May 30, 2011

OPENING THIS WEEK, ON JUNE 3

Regrets Only
A Comedy by Paul Rudnick

Richmond Hill, Ont. (May 30, 2011): The Curtain Club is pleased to announce the opening of the last play of the 2010/2011 Season, Regrets Only, a comedy by Paul Rudnick on June 3 (there will be a preview on June 2 and the play closes on June 18, 2011). On June 3, 2011, after the opening night performance, patrons will be treated to a reception in the lobby of the theatre with an opportunity to meet the cast, design team and crew. Plenty of tickets for the run of Regrets Only, at the incredible price of only $18.00 each, are available from The Curtain Club box office (905-773-3434).

Regrets Only is a comedy about manners set in a Park Avenue penthouse in Manhattan. It explores the latest topics in marriage and friendship and the plot touches on issues such as the drafting of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.
The play revolves around married socialites Jack, an attorney (played by Greg Nowlan) and Tibby (played by Victoria Curran) and their relationship with designer Hank (played by Steve Hetherington, who is also producing Regrets Only). Hank is one of the world’s most successful fashion designers. Jack and Tibby’s daughter, Spencer (played by Rakhee Morzaria) is getting engaged during a city-wide strike adding to the romp. Adding colour are Myra, the maid (played by Heather Nutt-Christensen), and Marietta, Tibby’s mother (played by Lorraine Whaley).


Producer Steve Hetherington has been pleased with work of the cast and crew on Regrets Only as the entire team had to work around the 2011 Theatre Ontario Festival, which The Curtain Club hosted from May 18 to 2011. He was rallying the team during the technical runs during this weekend saying “We're almost there everyone! Thank you all for your hard work on this show and working around the Festival.”


Regrets Only is a modern “drawing room” comedy, and was first performed in New York in 2006 with the character of Tibby played by Christine Baranski. Paul Rudnick, was born in 1957, is an American playwright, screenwriter and novelist. His plays include I Hate Hamlet, Jeffrey, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, Valhalla and The New Century. He also wrote for Premiere magazine under the pseudonym Libby Gelman-Waxner. He is Jewish and openly gay.

Each season The Curtain Club gives back to the community through its Charity Night initiative. One performance of each play is given to local charities to use as a fundraiser or a volunteer thank you. The Curtain Club is pleased to welcome York Central Hospital Volunteers, Thornhill Chapter and the Club Tamar as recipients of the Charity Night for Regrets Only.

May 26, 2011

What a wonderful 2011 Theatre Ontario Festival!

The Curtain Club was proud to host the 2011 Theatre Ontario Festival right here in Richmond Hill from May 18 to 22, 2011. The performances and the awards brunch were held at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts, but all other Festival activities were held at The Curtain Club.

The Curtain Club was particularly proud to to have Joan Burrows’, long-time member of The Curtain Club, resident playwright and former President, play “Staff Room” included in “Grassroots,” an anthology of plays being published by Theatre Ontario and released by Canada Playwright Press during the 2011 Festival.

Joan says “I'm thrilled to have Staff Room included in “Grassroots!” And especially excited that the anthology is being launched in the very space that gave Staff Room its first premier production. I think it speaks volumes about the entire Curtain Club whose members gave it such encouragement, support and effort to make it all possible.”

The Festival was a great success with Festival adjudicator Jane Carnwath awarding 15 awards during the Award Brunch on May 22. Five of these, including best production, were deservedly won by “Trying,” presented by Domino Theatre from Kingston, Ontario.

The productions that participated in the Festival were:
• “Suds,” a musical comedy by Melinda Gibb, and presented by Whitby Courthouse Theatre for ACT-CO.
• “Balconville,” a bilingual comedy by David Fennario, and presented by Espanola Little Theatre for QUONTA.
• “Trying,” a drama by Joanna McClelland Glass, and presented by Domino Theatre (Kingston), for EODL.
• “Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf?” a drama by Edward Albee, and presented by Theatre Windsor, for WODL.

