18, 2014. Dave Abel/Toronto Sun/QMI Agency

Garth Hudson Walk of Fame QMI_TS20141018DA22

The Band’s Garth Hudson during the Canada’s Walk of Fame induction at the Sony Centre for Performing Arts in Toronto on Saturday October 18, 2014. Dave Abel/Toronto Sun/QMI Agency

Wow . . . there’s a lot going on in #ldnont this weekend, but JBNBlog sorta wishes he were in Toronto this afternoon … for the Canada’s Walk of Fame inductions. QMI Agency colleague Dave Abel has many terrific photographs — the three here showcase our local heroes … Rachel McAdams of St. Thomas, Garth Hudson of London Township &  Broughdale & Robbie Robertson who has ties to the Oneida Nation of The Thames. Congratulations to all & everybody & here’s a bit of the media release about Saturday’s gala . . .

The powerhouse list of celebrity presenters includes Canadian actor Jay Baruchel, honouring Rachel McAdams; critically acclaimed actress Wendy Crewson, honouring Louise Arbour; broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi, honouring Ryan Reynolds; music legend Ronnie Hawkins, honouring The Band; six-time Olympic medalist Clara Hughes, honouring Hayley Wickenheiser and JUNO Award-winner Tom Cochrane, honouring Jeff Healey, the recipient of the posthumous Cineplex Legends Award.

 

Tonight at T&C: In honour of late Walter Redinger

- October 18th, 2014

 

Walter Redinger studio 1998 QMI_LDN19981009ML__1_REDINGER

A classic image from 1998
Artist, sculptor – Walter Redinger in his West Lorne studio.
The London Free Press photo by Morris Lamont matches LFP story bySANDRA COULSON

The late Walter Redinger (1940-2014) is being honoured in OEV #ldnont tonight (Saturday, Oct. 20) . . . thanks to Wendy Saby for the following details:

Please join us for a Musical Celebration in honour of Walter Redinger.

Music, Dancing, Original Art Raffle.

8 pm to midnight.

Come have some fun!

Town & Country Saloon

765 Dundas St E.

Hope to see you there!

 

Walter%27s-Musical-Celebration-sm

 

Here is a story about Walter Redinger & his influence elsewhere in Ontario … from QMI Agency ally Kingston Whig-Standard . . .

