It's getting to be that time of the year when Shaw and Stratford announce their summer seasons and begin to try to bring in the subscribers. Shaw had made an announcement quite a while back, whereas I only recently learned the Stratford line-up. Actually, this Toronto Star article has more information about the casting at Stratford, so it might be worth checking out.
I have to admit, it is a bit amusing to see Shakespeare being performed at the Shaw (Henry V). It's sort of an interesting experiment if their audiences will go for it. I'm not terribly interested in the Shaw plays they are putting on, nor do I want to see Ruhl's Stage Kiss. I might have made the trek down to Niagara-on-the-Lake for In the Next Room, though probably not. I assume it will eventually turn back up in Toronto (it was at Tarragon in 2011). No question the big, hot ticket will be Mythos: A Trilogy — Gods. Heroes. Men, written by (or perhaps rather adapted by) Stephen Fry, and he will playing some of the major parts. I'm not particularly star struck by him, but this seems like an opportunity not to be missed (even if it might transfer to a Toronto stage at some point). So I expect I will be on the Shaw bus once this summer, though if there are no matinees of the Mythos piece then that will become a much more difficult decision. Anyway, I'll cross that bridge when the full season schedule comes out.
Stratford has a few plays of interest or potentially of interest. At first glance, I wasn't too interested in Eduardo De Filippo’s Napoli Milionaria!, despite it being billed a "comic masterpiece." However, I read a bit more about the play, and it sounds quite clever. No question I would be happier if George Brown did it, but I'm likely to try to see this, assuming I can find tickets that aren't in the eye-popping range. I'm also fairly likely to try to catch Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, directed by Robert Lepage. I don't know whether he will tone down the spectacle or not. This may not be the absolute best way to watch Coriolianus for the first time, but I'm not really that likely to watch a conventional version of the play anyway.
So that might be sufficient for my Stratford needs (to go down for a really long day). However, I am at least willing to consider The Tempest, directed by Cimolino, with Martha Henry as Prospero. I'm really feeling the gender-flipped thing is a played out trend that frankly bores me, but the cast is really strong. I don't know if there will be one weekend where I could catch all 3 plays, but if so, I might try to do that. I don't think there is anything else at Stratford next season that really grips me. I'm sure that they will do a great job with Long Day’s Journey Into Night, but I saw a very solid production in Chicago, and I'm just not likely to go again. (Maybe if towards the end of the run, they offer some steeply discounted tickets I would consider it, but I'm not expecting to go. Again, I retain the right to change my mind after the reviews come in.) I'm actually more likely to get my O'Neill fix by seeing Denzel Washington on Broadway in The Iceman Cometh (this is a limited run in March/April 2018). I haven't entirely decided whether to go, but I am seriously considering it. Anyway, I find it helpful to look ahead to these summer events as we slide into the cooler months of the calendar.