As the Shaw Festival’s current season enters its final months, the repertory company in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., has nailed down plans for next summer that include productions of the musical “Sweet Charity” and the popular George Bernard Shaw play “Pygmalion.”
Morris Panych, who directed this summer’s thoroughly wacky production of “Arms and the Man” on the Royal George Theatre stage, will take on “Sweet Charity,” the Cy Coleman musical with lyrics by Dorothy Fields and a book by Neil Simon about a New York City prostitute with a heart of gold. Peter Hinton, who helmed this season’s big-budget “Cabaret,” will direct “Pygmalion,” Shaw’s beloved story about the challenges of social and economic mobility based on the ancient Greek myth.
Joining “Sweet Charity” and “Pygmalion” on the Festival Theatre stage will be the Canadian premiere of Moss Hart’s infrequently produced 1948 comedy “Light Up the Sky,” directed by Blair Williams.
The smaller Royal George Theatre will host two productions directed by Shaw Festival Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell: “Peter and the Starcatcher,” a prequel to “Peter Pan” adapted by Rick Elice from the book by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson; and the world premiere of “The Divine,” a play by Québécois playwright Michel Bouchard about Sarah Bernhardt’s 1908 visit to Quebec City. The Royal George also will host Jim Mezon’s production of Shaw’s comedy “You Never Can Tell.”
The Court House Theatre will see Henrik Ibsen’s “The Lady from the Sea,” Caryl Churchill’s “Top Girls” and J.M. Barrie’s “The Twelve-Pound Look.” And the Studio Theatre, the Shaw Festival’s rehearsal space that becomes a temporary performance space once the large productions are on their feet, will host Tony Kushner’s “The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures” and the world premiere of “The Next Whiskey Bar: A Kurt Weill Cabaret,” a revue by frequent Shaw Festival collaborators Paul Sportelli and Jay Turvey.
More info about the Shaw Festival’s 2015 season is online at www.shawfest.org.