KINKY BOOTS Extends Again in Toronto; GASLIGHT, with GAME OF THRONES Stars, Moves Venues
Sometimes success breeds problems. This is the case with KINKY BOOTS, the Tony Award-winning Best Musical that began a highly acclaimed and popular Canadian production on June 16, 2015 at the historic Royal Alexandra Theatre. The show was originally booked for a 12-week run. But the demand from the Toronto audience was so strong, it was extended twice -- first to November 20, 2015 and then to January 3, 2016. However, the show's popularity has not waned. It is clear that audiences have embraced the show and its infectious, joyful spirit in a way that this city's theatregoing public has not done for many years.
The problem is: Nobody, least of all producer and theatre owner David Mirvish, could have foreseen such a lasting love affair between audiences and a show. Being the responsible theatre owner, David had scheduled another show to play at the Royal Alexandra in the new year -- a new production from London, UK, of the classic thriller GASLIGHT, starring two stars of the enormously popular TV series Game of Thrones. But David is also a man of his word, so postponing or cancelling GASLIGHT was just not in the cards.
What to do?
David explains: "My father always used to say, 'The theatre business is unpredictable, but bargains are predictable; that's why I always go back to Honest Ed's each morning.' It was partly a joke but it was also true. When theatre works, there's nothing else like it. That's why we all fall in love with the theatre and continue to work in it. And that's why we all love KINKY BOOTS -- because it is a thrilling, joyful and poignant musical about ordinary people overcoming extraordinary obstacles. Audiences leave the theatre knowing that life can indeed be wonderful. When you have a show that touches people in this way, you just can't and shouldn't end it."
He continued, "There's only been one other time in recent memory when this has happened. That was in 2000, when we presented the North American premiere of MAMMA MIA! We thought six months would be an amazingly long run for this show. Boy, were we wrong. It ended up playing for five years. And to facilitate its run, we had to displace all the other shows we had already scheduled to play at the Royal Alexandra to various other venues around town. KINKY BOOTS has forced us to do the same. But this time we have gotten a little more creative with our solution.
"GASLIGHT is a intimate play, a psychological thriller that is essentially about three people. It was booked into the Royal Alex because, at 1,420 seats, the venue provides the intimacy needed. Our other venues, the 2,000-seat Princess of Wales Theatre and the 2,300-seat Ed Mirvish Theatre, were designed for big musicals and spectacles. GASLIGHT would be lost in them.
"The solution to our problem came from my good friend Peter Smith, who was the architect of the Princess of Wales Theatre and who is the most knowledgeable person about theatre design in the world that I know. Although officially retired, Peter has come to our rescue with an ingenious means of creating a 1,384-seat playhouse that can function inside the 2,300-seat Ed Mirvish Theatre. Peter has taken the techniques and art of scenic design and transported them from the stage to the audience. He has designed 40-foot-tall decorative walls -- essentially scenic flats -- that will make the Ed Mirvish Theatre much narrower and bring the audience closer to the stage. He has also narrowed the width of the stage, from 50 feet to 38 feet. We jokingly call it, 'Honey, I Shrunk the Theatre.' But that's exactly what Peter has accomplished. