One of Broadway's longest running musicals, A Chorus Line tells the story of a group of young, high-energy performers who audition for the chorus of a Broadway musical. Ultimately, the group of hopefuls will be whittled down to a lucky eight. Zach, the director, asks each of the candidates to tell him something about themselves, and it is through their stories that we get to know each of the performers on an intimate level.
Sondheim's musical in three-quarter time is a sophisticated romantic comedy with a bit of a saucy edge and full of wit.
Middle-aged lawyer Fredrik Egerman has married for the second time. His new wife, Anne, a child of 18 is the same age as his son Henrik. Fredrik visits actress Desiree Armfeldt, a former lover and the father of her illegitimate teenaged daughter, Fredrika. Desiree, however, is involved with another married man, Carl-Magnus. The love triangles become untangled and everything ends up as it should be during a weekend retreat at Desiree’s mother’s chateau (“A Weekend in the Country”).
Director: Michael Gareau
Musical Director: John McGovern
Choreographer, Assistant Director: Val Keenleyside
Fiddler on the Roof is set in the impoverished peasant town of Anatevka which is largely populated by hard-working Jewish families. One family is that of Tevye, the dairyman, a pious man with five daughters. As the story unfolds, the traditions of Tevye's ancestors begin to unravel as his three older daughters assert their independence and government troops brutally force Tevye and his fellow villagers from their homes. Inspired by the works of Sholom Aleichem, Fiddler on the Roof takes us on a journey of love, laughter, devotion, defiance and changing traditions.
Our story is set in 1908, and takes place over a two-year span beginning when thirteen-year-old Anne Shirley arrives in Avonlea, Prince Edward Island. This extremely strong-willed and imaginative young orphan girl arrives in our quiet and stoic little town, on a desperate search of love and family. Despite much upheaval and growing pains in learning to control her tongue as well as her temper, Anne gradually brings new colour to this town through her energy and vitality, and becomes part of a loving family in return. This story still resonates today with our innate desire to find our place to belong.
Gypsy’s plot centres around Rose, a domineering stage-mother, who moves her two daughters to New York to break into vaudeville. Needing an agent, she cons Herbie, a candy salesman, into the job. She builds an act around her star daughter June, but when June has the chance for a big break, and Rose refuses, June runs away to pursue her own interests. Although Rose feels defeated and shaken, she soon designates Louise to become "the biggest star in show business”. Vaudeville is dying, bookings are sparse, and Rose realizes that they have hit rock bottom. Nevertheless, plain Louise does get that needed break, and brings to the burlesque stage the freshness of youth and a winning style that soon elevates her to the top as Gypsy Rose Lee.
Director: Michael Gareau
Musical: Director: John McGovern
Choreographer and Assistant Director: Lynne Fleury
The story begins in 1927 at the Graumann's Chinese Theater Premiere of Monumental Pictures' The Royal Rascal. Fans are gathered to catch a glimpse of thier favourite celebrities as leading film columnist, Dora Bailey, hosts a live radio broadcast in front of the theatre. Finally, the film's stars, Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont, arrive with Don's life-long friend, Cosmo Brown. We see a flashback as Don tells Dora the story of his "success".
As he is avoiding mobbing fans, Don meets Kathy Selden. When Monumental Pictures moves to talking pictures, Kathy not only becomes the voice of Lina Lamont, but replaces her as Don's leading lady.
While this is happening, not everything runs perfectly smoothly. But, in the end, true love prevails and everyone, except Lina, lives happily ever after.
Li'l Abner is the clever musical theatre adaptation of the daily comic strip created by Al Capp.
The story unfolds during the late 1950s in the mythical town of Dogpatch, U.S.A. Almost the entire town is unemployed. The men spend their days fishing while the single ladies scheme about how to catch their men come next Sadie Hawkins Day.
Things are rolling along quite smoothly when, thanks to the "feds", their little town is suddenly deemed the most unnecessary place on the face of the map and is chosen as the site for atomic bomb testing. Unless they can prove themselves worthy, they have 48 hours to evacuate their homes.
Mammy Yokum almost saves the day with her wonder drug, Yokumberry Tonic, but what finally gets them off the hook is the plaque they find in the town square — signed by Abraham Lincoln — declaring their monument in honour of local hero Jubilation T. Cornpone to be a national shrine.
