By Liz Nicholls, 12thnight.ca
Teatro La Quindicina turns 36 this summer with a season at the Varscona that includes two new Stewart Lemoine comedies. And the first them starts soon. The intriguing, unnerving premise of Lemoine’s The Finest of Strangers (May 31 to June 16) is the return of a well-known TV personality to the house of his childhood. And here’s the thing: “he finds himself utterly unable to leave it.” Which naturally creates confusion for the current owner and occupants.
The playwright, who directs, has assembled a quintet of veteran Teatro stars — Jeff Haslam, Leona Brausen, Davina Stewart, Julien Arnold, Cathy Derkach for the romantic comedy/mystery. And his cast also includes Mark Bellamy, Michelle Diaz, and Patricia Darbasie.
In July (12 to 28), Teatro artistic director Jeff Haslam directs The Importance of Being Earnest. Oscar Wilde’s comic masterwork, one of the pinnacles of English language theatre and a gem of comic construction and epigrammatic wit. Mark Meer and Ron Pederson are Jack Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff, with Louise Lambert and Shannon Blanchet as Gwendolen and Cecily. Leona Brausen presides as the unassailable Lady Bracknell. And the cast also includes Julien Arnold, Mat Busby and Cathy Derkach.
Born at the very first Fringe, Teatro includes that monster festival in its summer seasons — this year with a new full-length Lemoine comedy, A Lesson in Brio, starring Rachel Bowron, Patricia Cerra, Mathew Hulshof, and Jenny McKillop. It runs Aug. 17 to Sept. 1.
And the finale is a revival of the 2000 Lemoine screwball Skirts On Fire (Sept. 27 to Oct. 13), set in the publishing world of 1950s Manhattan, and immersed in the escalating complications of a literary hoax with all the attendant deceptions, disguises and subterfuges. The “chief provocateur” (as billed) is played by Teatro star Andrew MacDonald-Smith, in a cast that also includes Kendra Connor, Andrea House, Paula Humby, Louise Lambert, and Ron Pederson.
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