Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Shaw Festival--2012 preview

THE SHAW FESTIVAL announces its 2012 season

It may appear to be too early to think about it, but The Shaw Festival, which is located in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada, has announced its 2012 season.

Many Clevelanders take the four-hour drive up to The Shaw, as it is called by the locals, to participate in theatre, tour the “most beautiful little city in Canada,” shop, and eat at the many wonderful restaurants.

The upcoming season includes:
•Ragtime, Terrence McNally-Lynn Ahrens-Stephen Flaherty’s musical about the U.S. melting pot as it relates to immigrants, racism, and Euro Americans in the early 20th century. It is based on E. L. Doctorow’s ground-breaking novel.
•Present Laughter, Noel Coward’s farcical play which the author describes as "a series of semi-autobiographical pyrotechnics."
•His Girl Friday, John Guare’s “screwball comedy of politics and corruption,” which is an adaptation of the film, The Front Page.
•Hedda Gabler, Ibsen’s theatre of realism epic in which the lead character takes on society in her fight for women’s rights.
•The Millionaires. A seldom done Shaw comedy about the richest woman in the world, and the complications she discovers in her search for love.
•Trouble in Tahiti, Leonard Bernstein's jazzy opera of love and longing in U. S. America’s 1950s suburbia.
•A Man and Some Women, a world premiere by little known, but noted British playwright Githa Sowerby.
•Come Back, Little Sheba, William Inge’s story of a wife clinging to the past and a husband clinging to a bottle.
•French Without Tears, Terrance Rattigan’s longest running London show which is billed as “a sexy comedic romp set in the south of France
•Misalliance, a play about marriage, which author G. B. Shaw describes as a long debate in which “the curtain will be lowered twice. The audience is requested to excuse these interruptions, which are made solely for its convenience."
•Helen's Necklace (Le Collier d'Hélène), Carole Fréchette's poetic exploration which has been described as, “A play that is a metaphor of loss and suffering at different levels.
•The Shaw's Reading Series, which explores provocative contemporary plays from all over the world. Dates and details to be confirmed.

It’s a good idea to make both theatre and lodging reservations early, especially with the B&Bs on weekends. Our home away from home is the beautiful and well-placed Wellington House (, directly across the street from The Festival Theatre. For information on other B&Bs go to

The Niagara area is dotted with wineries, many of which, besides offering wine tastings and sales, have fine dining facilities.

There are some wonderful restaurants including the Dining Room located at the Niagara Culinary Institute ( And my in-town favorite, The Grill on King Street (905-468-7222, 233 King St.)

For theatre information, a brochure or tickets, call 800-511-7429 or go on-line to Ask about packages that include lodging, meals and tickets. Also be aware that the festival offers day-of-the-show rush tickets and senior matinee prices.

Go to the Shaw Festival! Find out what lovely hosts Canadians are, and see some great theatre!