May 22, 2011

"Who's Afriad of Virginia Woolf?" was a masterpiece!

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? was a great close to the 2011 Theatre Ontario Festival. At the Awards Brunch on May 22, the best production of the Festival as well as the best in other aspects will be selected ....



The cast and crew arrived at the green room party last night quite late as the three act play was the longest of the Festival so far.

May 21, 2011

taking the stage tonight "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"


DON'T MISS THE LAST PLAY OF THE 2011 THEATRE ONTARIO FESTIVAL AT THE RICHMOND HILL CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS.

The classic drama by Edward Albee is a must see and favourite of audiences -- based simply on the fact that it has seen so many Broadway revivals.


The cast and crew have been busy building their set at the RHCPA and rehearsing. The show is at 8PM. Tickets are available from the RHCPA Box Office at 905.787.8811 Walk-in Patrons Are Welcome!! TICKETS ARE JUST $25 EACH. See you there.




And don't forget, tomorrow at 11:30 AM there will be an awards brunch. Tickets are on sale at the RHCPA box office, but we need you to purchase those in advance as we need to notify the caterer of the number of attendees. And, of course, if you are there you will hear first-hand who takes all the Theatre Ontario Awards this year! So, don't miss out!

On May 20th "Tyring" was a Triumph during the 2011 Theatre Ontario Festival

Last night was the third night of the 2011 Theatre Ontario Festival. The audience has now developed a taste for excellence and they were not disappointed.

Tyring was a poignant masterpiece. At times pulling at strong emotions, always challenging perceptions, and occasionally uproarious.



Festival adjudicator Jane Carnwath, during the public adjudication noted "everything about this piece fit." She comment on the impact that people have on each other, and the many clashes: social class, generation....


FOLLOWING the show, patrons, and the cast and crew met at The Curtain Club for a green room party!










This morning, May 21, Jane provided the cast and crew and several other keen theatre enthusiasts many more tidbits during the private adjudication at The Curtain Club. She commented on the symmetry in the play, as well as the in the choices that the design team had made. She commmented on the many catch phrases in the play -- "lace your skates and get on the ice;" "I am a bugger for work;" my mind just left without permission."
Jane also provided amazing suggestions to the cast on crew on different approaches to the play and even had the two actors stand up and perform several scenes. It was a very positive experience for all.


THE FESTIVAL CONTINUES TONIGHT WITH THE CLASSIC "WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?"
PLENTY OF TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE AT THE RHCPA -- WALK-INS ARE WELCOME!

May 20, 2011

Balconville -- "highly successful" --- TONIGHT: Trying by Joanna McClelland Glass

On May 20th, in the morning Jane Carnwath was joined by the cast and crew of Balconville for a private adjudication. She was informative and managed a very educational discussion about the production staged on May 19th by the Espanola Little Theatre as part of the 2011 Theatre Ontario Festival.

Jane noted that they showed "sound integrity and vision."


Photo (L to R) -- Karen Gerrard (co-producer with Mike Voivin), Warren Tilston (Johnny), Richard Gamelin (co-set designer with Walter Maskel), Walter Maskel (Director), Jane Carnwath (festival adjudicator), Yolande Maskell (Cecile), Helen Landry (Irene), Raymond Landry (Claude), Mike Carre (Gaetan and stage manager), Kathy Carre (Muriel), Jessica Lajoie (Diane), and Mike Boivin (Thibault).



If you feel as if there might be some couples in the group, you would be correct! What fabulous teamwork on the part of the group from Espanola!


TONIGHT -- TRYING!!!


Don't miss tonight's performance of Tyring by Joanna McClelland Glass. The cast and crew have been busy building their set and rehearsing. This two hander co-stars Noami Ballance as Sarah Schorr and William Morrow as Judge Francis Biddle.



PLENTY OF TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE AT JUST $25.00 EACH from the RHCPA. Walk-ins are welcome.

Balconville scored a home run!


