HADESTOWN, THE SILVER ARROW and More Set for Citadel Theatre's 2017-18 Season; Casting Announced!
The new Citadel Theatre season, starting in less than two weeks, is literally stellar for the many accomplished artists, local, national, and international, who will appear on Citadel stages in the coming months.
The pre-Broadway Canadian premiere of Anais Mitchell's musical Hadestown (Nov 11 - Dec 3) has been generating buzz in both New York and Edmonton. Five New York theatre stars will make the trip to Alberta in October to begin rehearsals.
Patrick Page is a Broadway veteran who created the dual role of Norman Osborn and his alter ego the Green Goblin in the Broadway rock musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, and has starred in such major productions as The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, A Man For All Seasons, and Cyrano De Bergerac. He will play Hades, the role he originated in the Off-Broadway production last year.
Another Hadestown alumna, Amber Gray, who will play Persephone, comes to the Citadel after appearing as Helene Kuragina in the much-acclaimed Broadway musical Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, a performance that garnered a 2017 Theatre World Award.
Actor and musician Reeve Carney will play Orpheus. His band "Carney" has opened for the likes of U2 and Arcade Fire. He is currently touring the U.S., playing guitar for blues recording artist Jonny Lang. On Broadway, he had the central role of Peter Parker/Spiderman in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. He also played DorIan Gray in the Showtime series Penny Dreadful.
T.V. Carpio, who will play Eurydice in Hadestown, was featured as Arachne in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, and appeared in the film Limitless and the Academy Award-nominated movie Across the Universe.
New York sensation Rachel Chavkin, who made many sit up and take notice when she helmed the much acclaimed Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 on Broadway this past season and who directed the Off-Broadway Hadestown, will direct the Citadel production.
The Canadian cast of Hadestown also is packed with top talent. Edmontonian Vance Avery and former Edmontonian Kira Guloien both have Broadway credits. Torontonians Jewelle Blackman, Evangelia Kambites, and Andrew Broderick have extensive theatre and film credentials across Canada. Calgarian Tara Jackson (Citadel: Bittergirls the Musical) and former Leduc native Hal Wesley Rogers round out the company as Fates and Workers.
Opening the 2017/18 Season was a boisterous romantic comedy with a big cast. Shakespeare in Love (which ran Sep 16 - Oct 8) starred Bahareh Yaraghi (Citadel: The Kite Runner) as Viola de Lesseps and Andrew Chown as Will Shakespeare. Bahareh is a resident artist of ARC in Toronto, and was named one of Toronto's Top 10 Theatre Artists of 2016. Andrew's theatre credits include Vimy at Soulpepper Theatre, Toronto, and Romeo and Juliet and The Merry Wives of Windsor at the Bard on The Beach festival, Vancouver. Citadel favourites included John Ullyatt (Citadel: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Long Day's Journey Into Night, Make Mine Love, Spamalot), Farren Timoteo (Citadel: Peter and the Starcatcher, Made In Italy, Alice Through the Looking-Glass, Spamalot), Andrew Macdonald-Smith (Citadel: Crazy For You, One Man, Two Guvnors, Avenue Q, Alice Through the Looking-Glass, Mary Poppins) and Ashley Wright (Citadel: A Christmas Carol, August: Osage County, The Three Musketeers). Toronto actor Gabe Grey, who appeared last season in Disgraced, returns in the role of Elizabethan playwright Kit Marlowe. Gabe is best known for his roles in the Deepa Mehta film Beeba Boys and the television series Bomb Girls.
Two major acting talents from South Africa come to Edmonton this fall for leading roles in Ubuntu (The Cape Town Project) (Oct 11 - 22). Mbulelo Grootboom is an award-winning South African actor in live theatre, film and television. He appeared in Hamlet for the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-on- Avon and in Antigone for South Africa's Baxter Theatre. His film credits include Alex Hailey's epic series Roots, and he appears in season three of Outlander. Joining Mbulelo is Andile Nebulane, best known for his starring role as Duma in the South African television series Hustle.
Citadel artistic director Daryl Cloran directed Shakespeare in Love and will helm Ubuntu to kick off the season. He also is working closely with local playwright Mieko Ouchi in preparing the World Premiere of the new Robin Hood adventure story The Silver Arrow to close the 2017/18 Season.
Another star of the season is popular Citadel veteran Julien Arnold, who this year steps into the lead role of Ebenezer Scrooge in the 18th season of A Christmas Carol (Dec 1 - 23). Arnold played Bob Cratchitt for many years, a role now taken over by Jamie Williams. The venerable Glenn Nelson will also return as Scrooge for select performances. Also appearing in this year's A Christmas Carol is Shannon Taylor (Citadel: The Three Musketeers, Little Women: The Musical, A Midsummer Night's Dream), a graduate of the Citadel/Banff Centre Professional Theatre program and a star of the Stratford Festival, appearing this year in Twelfth Night and The School for Scandal and last year in Shakespeare in Love.