Professor Henry Higgins, a brilliant, irascible bachelor and England's leading phoneticist, first encounters Eliza Doolittle outside the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden late one evening. She is a Cockney flower girl and Higgins, together with Colonel Hugh Pickering, a noted linguist, chooses her as his next project. She moves into his London flat, together with Pickering, to be transformed into a "lady"; Higgins thus responding to Pickering's challenge.
After weeks and weeks of drilling, Eliza finally improves and Higgins introduces her to his mother and her snobbish friends at the Ascot races. The son of one of these friends, Freddy Eynsford-Hill, falls hopelessly in love with Eliza, despite her unladylike cheering at the races.
Higgins' final test of his experiment comes at the Embassy Ball where Karpathy, a Hungarian phonetics expert comments on the pureness of her English. After Higgins and Pickering engage in a rollicking celebration over "their" success, Eliza storms out, meets Freddy and rages at him and spends the rest of the night wandering aimlessly around London. She encounters her father, Alfred P. Doolittle who is about to marry Eliza's stepmother and is celebrating that occasion with his friends.
Higgins discovers that he is hurt by Eliza's sudden departure and goes to his mother's flat for comfort. Eliza is there, getting advice. They argue, and she storms out. Higgins finally admits to himself that he will have difficulty getting on without her and, back at his flat, sinks, dejectedly, into the sofa. Eliza emerges from the shadows and Higgins, sighing contentedly, gently asks her for his slippers.
Ten-year-old Mary Lennox awakens one morning in India to discover that her parents and all the surrounding compound of English residents have been killed by a cholera epidemic. She is soon swept away to Misselthwaite Manor, her uncle Archibald Craven's gloomy mansion in Yorkshire, England, to be raised by strangers.
In Yorkshire, Mary finds her uncle so distracted and depressed by his wife Lily's death ten years earlier, that he can barely remember that Mary is now living under his roof. Spoiled, unruly and left to wander the gardens and care for herself, Mary befriends a servant girl, Martha, her brother Dickon, and the estate's head gardener, Ben Wetherstaff. But none of them will tell her the truth about the mysterious locked garden behind the estate, nor will they shed any light on Mary's persistent claim that every night she hears someone in the house crying pitiably behind some unopened door.
As Mary takes the situation into her own hands, her personality is transformed. She first discovers the long lost key to the sadly neglected secret garden, and then her equally neglected cousin, Colin, who has been bedridden since birth.
With the help of Dickon, Martha and Ben, Mary untangles the secret of Colin's birth and his mother Lily's death. Together they nurse both the long shutaway garden and Colin back to full bloom again.
Director: Ginny Day
Musical Director: John McGovern
Choreographer, Assistant Director: Val Keenleyside
La Cage aux Folles is a love story, the tale of a marriage of 20 years almost ruined by a son's thoughtlessness. Here is the age-old triangle of mother, father and child. What child has not at some point in its life been ashamed to introduce its parents to friends? What parent has not wondered, 'where did we go wrong?' What marriage has not been tested in these familial flames?
South Pacific is a World War II story of a Navy nurse who falls in love with a French planter many years her senior. It is also the story of a young Marine Lieutenant’s poignant attachment to a Tonkinese girl which is ruined by his inability to lose his Princeton background prejudices. Both romances are flavoured with the accents of two worlds meeting, of alien individuals thrown together in a remote part of the world against the background of war’s boredom and violence.
The Music Man is the story of Professor Harold Hill and his impact on the sleepy town of River City, Iowa. Hill arrives in that small community on July 4, 1912, with every intention of fleecing the town's citizens. But even with nothing but the lowest intentions, he inadvertently brings joy into their lives and into his own life, as well. His "con" is simple but effective: he convinces the town's residents he can teach their children to play in a marching band if they buy the instruments and uniforms he has for sale. Then he simply collects the money and escapes without fulfilling his promises. His best laid plans, however, go wonderfully awry when he falls in love with the town librarian, Marian Paroo, who makes an honest man of the perennial huckster. Trapped by his own love for Marian, Hill is literally forced to face the music when he is made to "conduct" his rag-tag orchestra.
Have you ever wondered what really goes on in a baby’s mind? Join us right in the womb as the babies are getting ready to be born, and you’ll find out. Witness their first tentative steps. Hear their first words. See them make their first friends, have their first fights, learn to share. Watch them develop and grow into “individuals”. Into “types”. Be there to wish them well as they leave the safety and comfort of the nursery to venture out into the real world with their parents.
