The Seventies (1970 - 1980)

Gigi is a free-spirited teenaged girl living in Paris at the turn of the 20th century. She is being groomed as a courtesan in her family's tradition. Before she is deemed ready for her social debut, she encounters the bon vivant bachelor Gaston Lachaille, whom she captivates as she is transformed into a charmingly poised young lady.


Director: Nancy Turner

Musical Director: Frank Burke

Choreographer: Marcel Carrièrre

1979 - 1980

Gigi

A fairy tale about Hans Christian Andersen, the great spinner of fairy tales.

A struggling cobbler in Denmark, Hans Christian Andersen is better at making stories than shoes. As he discovers his potential as a storyteller and writer, he ultimately gets the help he needs from the people who love him to make a future for himself.


Dramatic Director: James G. Mimnagh

Musical Director: Gary D. Morton

Choreographer: Debbie Miller

1979 - 1980

Hans Christian Andersen

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.


Dramatic Director: James G. Mimnagh

Musical Director: Rod Holmes

Choreographer: Roberta Sametz

1979 - 1980

Oklahoma!

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.


Dramatic Director: Richard Elichuk

Musical Director: Nina Alexandor

Choreographer: Marnie Edwards

1978 - 1979

Gypsy

Ancient Ephesus


Antipholus of Syracuse and his slave, Dromio, arrive in Ephesus and find themselves mistaken for another Antipholus and Dromio (who turn out to be their long-lost twin brothers), by merchants, the law, and even, to some chagrin on their part, wives.


Based on Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors.


Dramatic Director: Paul Gaffney

Musical Director: Rod Holmes

Choreographer: Judy Hayes

1978 - 1979

The Boys from Syracuse

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.


Dramatic Director: James G. Mimnagh

Musical Director: Norman 'Duke' McGuirl

Choreographer: Valerie van Veen

1978 - 1979

South Pacific

Fred Graham, an actor, director, and producer is opening a musical production of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew in Baltimore.  In the cast are his ex-wife Lilli Vanessi, his current love interest, Lois Lane, and her former night-club partner Bill Calhoun.


The personal interrelationships of these actors are further complicated but eventually resolved during the somewhat chaotic opening night performance of the Shakespearean classic.


Dramatic Director: Joseph L. Shaver

Musical Director, Programme Director: Frank Burke

Choreographer: Nicolaas Hilferink

1977 - 1978

Kiss Me, Kate

Middle East  
Before, during, and after the Flood

On his 600th birthday, Noah is confronted by the presence of God who informs him of the impending flood and instructs him to build an ark.

He immediately calls a family conference to relate God’s command. Gradually we are introduced to his family: Esther, his wife; Japheth, Shem, and Ham, his sons; and daughters-in-law Leah and Rachel.

Initially skeptical, they nevertheless reluctantly agree to follow what appears to be the will of God and work on the ark commences…


Dramatic Director: Richard Elichuk

Musical Director: John McGovern

Choreographer: Mitzi Hauser

1977 - 1978

Two by Two

Austria, 1938  


Maria Rainer, a postulant at Nonnberg Abbey in Austria, is sent to the home of a widower, Captain Georg Von Trapp to serve as governess for his seven children.


Although the Captain is engaged to wealthy Elsa Shraeder, both he and Maria find themselves falling in love with each other. After their marriage their happiness is short-lived because the Germans, who have invaded Austria, want Von Trapp to serve in their navy.


Dramatic Director: James G. Mimnagh

Musical Director: Rod Holmes

Choreographer: Roberta Sametz

1977 - 1978

The Sound of Music

  • You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown

  • Dames at Sea

1976 - 1977

July with Orpheus (at the Astrolabe)

A Salute to the Americam Musical traces the development of the American Musical from its origins in the mid 19th century through to the early 1970s. Writers Paul Gaffney, Frank Burke, and Nancy Turner developed the script and selected almost 50 musical numbers illustrating the evolution of the American Musical from it’s accident-inspired beginnings to the present-day multi-million dollar business which has become an integral part of North American culture.


Director: James G. Mimnagh

Musical Director: Frank Burke

Choreographer: Nicolaas Hilferink

1976 - 1977

S.A.M. - A Salute to the American Musical

London, 1730s

Hilaret is preparing to elope with Captain Constant. Meanwhile her doddering father Politic spends all his time arguing with his coffee-house confrère Dabble over conflicting reports contained in the 40 or more newspapers they read daily.

Ramble, after discussing with his buddy Sotmore his preference for wenches over wine, accosts Hilaret on her way to her rendezvous with Constant. After each accuses the other of rape, the constable hauls both of them off to appear before the corrupt magistrate Squeezum. Squeezum proposes an assignation with Hilaret in return for her freedom while Mrs Squeezum sets her sights on Ramble.

The various assignations take place in front of carefully planted witnesses. Ultimately everyone ends up in front of Justice Worthy and is rewarded or punished as appropriate.


