Centaur Theatre launches its 49th schedule
Centaur Theatre – There were many reasons for people to go “hand in hand” with applause at the annual unveiling of the Centaur Theatre line-up, which took place last Wednesday (March 15) to mark its upcoming 49th season, which will go under the theme of “Hand in Hand”. First of all, the gathering of media and members of Montreal’s English language Centaur Theatre community were applauded by the Centaur for braving the aftermath of the major snowstorm that fell on the city the day before to attend the launch event. Second, outgoing Artistic and Executive Director Roy Surette was applauded for his 10 years of running theCentaur Theatre and bringing English language theatre in Montreal to a whole new level (he will be stepping down at the end of May to return to his native B.C.). Third, applause was called for the official introduction of his successor, Eda Holmes, who previously ran the Shaw Festival, but had her theatrical roots in Montreal with the National Theatre School and the Centaur. And finally, there were enthusiastic rounds of applause for the exciting line-up of new shows that will grace the Centaur stage for the 2017-2018 season.
Before that line-up was revealed, Surette announced that the Centaur Theatre’s facilities on St. Francois-Xavier Street in Old Montreal will undergo a series of major expansion renovations, starting in January 2018 with the Centaur 2 theatre space, with a projected completion date to coincide with the beginning of theCentaur Theatre’s 50th anniversary season.
The six plays that are part of the Centaur’s 2017-2018 subscription series are a diverse mixture of autobiography, comedy, diversity and even puppetry that will have audiences burst out in enthusiastic rounds of hand in hand applause. It begins with “Playing With Fire: The Theo Fleury Story” (October 3 – 29), in which the Centaur transforms into a hockey rink to tell the story of Theo Fleury (based on his best selling memoir of the same name) and his up and down career as a professional hockey player, from his Metis upbringing, to winning a Stanley Cup championship, to winning a gold medal at the Winter Olympics; Fans of the “Master of Suspense” himself, Alfred Hitchcock, will certainly be pleased with this multi-award winning stage adaptation of “The 39 Steps” (November 14 – December 10), Hitchcock’s classic 1935 thriller film of spies, murder and deception … but this time with a comic twist (it also marks Ms. Holmes’ directorial debut at the Centaur); The world premiere of Pascale Rafie’s play “The Baklawa Recipe” (January 23 – February 18, 2018) is the story of two young immigrant women from Lebanon who settle in Ville St. Laurent during the 1960s, and face a struggle to integrate themselves with the traditional female roles of their native country, as female roles quickly begin to change within the feminist movement during this turbulent period in Quebec’s history; “The Daisy Theatre” (February 20 – March 25), is a puppet show with a risqué slant to it, as Canadian master puppeteer Ronnie Burkett literally pulls the strings with a show filled with some of the most outrageous, out of the ordinary characters ever in the puppetry world, including lounge singer Rosemary Focaccia and Lillian Lunkhead, billed as Canada’s oldest and worst actress ever. Please note that this show is only for adults 16 years of age and over; “Successions” (April 10 – May 6) marks the Centaur debut of Montreal playwright Michaela Di Cesare. This comedy tells the story of two second generation Italian Montrealers – one is a lawyer who is running for public office, and the other is his lackadaisical-minded brother who would rather party than hold a steady job; Originally scheduled for a run during this summer’s festival season, but has now been shifted to conclude the 2017-2018 season, the English-language adaptation of Michel Tremblay’s acclaimed drama “Hosanna” (May 15 – June 10) won four METAS Awards in 2015, and tells the story of a Cleopatra impersonator who returns home from a Halloween party in tears, and later faces his deepest fears and insecurities.
As well, the Centaur will continue its popular series of beyond the mainstage productions, including the Brave New Looks play selection, which for this 49th season will be Scapegoat Carnival’s production of Sophocles’ classic Greek tragedy “Oedipus” (October 19 – 22); “Urban Tales” (December 7 – 16), Centaur’s Christmas tradition of dark, twisted Yuletide tales told by some of Montreal’s best onstage storytellers; the “hottest two weeks in winter”, better known as the Wildside Theatre Festival (January 4 – 13, 2018), which now begins its third decade; plus the Saturday Morning Children’s Series, and the behind-the-scenes Sunday Chat-Ups and post-performance Talk-Backs.
“It’s been a marvelous 10 years as the Centaur’s Artistic and Executive Director,” said Surette. “And I know I will leave the theatre in great hands with Eda Holmes as my successor.”
For more information on what the Centaur Theatre has to offer for its upcoming 49th season, or to purchase its 6-, 5-, or 4-play subscription ticket packages, call 514-288-3161, or go to www.centaurtheatre.com. #centaur49 .