Serious theatre lovers will delight in the exquisite writing and accomplished cast of the multiple Tony Award winning play The Humans (Jan 6 - 28). Directing this Canadian Premiere at the Citadel is Jackie Maxwell, former Artistic Director of the Shaw Festival. The Humans stars acclaimed Edmonton actor Maralyn Ryan, Canadian stage and screen veteran Ric Reid (Citadel: August: Osage County, God of Carnage) as well as Laurie Paton, a frequent performer at the Shaw Festival, whose film work includes Beyond Control: The Amy Fisher Story. Completing the cast is Stratford Festival star Sara Farb (Citadel: Next to Normal; Stratford Festival: Romeo and Juliet, Anne Frank, King Lear), Edmonton-based theatre and film actress Alana Hawley (Citadel: Venus in Fur, The Three Musketeers) and Dora Award-winning actor and sound designer Richard Lee.
Other stars in this abundant season include Tetsuro Shigematsu in his acclaimed one-man show Empire of the Son. Tetsuro is a Canadian radio broadcaster, comedian and filmmaker. He was the final host of CBC Radio One's former afternoon series The Roundup. He also starred with George Takei of Star Trek fame in the television movie Rinko The Best Bad Thing.
The ever-popular Mamma Mia! (Feb 17 - Mar 18) features an all-star mix of Citadel veterans and talent from across the country. Patricia Zentilli (Citadel: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Alice Through the Looking-Glass) stars as Donna. John Ullyatt (as Sam), Ashley Wright (as Bill), and Calgary's Tara Jackson (as Lisa) all put in second appearances in the season, joined by Tess Benger as Sophie, and Alison Roberts (Citadel: Crazy For You, West Side Story) as Ali. Mamma Mia! is directed by Ashlie Corcoran, recently named as the new Artistic Director of the Arts Club Theatre in Vancouver.
Corey Payette's beautiful and achingly powerful musical Children of God (Mar 3 - 24) evokes the resilience and strength of Canada's Indigenous people. Dora Award-winning actor Cheyenne Scott and Ojibway singer and actor Dillan Chiblow lead as Julia and Tommy, siblings who are torn from their home and sent away to residential school. Cathy Elliott, creator and director of the Charlottetown Festival's first all-Indigenous production The Talking Stick, plays the children's mother Rita. Raes Calvert, creator of the play Redpatch, plays a fellow residential school student. Prominent Canadian actor David Keeley (Citadel: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) has the role of Father Christopher while Sarah Carle is Sister Bernadette. The cast also features Indigenous artists Aaron M. Wells, Kaitlin Yott and Michelle Bardach.
Rebecca Northan (Citadel: Make Mine Love, Blind Date), star and creator of the hit show Blind Date, brings back her unique form of audience-involved spontaneous theatre, this time in the form of a murder mystery called Undercover (Apr 4 - 29). This Dora Award-winning actress has performed in theatres across Canada and is a Gemini-nominated television actor. Joining Rebecca in the cast of Undercover is co-creator, actor and painter Bruce Horak (Citadel: Blind Date) as well as Christy Bruce, who performed on Broadway with Kim Cattrell and Paul Gross in Private Lives and who has appeared in television series Orphan Black and The Handmaid's Tale. Also confirmed for the show is improv veteran Jamie Northan, who has been a long-time company member with Calgary's Loose Moose Theatre.
Local actor and co-founder of The Maggie Tree theatre company, Kristi Hansen (Citadel: Alice Through the Looking-Glass), stars in the World Premiere production of The Silver Arrow (Apr 21 - May 13) to close the 2017/18 Season. Kristi flies high above the stage in an exhilarating display of aerial acrobatics in this rollicking nod to the Robin Hood legend. Aerial arts specialist and a recent star of the Stratford Festival's Treasure Island, Katelyn McCulloch, has the role of Maid Marian, performing alongside Edmonton's own aerialists Stephanie Wolfe (Citadel: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Peter and the Starcatcher, Einstein's Gift) and Kevin Oullett. Music for The Silver Arrow is composed by Canadian rocker and recording artist Hawksley Workman. The Silver Arrow cast features the participants of the 2018 Citadel/Banff Centre Professional Theatre Program, including Edmonton actors Jesse Gervais (Citadel: Crazy For You, Alice Through the Looking-Glass, One Man, Two Guvnors), April Banigan (Citadel: A Christmas Carol, Death of a Salesman, The Constant Wife) and Patricia Cerra (Citadel: Shakespeare in Love).
Tickets are available at www.citadeltheatre.com or through the box office at 780.425.1820. Tickets start at just $30, plus fees and GST.