Over this and the next two editions of SceneNotes, we'll offer a quick peek at each of our 2019 plays and musicals to give you a better idea of what each production has in store, who the key players are, and why you should rush to book your tickets now! With such an amazing and varied line-up of theatrical offerings - together with stellar direction, spectacular choreography and guaranteed powerhouse performances - we're sure you won't want to miss a single one!
Billy Elliot the Musical
Music by Elton John
Book and lyrics by Lee Hall
Directed and choreographed by Donna Feore
Festival Theatre: April 6 to November 3
Lee Hall (who co-wrote the stage version of Shakespeare in Love) turned his own screenplay for the hit 2000 film Billy Elliot into this acclaimed stage musical. With a glorious score by Elton John, the show won four Laurence Olivier Awards, ten Tony Awards and ten Drama Desk Awards when it debuted in London and New York.
In a hardscrabble mining town, riven by a bitter national strike, motherless eleven-year-old Billy happens upon a dance class (when he is meant to be at boxing!) and discovers a passion that will transform his life. In his male-dominated household, both his father and older brother forbid him to continue. Billy must depend on his best friend, Michael, and his dedicated dance instructor, Mrs. Wilkinson, to help him push back against his family's expectations and achieve his goals - but his path is anything but an easy one.
Nolen Dubuc, a powerhouse young performer from B.C., joins the company in the title role. Dan Chameroy, last seen as Frank N. Furter in The Rocky Horror Show, returns to play Dad. Perennial audience favourite Blythe Wilson plays Mrs. Wilkinson, Billy's devoted teacher.
Your heart will alternately break and soar as you witness Billy's trials and tribulations in his quest to follow his bliss. The production is directed by Donna Feore, who also brings Billy's touching story to life with all-new choreography.
By Noël Coward
Directed by Carey Perloff
Avon Theatre: April 24 to October 26
Divorced for five years, former spouses Elyot and Amanda are reunited by a chance encounter in a hotel on the French Riviera. Theirs was a tempestuous relationship, but the chemistry between them remains undeniable. The old flame of desire ignites once more - but unfortunately this happens while they are each honeymooning with their new partners! Succumbing to their mutual irresistible attraction, they run off together to Paris, only to discover all over again - hilariously - that although they can't seem to live without each other, they can't live with each other either.
This witty and uproarious romantic comedy from the ingenious mind of Noël Coward will transport you into a sparklingly stylish world of charm, wit and unparalleled elegance, served up with generous doses of side-splitting laughter. Directed by Carey Perloff, whose last production at the Festival was 2016's John Gabriel Borkman, it features a truly glorious quartet of Festival favourites in the leading roles: Lucy Peacock as Amanda, Geraint Wyn Davies as Elyot, Mike Shara as Victor and Sophia Walker as Sybil, with Sarah Dodd as Louise, Amanda's maid. A dream cast to be sure!