Chronicling a Love Affair with Canadian Theatre

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Drayton Entertainment Announces 2023 Season

Drayton Entertainment has announced their line up for 19 shows, playing across their 7 locations for the 2023 season. At this point there is no information about cast or directors.

But just the bare bones list of titles reinforces my opinions about why Drayton is important in the theatrical ecosystem of southwest Ontario.

There will be four “jukebox musicals” and two musical evenings, several of which I’m finding appealing. I must be getting old and nostalgic.

Of the “book” musicals Kinky Boots, Evita, and The Prom, if up to Drayton’s usual standards, should be worth seeing.

Alas, there are no English farces slated but there will be two pantos based on The Wizard of Oz and Peter Pan.

There are three serious dramas on the schedule. American Son deals with racism in Florida, a topic sure to be front burnered as the American election heats up. Mary’s Wedding from 2002 is a powerful piece about the cost of war by Canada’s own Stephen Massicotte. A Few Good Men is a Drayton revival. It will be interesting to see if it can match (or better) Marti Maraden’s production of 2020.

There’s also a delightful comedy programmed. The New Canadian Curling Club by Mark Crawford features a group of recent immigrants wrestling with the arcane art of curling. There’s a terrific part in it for Terry Barna, who staked a claim to Drayton stardom in last season’s Buying The Farm and The Birds and the Bees a few seasons earlier.

I’m totally ignorant about the two shows scheduled for the St Jacobs Schoolhouse Theatre – Perfect Wedding and Bittergirl, The Musical – but since they both concern the vicissitudes of love (and are supposed to be funny) they immediately got on the “must see” list.

Here’s the full season, which to make things easy on myself, I’ve cribbed straight from their press release.

Season at a Glance:

Drayton Festival Theatre
Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (May 24 to June 10)
The New Canadian Curling Club (July 12 to July 29)
Sh-Boom: Life Could Be a Dream (August 16 to September 3)

Hamilton Family Theatre Cambridge

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (May 17 to June 10)
A Few Good Men (July 5 to July 23)
Kinky Boots (August 3 to August 20)
Evita (October 18 to November 5)
Fiddler on the Roof (November 29 to December 24)

Huron Country Playhouse

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (June 15 to July 1)
Kinky Boots (July 12 to July 29)
Rock of Ages (August 9 to September 3)

South Huron Stage:
Wizard of Oz: The Panto (June 7 to June 25)
The Crooner (July 5 to July 22)
The New Canadian Curling Club (August 3 to August 20)

stratford 2023

Your complete guide to next year’s season and the town of Stratford.
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King’s Wharf Theatre

Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (June 15 to July 1)
Fiddler on the Loose (July 12 to August 5)
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (August 10 to September 3)
Peter Pan: The Panto (November 8 to November 25)

St. Jacobs Country Playhouse

American Son (April 5 to April 23)
The Prom (May 17 to June 11)
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (July 12 to August 5)
Mary’s Wedding (October 26 to November 12)
Peter Pan: The Panto (November 29 to December 31)

St. Jacobs Schoolhouse Theatre

Perfect Wedding (July 19 to August 27)
Bittergirl – the Musical (October 4 to December 24)

For more information, visit the Drayton Entertainment website.

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