Director: Brian O'Leary

Music DIrector: Norman (Duke) McGuirl

Choreographer (and assistant to the director): Vicki Forrester

1976 - 1977

Lock Up Your Daughters

Anne of Green Gables is a story that draws deeply on the spirit of a place where integrity is as natural as the roll of the tide, and the sincere encouragement of friend and neighbour fits seamlessly into a contented landscape of furrowed hills that, like those who work them, remember to reach up and embrace a sunset.


Anne Shirley comes to Avonlea having already learned to live by imagination and fancy, full of romantic ideas, poetic notions, and equipped with a tongue "that must be hung in the middle, it flaps so" in order to cope with the tragedies of her life thus far.


It is the honesty of her survivor's soul that prevents us from seeing her as a precocious child. Anne needs to belong, to be accepted, and to be loved but, as the years unfold, her temper and her stubbornness continue to stand in the way. Until she learns to control her temper, show forgiveness, and trust her own worth, Anne cannot find that for which she longs.

1976 - 1977

Anne of Green Gables

1975 - 1976

Canterbury Tales

1975 - 1976

Beauty and the Beast and the ???????

1975 - 1976

The Desert Song

  • You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown

  • Beauty and the Beast

  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

1975 - 1976

July with Orpheus (at the Astrolabe)

Little Dorothy Gale of Kansas, like so many girls her age, dreams frequently of what lies over the rainbow.  One day a twister hits her home town and carries her away - over the rainbow to another world.  Come join Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tinman, the Cowardly Lion and Toto as they travel the universe of Dorothy's imagination and meet up with characters like the Wicked Witch of the West, Glinda the Good Witch, munchkins, jitterbugs, Osians, a castle and, of course, the great and powerful Wizard of Oz.  What more can I say about ruby slippers and three guys in funky costumes?

1974 - 1975

The Wizard of Oz

1974 - 1975

You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Touring production)

1974 - 1975

Hello, Dolly!

The musical Annie Get Your Gun is about Annie Oakley, "an illiterate hillbilly with a knack for shooting guns. Persuaded to join Buffalo Bill's travelling Wild West Show, she soon falls hopelessly in love with Frank Butler, the show's featured shooting ace. But when Annie eclipses Frank as the show's main attraction, she realizes she'll have to make some hard choices if she wants to win the man she loves."

1973 - 1974

Annie Get Your Gun

AUTHORS' COMMENT: "'Well', someone said to me somewhere along the way, 'the men of Gelngarry are hardly typical are they?' Sure they are. Ralph Connor found the same type crawling all over the West. More recently, a bunch just like them took to the rink in the Canada-Soviet Russia hockey series.


"Grace and style we've always lacked. This country is no Camelot. But Camelot didn't work - neither Arthur's nor JFK's.


"Glengarry worked. Canada worked. Putting together a bunch of overly vain, under-conditioned hockey players in a hurry worked - once they realized they were playing for something more than bucks or headlines. Macdonald Bhain would understand why Jean Paul Parise - one of the most gentlemanly players in the NHL - lifted his stick to an official or why a kid from Kingston would disgrace himself on TV with an ugly gesture to no one in particular.


"The men of Glengarry were sloppy, wild, unpredictable and at times, uncontrollable. So was Team Canada..... So is a loving heart."


This was an Orpheus commissioned show

1973 - 1974

Glengarry Days

Adapted from Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, the musical stage version tells the tale of an orphan boy who dares to ask for more food at the workhouse where he and his fellow orphans are treated horribly. Oliver is thrown out of the workhouse and, while on the street, encounters the Artful Dodger who takes him under his wing and into the seedy underside of London where he joins a band of pickpockets who are controlled by Fagin. Eventually, Oliver is rescued from his life of crime by a wealthy and kind gentlemen, Mr. Brownlow, who turns out to be Oliver's grandfather.

1972 - 1973

Oliver!

The madcap life of eccentric Mame Dennis and her bohemian, intellectual, arty clique is disrupted when her deceased brother's 10-year-old son Patrick is entrusted to her care. Rather than bow to convention, Mame introduces the boy to her free-wheeling lifestyle, instilling in him her favorite credo, "Life is a banquet, and most poor sons-of-bitches are starving to death." Figuring in the storyline are Agnes Gooch (Mame's personal secretary and nanny-in-law), Vera Charles (her "bosom buddy" baritone actress and world's greatest lush) and Dwight Babcock (the stuffy and officious executor of her brother's estate). Mame loses her fortune in the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and tries her hand at a number of jobs with comically disastrous results but perseveres with good humor and an irrepressible sense of style.


Mame then meets and marries Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside, a Southern aristocrat with a Georgia plantation called Peckerwood. The trustees of Patrick's father force Mame to send Patrick off to boarding school (the fictional St Boniface, in Massachusetts), and Mame and Beau travel the world on an endless honeymoon that stops when Beau falls to his death while mountain climbing. Mame returns home a wealthy widow to discover that Patrick has become a snob engaged to an equally priggish debutante, Gloria Upson, from a bigoted family. Mame brings Patrick to his senses just in time to introduce him to the woman who will eventually become his wife, Pegeen Ryan. As the story ends, Mame is preparing to take Patrick's young son, Peter, to India with her usual flair.

