Mochrie, Donaldson & Buliung Star in ART at Bluma Appel Theatre, 3/15-4/10

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Mochrie, Donaldson & Buliung Star in ART at Bluma Appel Theatre, 3/15-4/10

The Canadian Stage Company presents 'Art' a witty, razor-sharp play that explores the nature of friendship while examining the definition of art. Written by Yasmina Reza, 'Art' has achieved spectacular success. It has been translated into at least 35 languages and won numerous awards. The production stars Colin Mochrie (Whose Line is It Anyway?, CTV/ ABC) as Serge, Peter Donaldson (And So It Goes, Factory; Hysteria, Canadian Stage) as Marc and Evan Buliung (Cloud 9, Mirvish Productions; The House of Martin Guerre, Canadian Stage) as Yvan and is directed by Morris Panych (7 Stories, The Overcoat, Canadian Stage).

'Art' runs March 15 to April 10, 2010 (media night: March 18) at the Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front Street East, Toronto. Tickets are available in person, by phone 416.368.3110, or online at www.canadianstage.com.

Originally written in French by Yasmina Reza, a playwright and novelist based in France, 'Art' premiered in Paris in 1994, winning three Molière Awards for best play, best playwright and best production. It was translated into English by Academy Award-winner Christopher Hampton (best known for his stage adaption of Les Liaisons Dangereuses and the film adaptations Dangerous Liaisons and Atonement) and opened in London's West End in 1996 where it ran for six years, winning the Olivier Award and the Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy. The London Times described it as "A remarkably wise, witty and intelligent comedy. ART has touched a universal nerve." The Broadway production opened in 1998, running for two years and garnering the Tony Award for Best Play. The New York Times called it "the funniest play on Broadway. It moves like the wind and leaves you exhilarated. It's theatre, pure and elegant." The play had its Canadian premiere in 1999. A co-production between David Pugh, Sean Connery, Joan Cullman, Mirvish Productions and the Manitoba Theatre Centre, it ran as a limited engagement. More recently, Reza's latest work God of Carnage won the Olivier Award for best new comedy and the Tony Award for best play. God of Carnage continues on Broadway starring Dylan Baker, Jeff Daniels, Lucy Liu and Janet McTeer (from the London production).

'Art' revolves around the purchase of a very expensive, all-white Modernist painting which pushes the boundaries of art and ignites a passionate debate among three friends. Burgeoning art aficionado Serge, gruff battleaxe Marc and highly-strung appeaser Yvan come to a head over artistic merit, Modernism and the value of friendship, ultimately testing the men's relationship.

"'Art' affords us the opportunity to examine our own responses to art and our expectations of friendship," states Artistic & General Director Matthew Jocelyn. "May the debates rage on long after the curtain has come down!"

Artist Bios

Colin Mochrie plays Serge, an art collector with Modernist tastes. When he buys an avant-garde painting, he elicits a cataclysmic reaction from his friends Marc and Yvan. From his roles in Whose Line Is It Anyway? (CTV, ABC, UK's Channel 4) and This Hour Has 22 Minutes (CBC), he has become known as the quick-witted master of improvisation. More recently, he hosted the hugely successful game show Are You Smarter Than A Canadian 5th Grader? (Global TV) and appeared in a guest role on the animated series King of the Hill (FOX). He was a member of Toronto's Second City Theatre Company and has had stints with Drew Carey's Green Screen (The WB), Ron James' period comedy Blackfly (Global TV), the animated series George and Martha (HBO), The Magical Gathering (Disney and CBC) opposite his son Luke Mochrie, Getting Along Famously (CBC) opposite his wife Debra McGrath (for which he received a Gemini-nomination for best writing in a comedy or variety program). He has made guest appearances on Reality Bites: Celine Dion (for which he received a Gemini nomination for best ensemble performance in a comedy), The Drew Carey Show, Little Mosque on the Prairie, The Red Green Show and Corner Gas. On film, he has appeared in the Oscar-nominated Rainbow Wars, the highly-celebrated Truth in Advertising (Cannes Film Festival), Man on the Moon, The Tuxedo with Jackie Chan, Nora Ephron's Numbers, and Return of Zoom with Tim Allen and Courtney Cox. He continues to tour extensively throughout North America with fellow Whose Line alum Brad Sherwood and is writing a stage play with wife Debra McGrath. Mochrie is the recipient of the 2010 ACTRA Award of Excellence, the Barbara Hamilton Memorial Award, two Gemini Awards, two Canadian Comedy Awards and a Writer's Guild of Canada Award.

Peter Donaldson plays Marc, one of Serge's oldest friends whose taste leans towards the classics. An award-winning actor of the stage and screen, he recently starred in the world premiere of George F. Walker's And So It Goes (Factory Theatre). He starred in the Canadian Stage production Hysteria and is a veteran of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival where he recently appeared in Romeo and Juliet, Love's Labour's Lost and Caesar and Cleopatra. Other notable appearances in Festival productions include To Kill a Mockingbird, Much Ado About Nothing, Ghosts, Timon of Athens, Antony and Cleopatra, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet, King Lear, Twelfth Night, Long Day's Journey Into Night, Hello, Dolly!, Into the Woods, The Threepenny Opera and Guys and Dolls. He won a Genie Award for best supporting actor for Long Day's Journey Into Night and appeared in Atom Egoyan's The Sweet Hereafter. Television credits include Ian Bowles on the series Emily of New Moon and Othello (CBC).