Babies! Babies! Babies!, by Canadian composer-librettist Cliff Jones, is a magical musical cavalcade that heartwarmingly depicts what might go on in a nursery during a baby's first few impressionable days of life.
Two weary Americans, lost in the Highlands of Scotland, stumble upon the village of Brigadoon, unlisted on their map, on the wedding day of Jean MacLaren and Charlie Dalrymple.
Befuddled by the strange habits and comments of the villagers, the Americans finally hear of the “miracle” whereby Brigadoon has been preserved from change for hundreds of years, coming back to life for one day each century. If a villager leaves, Brigadoon will be gone for good, but an outsider can enter and stay if their love for a villager is so strong that they will give up the outside world.
Tommy — one of the Americans — falls in love with Fiona MacLaren, but feels unable to commit to Fiona and Brigadoon. After returning to New York for some months, he finds his way back to Scotland where his love for Fiona is now powerful enough to allow him to find and enter Brigadoon forever.
The Master of Ceremonies welcomes us with "Willkommen" and assures us that all our troubles will be forgotten at the Cabaret...
While travelling to Berlin on the train, American writer Cliff Bradshaw meets German Ernst Ludwig.
New Year's Eve. Ernst had mentioned a place called the Kit Kat Klub. To Cliff this sounds a lot more inviting than an evening with his typewriter, so he's off to celebrate. At the cabaret, he meets the club's singer and hostess, Sally Bowles, who takes to him instantly. The very next day, as Cliff is giving Ernst an English lesson, Sally arrives with all her belongings; her friend Max has thrown her out. She manages to talk her way into Cliff's room and his heart.
As the weeks go by, Cliff's novel is getting nowhere and Sally soon tells him that she is expecting their child. She wants to go back to work at the Kit Kat Klub, but Cliff won't hear of it and thinks he should become the breadwinner. Ernst offers to pay Cliff well for smuggling something across the broder for him from Paris. Needing the money so that he can marry Sally, Cliff accepts the offer. In the meantime his landlady, Fraulein Schneider, becomes engaged to Herr Schultz, a Jewish fruit seller.
At Fraulein Schneider's engagement party, Cliff realizes that his Paris errand will serve to help fund the Nazi Party and refuses Ernst's payment. Sally, to avoid confrontation, accepts it. The party turns sour as Ernst advises Fraulein Schneider against marriage to Herr Schultz.
Cliff decides that he and Sally should go to America but she does not want to leave Berlin. Leaving Berlin, his memories haunt him as if in a nightmare. And so he begins his long overdue book. It will tell the tale of Sally Bowles and of the people of Berlin in that heartbreaking and tumultuous era leading up to the Third Reich.
It sat just outside the city limits of Gilbert, Texas (pop. 4600). It was called the "Chicken Ranch," but it sure as heck wasn't in competition with Frank Perdue. If you grew up most anywhere in Texas, you knew why Miss Mona Stangley's "Chicken Ranch" was one of the most thriving enterprises in Lanvil County.
It had tradition, respectability, and a strict set of rules, and it lived in peace with the town for a good many years. It did, that is, until a certain Thanksgiving week, not so very long ago.
The week started off quietly enough with Shy and Angel, two lost and lonely young ladies, making their way to the Ranch and convincing the soft hearted Miss Mona to let them stay on as hired hands.
Things took a surprise turn when Melvin P. Thorpe, a Houston television newscaster, took to the airwaves on his weekly Watchdog program and let the Chicken out of the bag. He publicly condemned the Ranch for raising something other than pullets, and demanded that Sheriff Ed Earl Dodd close the Chicken Ranch operation. And that got Sheriff Dodd madder than a hen on a hot griddle, he being a bosom friend of Miss Mona Stangley….
Indian Territory (soon to be Oklahoma) early 1900s
The story of Oklahoma! concerns the romance of a young cowman, Curly McLain, who is in love with Laurey Williams, who lives on a Territory farm with her Aunt Eller. The two women operate the farm with the aid of a hired hand, Judy Fry, whose warped passion for Laurey is a cloud in her otherwise sunny existence. Also of some concern to Laurey are the machinations of Gertie Cummings, her chief rival for Curly’s affections.
Laurey’s friend, Ado Annie Carnes, is promised to another young cowman, Will Parker, but has great difficulty in making up her mind, even with the help of her strong-minded father. The current visit of Ali Hakim, a traveling salesman, has made Ado Annie even more uncertain.
