RMTC's 2016-17 season brings the Queen, the King and Agatha Christie to the stage
Tony Award winner for best play and The Audience highlight upcoming season
We are amused.
That, at least, is the hope for the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre's just-announced 2016-17 season, which features the Queen, the King, a Tony Award winner for best play and the queen of crime.
Here's what's coming up next season:
At the John Hirsch Mainstage:
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Oct. 20-Nov. 12): A 2015 Tony Award winner for best new play, this adaptation of Mark Haddon's award-winning mystery novel is still running in London's West End, where its original production won a record-setting seven Olivier Awards. In short, it's been a winner elsewhere — we'll find out next fall if that success translates to Winnipeg.
Million Dollar Quartet (Jan. 5-28, 2017): It sounds too good to be true — a jam session with Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins. But it happened on Dec. 4, 1956, and this jukebox musical recreates the night. There'll be a Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On as the four music legends Walk the Line and hopefully create Great Balls of Fire on stage.
Her 1930 play Black Coffee, featuring the iconic detective Hercule Poirot, will be RMTC's entry in the festival — and the first time their production has played on the larger Mainstage rather than at the Warehouse.
Bittergirl: The Musical (Mar. 16-Apr. 8): Since premiering as a play in Toronto in the mid-2000s, Bittergirl has become something of a multimedia industry. The story of three women bonding over being dumped began as a play, became a book and has now become a musical — complete with '60s doo-wop songs.
Sarah Ballenden (Apr. 20-May 13): The first made-in-Manitoba play to premiere on the RMTC Mainstage since 2008's Shakespeare's Dog is very Manitoban indeed. Maureen Hunter's historical drama focuses on Sarah Ballenden, the Métis wife of a Hudson's Bay Company officer persecuted in the burgeoning Red River Settlement.
At the Tom Hendry Warehouse:
My Name is Asher Lev (Oct. 13-29, 2016): Based on Chaim Potok's novel, Aaron Posner's play explores the story of a man driven to pursue his love for painting at the expense of his family and tradition.
23.5 Hours (Nov. 17-Dec. 3): The 2014 play by American playwright Carey Crim explores the aftermath of a beloved high school teacher's conviction for a terrible crime.
Hand to God (Jan. 26-Feb. 11, 2017): Described as "an irreverent puppet comedy … about a possessed Christian-ministry puppet," Robert Askins' Tony-nominated 2011 play follows Jason and his trials in his mother's Christian puppet ministry, along with his foul-mouthed puppet Tyrone.
Kill Me Now (Mar. 30 - Apr. 15): It's been a while since we've seen a professional production of a play by bad boy Canadian playwright Brad Fraser here in Winnipeg — to the best of my knowledge, you'd have to go back to 1995 and the Warehouse production of Poor Super Man. Fraser's latest, a controversial story about a father dealing with his disabled son and sexuality, premiered last year in London, and comes to Winnipeg in a co-production with the National Arts Centre.
Tune in to the Weekend Morning Show on CBC Radio One — 89.3 FM and 990 AM — Saturday, Jan. 29, at 8:50 to hear Royal MTC artistic director Steven Schipper discuss the 2016-17 season.