It has been a great year for the Segal so far on stage, highlighted by blockbusters Les Belles Soeurs and Forever Plaid. Still to come, of course, Mordecai Richler’s landmark coming of age novel The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz will be getting the all-star musical treatment in a world premiere musical adaptation from June 7 to 28. Duddy Kravitz has an original score by Alan Menken, the Tony- and Oscar-winning composer of Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid and The Little Shop of Horrors. The legendary composer is responsible for some of the most beloved songs and musical scores of our time. But here is our first look at next year and what a lineup it is, with no less than seven spectacular Montreal premieres .
Funny Girl, the poignant musical rags to riches story of Vaudeville sensation Fanny Brice made famous by Barbra Streisand in film, will kick off the new season (October 11 to November 1, 2015) in an 18-person song and dance spectacular under the direction of Peter Hinton. Multi-talented Canadian musical performer Gabi Epstein will hold down the titular role immortalized by Streisand in the classic 1968 movie.
“I feel like one of the luckiest people in the world,” Epstein actually sang out in a video message recorded from Toronto where she is performing for Mirvish Entertainment.
Next up (November 29 to December 20, 2015) will be British playwright Nina Raine’s internationally-acclaimed play Tribes, a powerful look at the meaning of language, love and what it means to be understood. Jack Volpe (Seeing Voices Montreal) makes his professional theatre debut as Billy, the only deaf member of an eccentric, intellectual family. Volpe, who works by day at the Mackay Centre School in NDG, is deaf. He attended the press conference and delivered words of appreciation for getting the role via sign language interpreter.
|Jack Volpe at the press conference|
“When Jack completed his audition, the electricity in the building was palpable,” said Rubin. “This show will be done with American Sign Language. We are very excited to see how the deaf community can be involved and see what the story can bring to them.”
From January 31 to February 21, 2016, The Secret Annex will invite audiences to use their
imaginations of what life would have been like for beloved historical icon Anne Frank, had she survived the war. In what is being described as “a stirring and romantic new play out of Winnipeg by young playwright Alix Sobler and directed by Marcia Kash,” Sara Farb will take on the lead role. She will soon be starring in the Stratford Festival’s Diary of Anne Frank. In Montreal she will portray the same title character as a 25-year old coming of age in New York City. Farb expressed her joy with the role via a video message. “Doing the Secret Annex is something I am really excited about,” she said.
In what promises to be a comedic highlight of the season (May 1 to 22, 2016), Joshua Harmon’s breakout hit Bad Jew will ask the biting question: what do you choose to believe, when you’re chosen? It will focus on three cousins gathered in a cramped Manhattan apartment to mourn the death of their grandfather and fight over a precious family heirloom. Rubin herself will direct this critically-acclaimed exploration of faith, family and legacy that has had North America abuzz since its Off-Broadway premiere in 2013. “I always thought my directorial debut would have been a musical,” said Rubin, whose golden pipes blew away many an audience during her performing career.
Also co-produced with Copa de Oro, will be a new production of Tony Award-winner Joe DiPietro’s laugh-out-loud musical comedy I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (May 8 to 29, 2016), directed by Wade Lynch. Witty and whimsical, this incredibly popular Off-Broadway musical sensation deftly lampoons the stages and stumbling blocks of romantic relationships.
|Lisa Rubin, Anisa Cameron, Aron Gonshor, Anthony Housefather, Mitchell Brownstein and myself.|
A very proud Mitchell Brownstein, my colleague on Côte Saint-Luc City Council who created the Dramatic Society with Cameron from scratch only three years ago, was pinching himself. Ditto for Mayor Anthony Housefather, whom by the time this show hits the stage hopes to be the Liberal Member of Parliament for Mount Royal.
Beyond the stage the Segal will welcome Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre film series.
Audience Engagement plays a vital role in the Segal Centre’s mission. To complement the productions being presented on stage, the Segal offers the ever-popular Sunday @ The Segal pre-show lecture series, an opportunity to explore the history, themes and ideas behind each production, and Monday Night Talk backs a post-show chat with the creators of the play.
New next season, as part of the Segal’s Beyond the Stage programming, will be Shakespeare`s Globe on Screen film series, presenting critically-acclaimed performances from Shakespeare’s home, London’s World Famous Globe Theatre. Screenings will take place in the intimate 77-seat CinemaSpace and be preceded by a pre-show discussion hosted by Repercussion Theatre, Montreal’s home for Shakespeare in the Park. Official programming to be announced soon.
Finally, the Segal continues to be an artistic resource and hub for Montreal’s independent, emerging and community artists and organizations to play, explore and grow. Next year they will welcome back such diverse guest theatre companies as Teesri Duniya Theatre (State of Denial by Rahul Varma: October 8-25), Tableau D’Hôte Theatre (Angélique by Lorena Gale: November 30 – December 13), Youtheatre (Dreaming Now: January 11-15, 2016 & P@ndora: February 2-5, 2016) and Les Productions Pas de Panique (Le Visiteur by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, in French, March 20 – April 3, 2016).
Six-time Grammy nominated American jazz vocalist Tierney Sutton will launch the Segal’s Power Jazz music Series in October. The eighth season, always as rich and diverse, also features the Jason Rosenblatt Quartet, Laila Biali, Piano Chameleons (John Roney & Matt Herskowitz) and a concert in partnership with the Consulate General of Israel.
Also as part of the Segal’s additional programming: Broadway Café, an intimate open mic night for musical theatre aficionados to sing or simply enjoy their favourite showtunes; the Segal’s own performing arts Academy. with unique after-school courses for aspiring performers running from October to May, and many more guest events with such valued community partners as the Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre, the Hebrew Theatre of the Jewish Public Library and The Communauté Sépharade Unifiée du Québec (CSUQ).
Segal subscribers enjoy world-class theatre plus many outstanding benefits, including free indoor parking, up to 30 percent off ticket prices, free ticket exchange and exclusive savings.
Log on to www.segalcentre.org.