Evan Buliung plays Yvan, a friend of Serge and Marc's who gets caught in the middle of the debate. An award-winning actor, he is the recipient of two Gutherie Awards (Stratford), a Tony Van Bridge Award (Shaw) and a Dora nomination for Lord of the Rings (Mirvish). Buliung most recently starred in Cloud 9 (Mirvish) and The Devil's Disciple (Shaw). Other stage credits include: The House of Martin Guerre (Canadian Stage); We Will Rock You, Lord of the Rings (Mirvish); Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet, Elizabeth Rex, King Lear, Henry IV, Henry V (Stratford Shakespeare Festival, where he has appeared for six seasons); Macbeth (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre); The Importance of Being Earnest, Man and Superman, Major Barbara (Shaw Festival, where he has appeared for four seasons). Screen credits include Elizabeth Rex (Rhombus Films) and The Best Years. This summer, he will be appearing in the premiere of George F. Walker's King of Thieves (Stratford).

Morris Panych has directed more than 100 productions, appeared in over 50 stage plays, in television and film and is a prolific playwright with more than 25 plays and six adaptations to his credit. Canadian Stage has produced four of his plays: What Lies Before Us, Vigil, The Overcoat and 7 Stories and he has directed a number of productions for the Company including The Overcoat, Habeas Corpus, Take Me Out, Amadeus, Sweeney Todd and Hysteria. His groundbreaking work, The Overcoat, which he co-created and directed, toured worldwide to great acclaim; he also directed the film version which won an honourable mention at the Prix Italia. In 2008 Panych made his Stratford Shakespeare Festival directorial debut with an adaptation of Moby Dick; he also directed A Little Night Music (Shaw) and premiered two new works, Benevolence (Tarragon Theatre) and The Amorous Adventures of Anatol (Vancouver Playhouse). In 2009 he directed the premiere of his latest work, The Trespassers (Stratford), directed Parfumerie (Soulpepper) and celebrated the 20th anniversary revival of 7 Stories (Canadian Stage). He has two Governor General's Literary Awards for Drama, five Dora Mavor Moore Awards, 14 Jessie Richardson Awards and three Sidney Riske Writing Awards.

Joining director Morris Panych, the creative team includes Ken MacDonald as Set & Costume Designer and Andrea Lundy, Lighting Designer. Nancy Dryden is Stage Manager and Janet Gregor is Assistant Stage Manager.

Nationally and internationally acclaimed, The Canadian Stage Company is Canada's leading not-for-profit Contemporary Theatre company. Founded in 1987 with the merger of CentreStage and Toronto Free Theatre, the Company is dedicated to programming international Contemporary Theatre and to developing and producing landmark Canadian works, which have been awarded some of the country's most prestigious literary and performing arts honours, including the Governor General's, Chalmers and Dora Mavor Moore Awards. The Company presents the richest variety of Canadian and international plays and musicals - from provocative work at the Berkeley Street Theatre to productions with popular appeal at the Bluma Appel Theatre and a summer of Shakespeare at the TD Dream in High Park. Canadian Stage has a long-standing commitment to education and enhancement programs for the public, nurturing theatre professionals, and developing new Canadian plays, while producing thought-provoking theatre and quality entertainment. For more information, refer to canadianstage.com.

'ART'
Previews: March 15 - 17
Opening Night: March 18
Closing Night: April 10

SCHEDULE: Monday-Saturday at 8 p.m.; matinees Wednesday 1:30 p.m. and Saturday 2 p.m.

LOCATION: Canadian Stage - Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front Street E., Toronto.

TICKETS: From $20. Available online at canadianstage.com, by phone via Canadian Stage 416.368.3110, or in person at Customer Service Centres: Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley Street; or Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front St. E., Toronto.

RUSH SEATS: Available for any performance at 50% off the regular ticket price. Tickets are subject to availability and must be purchased in person at the box office one hour prior to show time.

PAY-WHAT-YOU-CAN: For Monday-night performances only. Subject to availability. Must be purchased in person at the box office beginning at 10 a.m. on the day of performance.

C-STAGE: For individuals under 30 years with valid ID, tickets are $12.50 and not subject to tax or service charges. May be purchased in advance or on day of performance. Subject to availability. Purchase online at c-stage.ca, by phone or in person. For more info, go to c-stage.ca.

GROUPS OF 10+ PEOPLE SAVE: Contact Christina Hotz, Group Sales & Business Development Manager at 416.367.8243 x266 or chotz@canadianstage.com.

TALK BACKS: Free. Informal question-and-answer periods provide a chance to meet the artists following a performance in the theatre. After every Tuesday evening and Wednesday matinee show, excluding previews. No registration required.

THEATRE CLUB: Free. Structured like a book club with an opportunity to discuss the play and the Canadian Stage Reads book selection. Saturday, April 10 at 10:30 a.m. at Nicolas Hoare Books, 45 Front St. E. Register at theatreclub@canadianstage.com.

FOR MORE INFO: WWW.CANADIANSTAGE.COM

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