The cast and crew of Balconville took stage last night at the 2011 Theatre Ontario Festival and were an instant hit and scored a home run.

This bilingual comedy was a challenge to some members of the audience at times, but with the steller acting each gesture was clear to interpret and the audience was very impressed by this left wing, political satire, that was also a barrel of laughs.



Jane Carnwath, during her public adjudication, commented on the details of the set, noting "it's fithy up here," and praised the cast and crew for fully committing to their roles (as actors, set designers, sound designers etc.)


Earlier in the afternoon, Jane Carnwath held a workshop for seasoned and prospective directors. It was well attended by theatre lovers from far and wide. She noted, "make sure it's clear who's boss!"



The 2011 Theatre Ontario Festival continues tonight with Trying! PLENTY OF TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE FROM THE RHCPA BOX OFFICE FOR JUST $25 EACH. WALK-IN PATRONS ARE WELCOME, BUT NOTE THAT THE PERFORMANCE BEGINS PROMPTLY AT 8pm.

The EODL winning production of “Trying” is a drama by Joanna McClelland Glass.

May 19, 2011

TONIGHT - Balconville - A bilingual comedy takes stage


The cast and crew have been rehersing all day at The Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts -- they even built this fabulous set TODAY! PLENTY OF TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE AT $25.00 EACH FROM THE RHCPA!

Jane Carnwath says "You Succeeded"

On May 19th in the morning the adjudications (private) for SUDS was held at The Curtain Club.


The three female cast members -- Heather, Heather and Donna were joined on stage by Jane Carnwath (the adjudicator) as well as the two producers of SUDS and the set designer for SUDS.




Jane commented that the written musical itself reads as "nothing" special but that the cast and crew, especially with the leadership of the director, the musical directors and choreographer, "succeeded" in getting the audience to "come along" for something fun.

SUDS was a roaring, rocking success -- THE THEATRE ONTARIO FESTIVAL continues tonight with Balconville

The Theatre Ontario Festival is here!
In a fantastically well attended opening ceremony, Richmond Hill Major Dave Barrow and others officially opened the proceedings at The Curtain Club. The Curtain Club is proud that Joan Burrows, long-time member of The Curtain Club, resident playwright and former President, had her play Staff Room included in "Grassroots," an anthology of plays that was launched by Theatre Ontario during yesterday’s opening ceremonies.

(L to R): Richmond Hill Mayor Dave Barrow (L) along with several councillors attenended the opening ceremonies of the 2011 Theatre Ontario Festival and is seen here with festival co-chair Wayne Milliner (R).
Following which everyone proceeded to The Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts for the opening show of the Festival — SUDS!


(L TO R): Donna Lajeunesse (Marge), Heather Gibb (Cindy), Jason Butler-Burns (Everyone Else), and Heather Johnson (Dee Dee) were the very talented cast from the Whitby Courthouse Theatre that stared in SUDS, the musical that opened the 2011 Theatre Ontario Festival on May 18, 2011.

All day the cast and crew of SUDS had been building their set and running through the technical aspects of the show. Just before supper time, they had a full run of the show to ensure everything was ship shape for their audience at 8 pm.

They were fantastic and the audience was roaring with laughter and even broke into song with the cast a time or two. You could tell that festival adjudicator Jane Carnwath was not disappointed as she made her brief public adjudication following the performance.

Don’t miss the other shows during the 2011 Theatre Ontario Festival. Who knows when Richmond Hill be hosting such as great event in town again.

May 18, 2011

after the opening ceremonies -- SUDS tonight at the RHCPA



The almost sold out SUDS has been rehearsing all day at the RHCPA...don't miss tonight's great show!

TONIGHT - official opening ceremonies of the 2011 Theatre Ontario Festival


TONIGHT -- MAY 18, 2011

BEFORE YOU HEAD TO THE RICHMOND HILL CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS FOR THE FIRST PERFORMANCE OF THE CENTRE, COME TO THE CURTAIN CLUB FOR THE OFFICIAL OPENING CEREMONIIES -- A YUMMY DESSERT RECEPTION FOR THEATRE ENTHUSIASTS AND LOCAL DIGNITARIES.







