Season Announcement: Grand Theatre 2020-2021

Photo by Dahlia Katz.

The Grand Theatre has announced its 2020/2021 season.

Running from September 2020 to May 2021, the season will follow what the theatre calls an “epic renovation” after the closing of their upcoming production of Grow this May. Due to the renovation, the Grand Theatre’s first show of the season will be an offsite production of Barnum, a musical about P.T. Barnum of Barnum & Bailey Circus fame.

“Our 2020/2021 season was designed around this renovation, knowing that it would have an impact on how we opened our season,” says Grand Theatre’s Artistic Director, Dennis Garnhum. “Because we required time into September to complete it, we were able to think outside the traditional theatre box and move our first production offsite and into our community. We are so thrilled and excited to partner with Western Fair to bring the wonder and amazement of the musical Barnum to London.”

Music features heavily in the 2020/2021 season for the Grand Theatre as patrons can expect to see 3 musicals in addition to Barnum including Annie and Cabaret, both directed by Garnhum, as well as a production of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony award-winning In the Heights.

The season features a diverse programming of shows for its audience, from remounts of productions from other Canadian theatre companies like The Shaw Festival and Neptune Theatre to two one-man shows and an immersive theatre experience. “You will see us in places you would never expect—from a circus tent, to a coffee shop, from intimate studio theatres, to the largest national stage—it is a season of bold and exciting theatre that we are proud to present” says Garnhum.

Grand Theatre’s 2020/2021 Season

BARNUM

Music by Cy Coleman. Lyrics by Michael Stewart. Book by Mark Bramble. Directed and Choreographed by Cameron Carver. Musical Direction by Andrew Petrasiunas.

September 10 – 20, 2020 | Offsite at The Western Fair
Opens September 11, 2020

“Barnum’s the name. P.T. Barnum. And I want to tell you that you are going to see-bar none—every sight, wonder, and miracle that name stands for!” Barnum traces the career of America’s greatest (and highly controversial) showman from 1835 to the year he joined with James A. Bailey to form The Greatest Show on Earth. Step right up to witness jugglers, clowns, and all the spectacle of circus including Jumbo, the largest elephant in the world as well as real life personalities including Jenny Lind and General Tom Thumb. Barnum’s his name, and miracles are his game!

 

Neptune Theatre’s Production of:

THE EAST COAST KITCHEN PARTY

Conceived and created by Jeremy Webb and Ian Sherwood. Directed by Laura Caswell.

October 13-31, 2020 | SPRIET STAGE
Opens October 16, 2020

Celebrate a Maritime tradition! The East Coast Kitchen Party offers an authentically Nova Scotian experience—set in an East Coast kitchen, the instruments come out, and the friends start to play. It’s a concert celebrate – kick back as we toast to some of the best music that the East Coast has to offer. Each performance will see the stunning cast of Maritimers joined by our very own local London, Ontario musicians, who will drop into the kitchen to give it a very local flavour. It’s the perfect opportunity to grab your friends and family, raise a glass, and celebrate a new season in our fantastic newly renovated theatre.

 

Gavin Crawford’s

WHAT’S UP DAD? AND OTHER DANGEROUS QUESTIONS

October 27, 28, 30, 31 | AUBURN STAGE

Join Gavin Crawford, host of CBC Radio’s Because News, as he takes on this one-person, multi-character show about living in these divisive times—from the standpoint of a gay lefty and his redneck, Wexit father. This production, workshopped through the Grand’s COMPASS New Play Development, will open the Auburn Stage in this limited five-show engagement.

 

Canadian Premiere

USER NOT FOUND

By Dante or Die. Written by Chris Goode. Directed by Daphna Attias.

November 17 – December 5, 2020 | Offsite at Commonwealth Coffee
Opens November 18, 2020

You enter Commonwealth Co, and receive a set of headphones and a smartphone. Several tables away, a man is grappling real time with something very private. The questions arise: what happens to your online presence after you’re gone? If there were a magic button, would you choose to delete your online history? User Not Found is about our digital lives after we die.
Become a fly-on-the-wall to peer into the life of a man in this intimate and funny live performance about a stranger’s profound experience. This is a story that gently interrogates our emotional dependence on our screens.

 

ANNIE

Book by Thomas Meehan. Music by Charles Strouse. Lyrics by Martin Charnin. Directed by Dennis Garnhum. 

November 24 – December 27, 2020 | SPRIET STAGE
Opens November 27, 2020

Leapin ‘lizards! The world’s best-loved musical is coming to London for the holidays! With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie charms everyone’s hearts despite her next-to-nothing start in Depression-era New York City. Forced to live in an orphanage run by the embittered and tyrannical Miss Hannigan, Annie’s hard knock life is turned upside-down when she escapes to the wondrous world of NYC—to a fairy tale holiday with the famous billionaire industrialist, Oliver Warbucks. Featured fun-filled adventures, Annie is the perfect family-friendly musical for the holidays.

