Tuesday, May 30, 2017

New Seasons (2017-18)

It's still a bit too early for most companies to announce their upcoming seasons, though I suppose the bigger ones have started to roll out the announcements.  Tarragon announced a while ago, and I have to admit I really wasn't crazy about the line-up.  There isn't much I want to see.  Canadian Stage has one must-see (The Humans) and a few others that might be of interest, but I think I would probably be better off not going the subscription route. I also see the Hart House season came out. It doesn't interest me that much unfortunately, though perhaps I'll go to Hedwig and the Angry Inch.  There's a small chance I would take my son to The Crucible to get him ready for high school English, but I'm not too interested in the play on its own merits.  It is such a clunky, over-wrought thing.

I did just see that Shakespeare Bash'd has a new season announced.  It seems a bit unusual for them in that they are doing a tragedy (Richard III) and a problem comedy (Measure for Measure).  I'm used to them doing comedies.  In the past, they kept their shows to 90 minutes, but lately they have gone for longer shows.  I'm not sure I will go see the shows, particularly Measure for Measure, since I saw that recently.  Also, I don't care that much for Volpone (I much prefer The Alchemist).  There's a small chance I'll go see the staged reading of Gorboduc by Thomas Norton and Thomas Sackville on July 30, since that is a genuine curiosity (indeed I've never even heard of it before).  Anyway, I'll try to keep an open mind.

I'm just back from Office Hours at East Side Players, which was entertaining though a tad predictable (and the acting was all over the map, generally good but a couple of very weak performances).  At any rate, they had a flyer about their next season, and I have to say it looks very grim with the closest thing to a comedy being Reza's God of Carnage (which I have vowed never to watch).  So I guess I'll be passing on seeing East Side Players for at least another year.

Coal Mine has yet to announce their season, though it looks like they will be doing Annie Baker's The Aliens in the fall, so I expect to go see that.  Not sure yet what else they are up to.

The big news is that Soulpepper just announced the next batch of shows (they sort of do a rolling season).  More details here.  This summer looks very promising with two shows from Video Cabaret and then Eric Peterson in Billy Bishop Goes to War.  However, I have tickets to those shows already.  In terms of the shows beyond this, they are doing Waiting for Godot.  I might go, though I've seen two really good productions already (including at Stratford with Brian Dennehy).  I'm not at all interested in Albee's The Goat, but they are also doing Albee's A Fine Balance, and I do want to see that.  I'm not sure about Alan Ayckbourn's A Chorus of Disapproval.*  I don't know much about it, though it looks amusing.  I know even less about Idomeneus by Roland Schimmelpfennig, though the Guardian thought it was a clever take on Greek drama.  If I don't go to Godot (or only do rush tickets), that is only 3 shows, so I'd have to add a fourth show to get subscriber benefits (the most important being the ability to exchange tickets!).  I might go to August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.  I've generally not seen that many plays by Wilson (hoping vainly to see them in the right order), but maybe I should start going and see how far I get.  Anyway, I'll probably mostly fill out my 2018 calendar with storefront theatre offerings, but I'm glad that Soulpepper is doing at least some meaty plays this season (and not just doing Christmas shows and musical reviews, even though I suspect those do better business).

* It's a little unclear but this seems to have replaced Ayckbourn's House and Garden, which may be plugged in later in 2018.  It's hard to tell from the Samuel French page.

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