EXPECTED GUESTS INCLUDE:

2011 Theatre Ontario Festival
Co-Chairs, Sharon Dykstra & Wayne Milliner
President of Association of Community
Theatres - Central Ontario President, Cam Lund
Theatre Ontario President Julianne Snepts
Town of Richmond Hill Mayor, Dave Barrow
Festival Adjudicator, Jane Carnwath
Festival Playwright-in-Person, Emil Sher
Richmond Hill MPP, Reza Moridi
Oak Ridges - Markham MPP, Dr. Helena Jaczek
The Curtain Club Playwright-in-Person, Joan Burrows

PLEASE NOTE == THE RECEPTION WILL BE AT THE CURTAIN CLUB (400 NEWKIRK ROAD) FROM 6 PM TO 7 PM.



Well the skies may be grey but your Festival 2011 Committee and the over 50 member volunteers are busy getting ready for Opening Night tonight at The Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts. If you are a little down because you haven't had a chance to get the BBQ out.... why not come out and see the best community theatre the Province has to offer.




Local Richmond Hill residents will have seen our ads in The Liberal along with a great article last week about our own Playwright in Residence Joan Burrows.

Hope to see you there!!

May 10, 2011

Staff Room included in “Grassroots!”


The Curtain Club is proud to announce that Joan Burrows,long-time member of The Curtain Club, resident playwright and former President will have her play Staff Room included in “Grassroots,” an anthology of plays being published by TheatreOntario and which will be released by Canada Playwright Press during the 2011 TheatreOntario Festival in Richmond Hill.

"Grassroots" will have 5 full length plays, all of which have been produced at the community theatre level. Staff Room was chosen out of 38 submissions.

Joan says “I'm thrilled to have Staff Room included in “Grassroots!” And especially excited that the anthology is being launched in the very space that gave Staff Room its first premier production. I think it speaks volumes about the entire Curtain Club whose members gave it such encouragement, support and effort to make it all possible.”


Staff Room was really well received by patrons on The Curtain Club in 2004 and was selected as the winner and represented the Association of Community Theatres – Central Ontario . It later went on to win the “Best Production” at the 2004 Theatre Ontario Festival in Sault St. Marie.

In 2006, a second production of Staff Room was mounted by Kanata Theatre and then a third by Theatre Guelph. Joan Burrows has gone on to study playwriting at Theatre Ontario Summer Courses, and is currently working on her fourth play.

May 3, 2011

The Miracle of Theatre is Coming to Richmond Hill ... call the box office now!

Tickets now on sale for May 18, 19, 20, 21 and the Awards Brunch on May 22.
Don’t’ miss this fantastic chance to enjoy four award winning plays in one weekend. Single tickets are just $25.00 and can be purchased from the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts Box Office (905.787.8811).
Like any good competition, there will be an awards brunch on Sunday, May 22, 2011. It will feature the best of everything during the festival – sort of like the Oscars or the Tonys or in this case the Theatre Ontario Festival Awards. In addition to individual tickets, patrons can purchase ticket packages. Tickets for three plays at $75.00 or three plays and the Awards Brunch at $105.00; Tickets for four plays at $100.00 or four plays and the Awards Brunch at $130.00. This is a unique opportunity for theatre enthusiasts, theatre scholars, and theatre novices alike to get a feel for theatre – the technical aspects, the entertainment value, and the intellectual investments that are required to mount a fantastic play. Join members of The Curtain Club during this fantastic week in welcoming patrons and productions from across Ontario to Richmond Hill.