 

IN THE WAKE OF WETTLAUFER

By Kelly McIntosh and Gil Garratt. Directed by Megan Watson. Featuring R.H. Thompson.

January 19-31, 2021 | SPRIET STAGE
Opens January 22, 2020

Set in London, Ontario, this play centres around a group of siblings who realizes that the car home where their father has been placed is the same one where Nurse Elizabeth Wettlaufer committed multiple murders. Troubled by the court’s findings, but galvanized by the love of family, the siblings try to understand how all of this could happen. Created with compassion from interviews with some of those most closely attached, this play asks: can our community ever be the same? A hard-hitting, but life-affirming story of compassion, family, and hope for change.

 

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT OF THE MIDDLE CLASSES

By Hannah Moscovitch. Directed by Diana Donnelly. 

February 2-13, 2021 | AUBURN STAGE
Opens February 4, 2021. 

An author and star professor, wracked with self-loathing after a third divorce, catches himself admiring a student—a girl in a red coat. It turns out that the girl is a huge fan of his work. She also lives down the street and gets locked out one afternoon…
The latest work from acclaimed Canadian playwright Hannah Moscovitch, Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes takes an archetypal scenario, the “student-teacher romance”, and turns it on its head, re-envisioning it for our post-#MeToo era.

 

The Shaw Festival Production of

CYRANO DE BERGERAC

Translated and adapted by Kate Hennig. By Edmond Rostand. Starring Tom Rooney. Directed by Chris Abraham.

February 16 – March 6, 2021 | SPRIET STAGE
Opens February 19, 2021

Cyrano de Bergerac is a swashbuckling 17th century swordsman who can do anything…except tell Roxane, the woman he loves, how he feels. He’s just too self-conscious about his unusually large nose. Roxane is in love with words, so when Cyrano is offered the chance to ghostwrite-love letters to her from an inarticulate, love-struck cadet, he takes it—but can he ever reveal himself? Could she ever love him for who he is? A breathtaking tale about the exquisite torture of loving from afar, for anyone who has ever stood beneath a window.

 

CABARET

Book by Joe Masteroff. Based on the play by John Van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood. Music by John Kander. Lyrics by Fred Ebb. Directed by Dennis Garnhum.

March 17 – April 10, 2021 | AUBURN STAGE
Opens March 18, 2021

“Wilkommen, bienvenue, welcome.” Follow Sally Bowles downstairs once again she navigates  the nightclub underworld of Berlin on the edge of fascism. Be drawn into the excesses and decadence of a time where everything was possible—until it wasn’t. Returned to the Grand Theatre after its sell-out run in 2019, Cabaret will see the Auburn Stage transformed once more into the gritty and intimate Kit Kat Club. “Come to the cabaret”—if you dare.

 

From the creator of HAMILTON

IN THE HEIGHTS

Music and Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Book by Quiara Algeria Hudes. Conceived by Lin-Manuel Miranda. 

March 23 – April 10, 2021 | SPRIET STAGE
Opens March 26, 2021

Before Hamilton took over the world, there was In the Heights, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s exuberant portrait of Manhattan’s Lantinx community in the neighbourhood of Washington Heights. Winner of a Grammy and four Tony Awards, the musical follows a cast of characters from three generations, all of whom dream, hope and work for a bright future in changing times. Blending salsa, merengue, soul, hip-hop, and rap music, In the Heights is a dazzling display of Miranda’s song writing talents that will win you over with its life-affirming story and hot tunes.

 

Kidoons in association with Theatre Calgary and the 20K Collective presents

BOOM X

Written, Directed, and Performed by Rick Miller.

April 20 – May 7, 2021 | SPRIET STAGE
Opens April 23, 2021

Picking up where Boom left off—Boom X tackles the music, culture, and politics of Generation X. Surrounded by stunning visuals, Rick Miller plays more than 100 famous people—musicians, celebrities, politicians—in his own story of growing up and trying to navigate the tangled legacy of the Baby Boom.

 

JEANS ‘N CLASSICS

Peter Brennan’s Jeans ‘n Classics presented by VersaBank returns with a brand new five-concert series performing the best of rock and pop.

November 5: MADMEN ACROSS THE WATER – THE MUSIC OF SIR ELTON JOHN

January 7: SHE’S GOT IT – VOLUME 1

March 11: EVERY BREATH YOU TAKE – THE MUSIC OF STING AND THE POLICE

April 15: THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME – THE MUSIC OF LED ZEPPELIN 

May 27: FREE FALLIN’ – THE MUSIC OF TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS


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Written By

Mae Smith is an Associate Editor for Intermission Magazine. She is also a stagehand, freelance theatre critic, props builder, and a Pisces. Previously, Mae has been the Student Blog Editor for DARTcritics, and her reviews have been featured in alt.theatre magazine.