Toronto

Mirvish's 2019-2020 season full of musicals and familiar hits

Mirvish Productions is filling out its 2019-2020 season with a crowd-pleasing slate of familiar hits and jukebox musicals. Oh, and Hamilton is coming.

Shows include Cats, Miss Saigon, Hamilton and My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding

A "reimagined" Broadway production of Cats is one of the musicals running in Mirvish's 2019-2020 season. (Mirvish.com)

Mirvish Productions is filling out its 2019-2020 season with a crowd-pleasing slate of familiar hits and jukebox musicals.

The Toronto theatre company says it will mount productions of Miss Saigon in May and Les Miserables next June.

Audiences can enjoy the sounds of the 1960s and 70s in the concert-style The Simon & Garfunkel Story and the musical Summer based on the life and music of disco diva Donna Summer, from American-Canadian director Des McAnuff and Colombian-born, Canadian-raised choreographer Sergio Trujillo.

In January, the Royal Alexandra Theatre will stage My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding in a one-night benefit concert for Planned Parenthood.

Riverdance will also step it up for the 25th anniversary of the Irish dance show at the Princess of Wales Theatre for a brief run, kicking off in late February.

The CAA Theatre will host the women of The Second City in She the People in February, followed by the one-performer show 6 Guitars in March.

Previously announced highlights of Mirvish's 24-show lineup include:

  • A "reimagined" Broadway production of Cats directed by Trevor Nunn, running from Nov. 27 to Jan. 5.
  • Now in its second year, Come From Away will wrap up its run at the Elgin Theatre at the beginning of December, only to reopen at the Royal Alexandra Theatre less than two weeks later.
  • The Canadian premiere of musical sensation Hamilton at the Ed Mirvish Theatre between February and May 2020.
  • An April run of Room, based on Irish-Canadian writer Emma Donoghue's 2010 novel, at the CAA Theatre.

Donoghue, who earned an Oscar nomination for her screenplay adaptation of Room, also transformed her story for the stage.

"I just love to see what a new genre brings out in the same old story and so adaptation is a real pleasure for me," the London, Ont.-based writer told CBC News on Monday.

"I'm really genuinely trying to transform my work and see what each new form can bring out in it."

In addition to introducing songs, the forthcoming Room adaptation also made a key change to the protagonists  — one that Donoghue believes brings complexity to the story.

"When we did the show first in Britain and Scotland and Dublin, we cast a woman of colour and a biracial kid and I have to say that brought out a whole new set of overtones to the role," she explained.

In addition to literally putting new face on the character of Ma following Brie Larson's Oscar-winning turn in the movie, this casting decision for the stage version "makes you think of so many other contemporary situations of racism, human trafficking [and] the whole history of slavery, without it being all spelled out verbally," Donoghue said.

"I now think that's a crucial part and we're doing the same thing for Canadian casting."

With files from CBC News

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.