1972 - 1973

Mame

At the Astrolabe

1972 - 1973

Orpheus Presents

Fiddler on the Roof, composed by Jerry Bock, with lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and book by Joseph Stein, is set in Tsarist Russia in 1905 and is very closely based on the books Tevye and his Daughters and Tevye the Dairyman by Jewish author Sholem Aleichem.  The story focuses on Tevye, the father of five daughters, and his attempts to maintain his family and Jewish religious traditions while outside influences encroach upon their lives.  He tries hard to cope both with the strong-willed actions of his three older daughters - each one's choice of husband moving farther away from the customs of their faith - and with the edict of the Tsar that will eventually evict his family and all the Jews from their little village of Anatevka.

1971 - 1972

Fiddler on the Roof

One of many versions of the Arthurian legend, Camelot is certainly one of the best known and best loved...


The lords and ladies await the arrival of Guenevere, King Arthur of England's future Queen. A nervous Arthur tries to persuade Merlyn, his teacher, to tell him about her. Merlyn, who lives backwards in time and can recall the future as well as the past, refuses to tell the impatient king. An equally apprehensive Guenevere avoids the waiting crowd and on meeting Arthur alone soon becomes charmed with him, and his description of the magical Camelot. As predicted, Merlyn is lured away by a spirit and Arthur is on his own as far as running his kingdom and dealing with his new marital status.


Five years pass and Arthur, a slow thinker, finally grasps the course of wisdom set for him by Merlyn. He develops a new philosophy; a concept of chivalry whose advocates are charged with improving rather than destroying. The Knights of the Round Table are created.


Word of the Round Table spreads to France where Lancelot du Lac heeds its call and journeys to Camelot. In a chance encounter he almost kills Arthur, but is forgiven and accepted as a member of the Court. Guenevere and the Court have gone a-maying and are entertained by the arrival of Pellinore, a comic old knight in search of a "questing beast". The joyous mood is soon altered when Lancelot pontificates on his virtue and strength. Guenevere arranges for a joust against her three strongest knights, hoping he will be defeated and will learn a lesson in humility. However, Lancelot defeats all three and is invested as a Knight of the Round Table.


As time passes, Guenevere and Lancelot find themselves falling for each other, but vow never to consumate their love for fear of destroying the Round Table and Arthur himself. But Arthur already realizes the situation and becomes despondent over the choice he will one day have to make: save Guenevere from herself or save the Round Table.


Mordred, the conniving bastard son of Arthur, arrives at the Court and begins to undermine Arthur's authority and to plot for his downfall. He persuades his aunt, Morgan Le Fey, to detain Arthur and Pellinore overnight during a hunting expedition. That night as Guenevere and Lancelot meet in her bedroom, Mordred and several guards burst in and arrest them for treason. There is a fearsom struggle but the lovers eventually escape and flee to France. Arthur sets off after them, knowing that he must declare war on France if the Round Table is to retain its integrity.


Prior to the battle, he meets them both. Aware that he has lost the love of Guenevere, Arthur forgives them and prepares for battle. Whether or not he is killed, he knows that the Order of the Round Table as he envisioned it will probably die. In a final gesture of hope, he dispatches a young boy back to England to spread the word and help keep alive the dream that was his Camelot.

1971 - 1972

Camelot

"Bucking the popularity of fast-moving, up-to-date musical comedy and the plotless revue, The Student Prince in Heidelberg (the complete title was used throughout the New York run) set the record as the longest running musical of the decade. That fact is all the more impressive since the theatre in which it played, on 59th Street and 7th Avenue, was some distance from the theatre district (the playhouse, later renamed the New Century, was demolished in 1962).


"Based on Old Heidelberg, a popular turn-of-the-century play which had been adapted from the German Alt Heidelberg, the sentimental operetta is set in 1860 in the German university town where Prince Karl Franz (Howard Marsh) has gone with his tutor, Dr. Engel (Greek Evans), to complete his education. There he meets Kathie (Ilse Marvenga), a waitress at the Inn of the Three Golden Apples, and it isn't long before they are professing their love through the melting strains of, "Deep in my heart, dear, I have a dream of you..." The prince, however, is soon called away to assume the throne. Two years later, King Karl Franz returns to Heidelberg in a vain effort to recapture the golden days of his youth."

1970 - 1971

The Student Prince

Canadian Premiere

1970 - 1971

Maggie Flynn

© 2019, Orpheus Musical Theatre Society 

A not-for-profit registered charity
No. 11907 0415 RR0001

  • Facebook - White Circle
  • Instagram - White Circle
  • Twitter - White Circle
  • YouTube - White Circle
  • White RSS Icon