BUY YOUR TICKETS - SUDS


On Wednesday, May 18, opening night of the Theatre Ontario Festival, representing the winning production for ACT-CO will be “SUDS,” the Rocking 60s Musical Soap Opera by Melinda Gilb. “SUDS” is the delightful musical story of a young teenage girl.
For regular patrons of The Curtain Club, “SUDS” will offer an unusual opportunity to see a musical. According to Festival Co-Chair, Wayne Milliner, “SUDS” is also a musical that will be attractive to “Baby Boomers counting the years, as the musical is reminiscent of music from their youth, including the Beatles. He continues, “What makes “SUDS” so much fun are the lyrics in the songs. A mailman delivers a letter "Dear Jane" and the woman sings, "Wait, oh yes, wait a minute, Mr. Postman." What I find interesting is that this musical; which was created by Melinda Gilb, a Broadway, Off-Broadway and television veteran; and Steve Gunderson, a composer, arranger and playwright; is based on a 1920s silent movie. Can you hear me humming?”

BUY YOUR TICKETS - Balconville

On Thursday, May 19, the QUONTA winning production of “Balconville,” is a bilingual comedy by Canadian playwright David Fennario. This play in two acts, considered to be Fennario's best play, was first performed at the Centaur Theatre, located in the Old Stock Exchange Building in Old Montreal, in 1979. It opened to highly favourable reviews, and has been performed in Europe. It was also adapted for TV in 1984. David Fennario was born David Wiper. His pen name, "Fennario," was given to him by a former girlfriend, and is based on the Bob Dylan song, "Pretty Peggy-O."
Festival Co-Chair, Sharon Dykstra describes the play: “Well, it’s set in Pointe Saint-Charles, a neighbourhood of Montreal considered an industrial slum. It takes place during a hot summer in which the Montreal Expos were playing well. Has that ever happened? What is important to note is that in the late 1970s there was a lot of language tension in Montreal. Perhaps Fennario was the first author to illustrate that not all Montreal “Anglos” were monied and that there are the same blue-collar socio-economic issues facing the “Anglos.” This play particularly struck with me because I found the juxtaposition of the grittiness with the comedy/drama both enjoyable and moving.”

BUY YOUR TICKETS - Trying

On Friday, May 20, the EODL winning production of “Trying” is a drama by Joanna McClelland Glass. Festival co-chair Wayne Miller noted that ‘“Tyring” could be considered a semi-autobiographical work by Glass. It is a smart and witty and focuses on the differences between two people: Sarah – young, female and from the Canadian prairies; and Francis – older, male and a former U.S. Attorney General. There are so many themes in this play – gender, generational issues, geographic identity. I think this is the play that I most identify with in this year’s Festival and I hope our patrons see all four just to be able to compare Canadian playwright Joanna McClelland Glass was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan . Her works have been produced across North America, in England, Australia, Ireland and Germany. Trying (2004) premiered in New York, and has played in Chicago, Ottawa and Toronto. Set in 1967, it is based on Glass’s working relationship as a young Canadian from the prairies with Francis Biddle, Attorney General under President Franklin D. Roosevelt and a judge during the Nuremberg trails.

BUY YOUR TICKETS - Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

On Saturday, May 21, the closing night of the Theatre Ontario Festival, the WODL winning production of “Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf?” is a drama by American playwright, Edward Albee. “Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” opened on Broadway at the Billy Rose Theater on October 13, 1962 and won the 1963 Tony Award for Best Play. “Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” is a play on the title of the once popular song "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" from Walt Disney's The Three Little Pigs, but named after the famous English novelist. Festival Co-Chair Sharon Dykstra describes “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” as arguable the most produced of the Festival plays this year and is excited that it has been selected for 2011 Festival. “I am particularly pleased as I know that “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” will be produced again on Broadway in the fall of 2012 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the play’s original opening night. It is one those plays that is a bit voyeuristic to watch. It is semiautobiographical, it is dark, and it is a comedy, about a dysfunctional Oklahoma family coping with the death of its patriarch. It is a play that is interesting to stage for those of us who work on shows. The last Broadway production was in 2005 and stared Kathleen Turner. That production was nominated for six Tonys and received one, for best actor in a play. It also has the longest run-time of the four plays during this festival, with three acts.”