CTF 2017: Broadway Hits, Heritage Shows, Stellar Casts

Coming off a season which garnered more Capital Critics Circle Awards nominations than any other company in Eastern Ontario, Perth’s Classic Theatre Festival opens its 8th summer season June 21 with a combination of brand new historic walking plays and a collection of hits from the golden age of Broadway and the London Stage.

The Classic Theatre Festival returns for its 8th summer season, running June 21 to September 10 in Perth. Last year’s Arms and the Man, featuring Lindsay Robinson and Lana Sugarman, garnered Capital Critics Circle wards nominations for best show, best director, and best female performance (Sugarman went home with the award). Photo: Jean-Denis Labelle

Located at 54 Beckwith Street East (at Harvey) in Perth, the 2017 season opens with the most successful Canadian comedy ever staged on Broadway, Bernard Slade’s Same Time, Next Year (June 23 to July 16). It stars Festival veterans Scott Clarkson and Lana Sugarman (who won the 2016 Best Female Performer Award for her portrayal of Raina in Arms and the Man.) Slade’s story about two people – each married to someone else – who meet for an annual weekend getaway over 24 years, was a Tony-Award winner.

Following is George Bernard Shaw’s romantic comedy Candida (July 21 to August 13), which will appeal to anyone who remembers the powerful pull of a first love that burns in their soul. The play features a stellar cast including Festival veterans William Vickers, Jeffrey Aarles, Fraser Elsdon, Sean Jacklin, and Anna Burkholder, while introducing Dana Fradkin in the title role.

The mainstage season closes with an Alfred Hitchcock-styled psychological thriller, Peter Colley’s I’ll Be Back before Midnight (August 18 to September 10), a “gaslighting” tale of a young couple who rent an old, spooky country farmhouse. It features Festival favourites Lindsay Robinson and Alastair Love while introducing first-time performers at the Festival, Chandel Gambles and Lauren Horejda.

All mainstage shows run Tuesday to Sunday matinees at 2 pm, and Wednesday and Saturday evenings at 8 pm at the wheelchair accessible, air conditioned space.

The Classic Theatre Festival’s family-friendly historic theatrical walking plays and ghost walks, which recreate characters and stories from Perth’s past during an hour-long stroll through town, return with Confederation themes as Canada and Ontario mark their respective 150th anniversaries. This year’s cast features features Keegan Carr, Emma Houlahan, Connor Williamson and Garrett Pipher.

The Festival’s popular theatrical historic walking plays return this year with expanded performance times. Perth through the Ages (June 21 to August 27, Wednesday to Sunday at 11 am) presents a new, hour-long story, A Nation Lost and Found, focused on the daily lives, concerns, and conflicts of Perth and area residents at the time of Confederation.

The Lonely Ghosts Walk (June 29 to August 25, Thursdays and Friday at 7 pm) will feature a new story featuring the unsettled spirits of Perth performing an hour-long, family-friendly romp through the town’s mysterious and haunted past. Music, comedy, and song are featured in this tale set at the time of Confederation.

This year’s walking troupe cast features Keegan Carr, Emma Houlahan, Connor Williamson and Garrett Pipher, in plays written by Laurel Smith and directed by Joanna McAuley Treffers.

Tickets to the Festival are available online at ticketsplease.ca or by calling toll-free at 1-877-283-1283.

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