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Livent co-founder Garth Drabinsky arrives at the Superior Court in Toronto on March 25. He is working on new theatre projects while free on appeal. ((Chris Young/Canadian Press))

Garth Drabinsky, the Toronto theatre impresario who is out of jail pending an appeal on his convictions for fraud and forgery, is planning a comeback to the stage.

According to reports in Toronto newspapers, Drabinsky is planning three theatre projects to hit Canadian stages in 2010 and 2011.

By then he could be serving time for the convictions related to his Livent Inc. theatre operations in the 1990s.

Drabinsky and partner Myron Gottlieb were found guilty on fraud and forgery charges in March, with an Ontario judge saying they "systemically manipulated the books" at Livent.

Drabinsky and Gottlieb received prison sentences of seven and six years respectively, but are free pending an appeal of their convictions.

According to the Toronto Star, both are involved in three new theatre productions:

  • Barrymore, a play based on the life of actor John Barrymore, to star Christopher Plummer.
  • Finian's Rainbow, a musical to star Colm Wilkinson, star of Phantom of the Opera.
  • Kiss of the Spider Woman, in an all-black revival.

Livent produced Spider Woman in the 1990s in Toronto.

Plummer played Barrymore for the first time at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. He went on to win a Tony Award for his portrayal of Barrymore on Broadway, in a 1996 production backed by Drabinsky.

Drabinsky is reported to have partners in Toronto and New York willing to back his new theatre enterprises.