Stine comes to L.A. to write the screenplay for one of his novels (City of Angels), in which Stone is the leading character. Only when he gets to L.A. does he find out that producer/director Buddy Fiddler is really the man in charge. Two story lines are threaded throughout the musical - what is happening to Stine in real life and what his characters are doing in the screenplay which he is trying to write to the producer's satisfaction.
Unlike any other musical, City of Angels uses something like a split-screen technique in which one side of the stage portrays the characters in Stine's book. As Stine's screenplay unfolds and is re-written, the characters are subject to his scribbles. On the other side of the stage, we have reality.
In his florist shop at 1313 Skid Row, Mr. Mushnik employs two clerks: Seymour, a timid nebbish, and Audrey, a girl with low self-esteem who is abused by her sadistic dentist boyfriend. Business, which has always been bad, has recently become worse, and Mushnik is on the verge of shutting down when Seymour unveils a strange and unusual plant which he obtained in unusual circumstances during a total eclipse of the sun.
The moment the plant is placed in the front window, business picks up in spectacular fashion, and Seymour is hailed as a celebrity botanist. All too soon, Seymour discovers what he must do to keep the plant — which he has called an “Audrey II” — flourishing…
It is difficult to imagine a more intriguing cast of characters than the denizens of New York created by Damon Runyon: Harry the Horse, Nicely-Nicely Johnson, Angie the Ox, Big Jule, and a host of others with lifestyles as unconventional as their names. Guys and Dolls features two love stories: the unlikely romance between high-roller Sky Masterson and Sarah Brown of the Save-a-Soul Mission, and the 14-year engagement of tinhorn gambler Nathan Detroit to Miss Adelaide, a performer at the Hot Box nightclub. As the action begins, Nathan is desperately seeking a place to continue the “oldest established permanent floating crap game in New York” and makes an unusual bet with Sky to bankroll the venture.
Big River is a rollicking musical adaptation of Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Set in the 1840s, Big River takes the audience on a journey down the Mississippi River with Huck and Jim, the runaway slave. Their trip is full of adventure as they face the challenges of the river and encounter the many interesting characters created by Twain. Their raft is commandeered by two con artists known as The King and The Duke. Jim is sold back into slavery, only to be rescued by Huck and his pal Tom Sawyer.
As the journey continues, Huck feels better about protecting Jim and helping him get to the "free states" to be reunited with his wife and children. Despite the prejudice of the age, he realizes that it's all right to stand up for your own beliefs and to respect and care for someone of a different colour.
She Loves Me concerns the people who work in Maraczek’s Parfumerie, principally the constantly squabbling sales clerk Amalia and the manager Georg. It is soon revealed that Georg and Amalia are anonymous romantic pen pals who agree to meet one night at the Café Imperiale, though neither knows the other’s identity. Georg realizes who Amalia is when he sees her waiting for him, but he doesn’t let on and the unhappy Amalia pours out her heart in a longing plea to her unknown “Dear Friend”. After she calls in sick, their relationship blossoms into love when Georg apologizes and brings her ice cream; eventually he is emboldened to reveal his identity by quoting from one of her letters.
The Funny Girl of the title refers to Fanny Brice, and the story, told mostly in flashback, covers — with artistic license — the major events in the early life of the celebrated comedienne -- her discovery by impresario Florenz Ziegfeld, her triumphs in the Ziegfeld Follies, her infatuation with and stormy marriage to smooth-talking con man Nick Arnstein, and the breakup of that marriage after Nick has served time for masterminding the theft of Wall Street securities.
Kiss Me, Kate takes place backstage and onstage at Ford's Theatre in Baltimore, from five P.M. to midnight during one day of a tryout of a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew. In the plot, egotistical actor-producer Fred Graham and his temperamental co-star and ex-wife, Lilli Vanessi, fight and make up and eventually demonstrate their enduring affection for each other -- just like Shakespeare's Petruchio and Kate. A subplot involves Lois Lane, whose romance with actor Bill Calhoun is complicated by Bill's weakness for gambling. The personal interrelationships of these actors make for delightful fun and are eventually resolved during the somewhat chaotic opening night performance of the Shakespeare classic.
