Festival Theatre

Cabaret
Running until October 26

Welcome to the Kit Kat Klub, the hottest nightclub in Berlin. American Cliff Bradshaw has just arrived in town. When he meets nightclub singer Sally Bowles, his life is turned upside down-just as the world is about to turn upside down, with Hitler on the rise in Weimar Germany. Another couple-Fraulein Schneider, Cliff’s landlady, and Herr Schultz, a Jewish grocer-must face the music, while the Emcee invites Cliff and Sally to forget the world around them. Hailed as a rare musical that both challenges and entertains, it premiered on Broadway in 1966 and ran for over 1100 performances, winning numerous Tony Awards including Best Musical.

The Philadelphia Story

By Philip Barry
Runs: June 7 to October 25

Tracy Lord is young, beautiful, wealthy and about to get married. The Philadelphia socialite has divorced her dashing but unreliable husband and fallen in love with a self-made (but perhaps a bit dull) business tycoon. When a cynical tabloid newshound arrives to cover the ceremony, Tracy has a hard time keeping her nuptials-and her heart-on the right track. A class romantic comedy, the play was a huge turnaround success for Katharine Hepburn’s in the late 1930s. Barry wrote it especially for her, and the play had a year-long run on Broadway before coming a six-time Oscar nominated film in 1940.

The Philanderer
By Bernard Shaw
Previews: June 26
Runs: July 12 to October 12

The rules for joining the Ibsen Club are simple: if a candidate is female, she cannot be womanly, and if male, not manly. Leonard Charteris, one of the club’s leading philosophers, also happens to be its leading philanderer. Two woman have fallen in love with him, but the one he wants doesn’t want him-and, naturally, the one he doesn’t want can’t live without him. This comedy about love and sex was so daring, a friend who read the play told him to burn the final act. For the first time, the Shaw Festival will stage the play as Shaw had first intended. Why was he so willing to discard the act? As one critic wrote, “In short, the reason why Act lll was abandoned, was not the unpreparedness of the playwright, but that of the audience.”

Royal George Theatre

Arms and the Man
By Bernard Shaw
Running until October 18

All’s fair in love and war-or is it? Worlds collide with delicious results when two opposing soldiers vie for the heart of an idealistic girl. Set during the 1885 Serbo-Bulgarian War, Raina Petkoff is a young woman in love with love-and with Sergius Saranoff, one of the heroes of the war. One night, a Swiss mercenary solider, Captain Bluntschli, bursts through Raina’s bedroom window and begs her to hide him. When he reassures her that he carries chocolates instead of a weapon, Raina agrees. After the war ends and both soldiers return for Raina, the real battle for true love begins. Subtitled, “an antiromantic comedy,” it became one of Shaw’s most popular plays and one of his first commercial successes.

When We Are Married
By J.B Priestley
Running until October 26

A second chance at love or a sweet escape? Married life is about to get interesting for three upstanding couples who have gathered to celebrate their joint silver wedding anniversaries. As the evening progresses, a stunning secret is revealed: none of them are actually, legally married. And as each couple grapples with this news, their relationships are vigorously and hilariously put to the test. Do they really want to be married after all? J.B Priestley was keen to deflate the pomposity of the middle classes, and this play has been called “the funniest and among the most enduring plays that J.B. Priestley wrote.”

Juno and the Paycock
By Sean O’Casey
Previews: June 28
Runs: July 25 to October 12

One of the great plays of the twentieth century, and a portrait of a family torn apart by the chaos of the Irish Civil War. Captain Boyle is known to his neighbours as the “paycock,” and he and his crony Joxer spend most of their time drinking and playing cards. Juno, the spirited matriarch of the Boyle household, tries to keep her family together in their tenement flat while it is being pulled apart by growing political unrest. When the family learns of an inheritance from a distant relative, the money is happily spent before it even arrives. But can they transcend the world that conspires to keep them in their place? The play’s mix of humour, drama and politics has made it a contemporary classic.

Charity_0774_DC

Court House Theatre

The Charity that Began at Home:
A Comedy for Philanthropists

By St. John Hankin
Running until October 11

When is nice too nice? Lady Denison and her daughter Margery are about to find out when they invite the dullest, most unpleasant people they can find to their house for the weekend. After all, anyone can be kind to the pleasant, but who will care for the mean, the boring and the disagreeable? As the weekend unfolds, love blossoms between Margery and a young man who have been involved in some unseemly dealings, and we learn what true charity means. Shaw called Hankin “the most gifted writer of high comedy of the kind that is stirring and important criticism of life.

The Sea
By Edward Bond

In a great storm, a man is lost at sea. Willy Carson has survived a boat accident-unlike his friend Colin. The loss affects the whole village, including Louise Rafi, who rules the town’s society and performs yearly in the town’s production of Orpheus and Eurydice. Hatch, the local draper, decides the accident is proof that extraterrestrial aliens are about to invade. A mix of comedy and politics, one critic described it as “equally influenced by The Tempest, The Importance of Being Earnest and Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” This is the Shaw’s first production of play by Edward Bond, a contemporary master.

A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur

By Tennessee Williams
Previews: June 28
Runs: July 12 to October 11

On a warm June morning, Dorothea does her calisthenics while her roommate Bodey fries chicken for their picnic at Creve Coeur Park. Dorothea is waiting for the phone to ring-she’s sure the principal of the high school where she teaches civics is about to propose. Bodey thinks her twin brother Buddy is the right guy for Dorothea, but his love of beer, knockwurst and cheap cigars doesn’t appeal. Meanwhile, Dorothea’s friend Helena comes by to make secret plans, and grieving German-speaking neighbor Sophie drops in for coffee and comfort. Williams envisions the comic side of heartbreak in this rarely produced one-act play.

Studio Theatre

The Mountaintop
By Katori Hall
Previews: July 16
Runs: July 26 to September 7

A storm rages outside as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. settles into Room 306 at the Lorraine Motel. He is exhausted, having just delivered his powerful “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech about his hopes for the days ahead and the view he has seen of the Promised Land. When room service arrives, he meets a beautiful and slightly mysterious young hotel maid. Through their intimate and ultimately transformative conversation, we hear the hope and fears of King-both the leader and the man-as he is forced to confront his destiny and his legacy. Critics call it, “wondrous, hilarious and heartbreaking.”