Lorraine Payette
Special to QMI Agency
A world-renowned Canadian artist, who died this summer, had a close connection to Gananoque.
Walter Redinger had a key role in starting Sculpture Park in downtown Gananoque. Redinger, died on June 17, after a 25-year-long battle with Parkinson’s disease.
Born in West Lorne, Ont., Redinger had a 50-year career in the visual arts, producing paintings and sculptures. His dynamic works have been seen at the Mitchell Algus Gallery in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto, and many other famous venues.
However, when people think of Redinger and his work, how often do they make a connection with Gananoque? Yet right there in Sculpture Park is a piece by Redinger.
“Walter Redinger had a hand in starting the Sculpture Park, which was a Rotary project back 10 or so years ago,” said Doug Bickerton of the Gananoque Rotary Club. “Gord Dowsley was responsible for the contribution of one of the big pieces of sculpture in the park.”
Sculpture Park in Gananoque was conceived of at a local Rotary meeting. Understanding the cultural impact of such a project, they contributed to the financing needed for walkways, landscaping and other projects to bring the park about.
“It all started at a Rotary meeting,” said Dowsley. “I used to be on the Board of the Canada Council, now the Council of the Arts, and they have a program with which they buy art from artists across the country and then they rent it to government departments. This way they encourage the arts, the buildings have things of artistic value on display and the departments aren’t running out to buy Norman Rockwell calendars to hang on their walls.”
As a rule, people hang paintings and drawings, so over time a large collection of sculpture has accumulated in warehouses. While beautiful in their own right, there is a problem with having so much art locked away in storage, far from the public eye. It needs to be put on display, to be honoured and appreciated.
“I put it all together and said, ‘Well, a town this size can’t have an art gallery, but they could have a sculpture garden,’” said Dowsley. “Rotary ran with the idea, and the Canada Council now says it’s the largest sculpture garden in Canada.”
In 2008, there was a contest in the schools to name a piece of sculpture in the park. The piece was Redinger’s work, “Stones of Glory” — a large sculpture of several pieces. From a tall central figure which tumbles visually to the short squat pieces surrounding it, it invites the viewer to stop and think, to reach out and feel. Named by Ben Cartwright, then an eight-year-old student at St. Joseph Catholic School in Gananoque, the sculpture has become a fixture in the park enjoyed by people of all ages.
The spucture came to Gananoque after sitting for 25 years in Toronto.
“The piece by Redinger stood on the corner of University Ave. in Toronto, one block north of King St., right in the heart of the financial district,” said Dowsley. “It was there for 25 years on an open corner of the building. When they wanted to redo the entire building, turn it into kind of an outdoor plaza, they wanted to move the sculpture. But what to do with it? You can’t discard a piece of art, especially one of this nature, and the building was owned by a large pension fund. Pension funds cannot just give anything away. That includes a sculpture like this, so they couldn’t just give it to the Art Gallery of Ontario, so instead they gave it to Gananoque.”
Gananoque has appreciated it. When the competition was opened to name the sculpture, 93 students from local elementary schools and Gananoque Secondary School submitted their ideas. All of these were carefully examined and studied, and Redinger himself chose the winner. Only in Grade 3 at the time, Ben Cartwright told everyone that when he saw the work, he knew that Stones of Glory was the perfect name for it. Cartwright and then Mayor Jim Garrah unveiled the plaque together, permanently ensconcing the piece in Gananoque’s Sculpture Park.
The sculpture is appreciated by different people in different ways. Whether it is something to look upon to ponder its meaning, a good backdrop for photography, a place to have a picnic, or a free standing challenge to young climbers, it fits perfectly into its position in the park and will remain for years to come as a fitting tribute to the artistic genius of Walter Redinger.

Belated happy 99th to the Jack Fallon

- October 16th, 2014

Jack Fallon '90s (2)\

Jack Fallon (Oct. 13, 1915 at St. Joseph’s Hospital — May 22, 2006 at London, England) in a photogaph, likely from the 1990s.

In JBNBlogland, there is no greater hero than the late Jack Fallon, the Ballymote-area bassist who played fiddle on The Beatles’ White Album, jammed with Fats Navarro & recorded as his Guardian obituary said with everyone from Vera Lynn to Marlene Dietrich.

Anyway, last year, JBNBlog wished Jack a belated happy 98th . . . & in 2014, it’s a belated happy 99th. Which means there are only about 362 days until it’s time to celebrate his 100th. Remind me next September to get it together in time here.

Just for fun . .  here is a flashback to July, 1948, when Fallon was part of Duke Ellington’s trio (?) when the Duke was touring Britain . . . the quotations are from a British jazz journal which is around here somewhere.

Jack Fallon recalls: ‘Somewhat nervously we watched the Duke sit before us as we played and, to our immense relief and joy, he showed his approval. Suddenly, we were members of an Ellington unit!

“The Duke disliked flying and we travelled by coach, the entourage including song publisher Jack Robbins, songwriter Kermit Goell, who wrote Guilty, and Harold Nicholas of the famous Nicholas Brothers dancing act. Our first gig was at Bournemouth. The next, was at Manchester. After the gig, I, a nine-to-five type – despite being a musician – and a non-drinker – retired to bed at the Midland Hotel only to get a call at 12.30 from the Duke insisting I join the party.

“Why, I’m not sure, but he took a fancy to me – in the nicest possible way, of course. Maybe it was because he could understand my Canadian accent, more than the others.”

. . . plus here is a snippet of what Jack was up to at this time of October in 1955:

On Oct. 17, 1955, he’s beginning a series of Cabaret Savoy dates backing Lena Horne.

One night, an unruly fan gets on stage. “She just took the intruder by the arm and escorted him off the stage singing without a break whilst the number was still being played,” Fallon says in his book.

Jack’e autobiography and Gerard Bielderman’s excellent Fallon discography have him joining a crew of British jazzers backing U.S. bluesman Big Bill Broonzy on Oct. 24, 1955.