Jimmy Smith, a married bible publisher and guardian of the play's heroine (who wants to fully taste the Roaring Twenties before settling down), has been giving financial support to three comely young ladies living in three different cities. When the Smiths and their friends — plus the three recipients of Jimmy's largesse, and a sassy housemaid named Pauline — all turn up at the Smiths' Chickadee Cottage in Atlantic City, no end of comical embarrassments ensue.
The Merry Widow centres around the life of Sonia, a pretty, young Marsovian widow residing in Paris, and heiress to twenty million francs. Baron Popoff, the Marsovian Ambassador, has received instructions that Sonia must marry one of her own countrymen, so that the huge inheritance will remain in Marsovia. Popoff, aided by Nish, the Embassy messenger, has selected Prince Danilo, the Embassy attaché, to become Sonia's husband. The Prince however, prefers spending most of his time at Maxim's with ZoZo, LoLo, DoDo and their friends.
How the Baron Popoff in desperation endeavours to win Sonia for himself, how the Prince eliminates his rivals, and how everything is finally resolved in true Operetta manner, provides much merriment and gives the opportunity to introduce the delightful melodies for which Franz Lehar has become famous.
Maria Rainer, a young postulant at Nonnberg Abbey in Austria in the late 1930's, is easily distracted from her religious duties by her daydreams and the majestic beauty of the mountains. The Mother Abbess, convinced that Maria needs some time away from the Abbey to ponder her future, assigns her to be the governess for the family of Captain Georg von Trapp, a retired naval officer and widowed father of seven children.
The Captain has been courting Baroness Elsa Schraeder from the sophisticated social circles of Vienna, but it is the unsophisticated Maria who wins his heart. They are married and leave on a month-long honeymoon.
Meanwhile, the Nazis take over Austria and order the Captain to return to active military service. The family's last chance to escape comes at a music festival. During the festival, they slip away to cross the mountains to safety.
Once Upon A Mattress was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's The Princess and the Pea, but any close resemblance between the two is almost coincidental.
The action takes place in 1428 in an unnamed kingdom with a peculiar dilemma. The royal marriage law says no one may marry until the prince, Dauntless the Drab, takes a wife. Queen Aggravain insists that the bride be a "genuine" princess and has devised countless tests to "protect" her beloved son. The tests are outrageous, to say the least, and Princess No. 12 is destined to fail as the play opens.
With hope fading fast, Sir Harry sets out from court in search of yet another princess. Harry has a special interest in getting the prince married off, because his own love Lady Larken is already in a family way.
The princess Harry finds in his quest is Winnifred the Woebegone, who comes from a swampy kingdom where people have frogs instead of dogs for pets. Winnifred, or Fred as she likes to be called, arrives in court by swimming the castle moat rather than waiting for the drawbridge.
Fred's unconventional behavior gives the queen the idea of using a test of sensitivity to eliminate her from the marriage sweepstakes. The plan seems foolproof. First of all, get the princess good and tired doing that new dance, the Spanish Panic, at the royal ball. Then give her some warm milk laced with opium, burn heavy incese in her chamber and make sure the proper incantation is said to activate the hypnotic mirror.
How could anyone go through all that and still be troubled by a tiny pea placed under 20 thick mattresses?
When Peggy Sawyer first comes to New York City, she has trouble gathering up her courage to audition for Julian Marsh's upcoming musical Pretty Lady and misses the audition. Luckily, she is befriended by Maggie, one of the show's writers, Billy, the romantic lead, and the chorus girls. They show Peggy some of the routines, she gets a second chance, and she lands a part in the show.
The star of Pretty Lady is Dorothy Brock, a veteran of the Broadway stage. Her last hit was a distant ten years earlier, but her sugar daddy, Abner Dillon, is bankrolling the show. Dorothy is a terrific singer, but not much of a dancer, so Julian and Andy, the dance director, have to choreograph all the numbers around her.
The show moves to Philadelphia for its pre-Broadway run, and disaster strikes. Dorothy is accidentally knocked down by Peggy at the finale of Act I and breaks an ankle. Julian is furious and fires Peggy on the spot. Without a leading lady, he cancels the rest of the performance and threatens to close Pretty Lady for good.
Annie, one of the chorus girls, convinces Julian that Peggy could take over Dorothy's part. But it's not easy. Peggy has to learn twenty-five pages of script, six songs and ten dance numbers, all within the space of thirty-six hours. As Julian says, he'll either face opening night on Broadway with a live leading lady or a dead chorus girl…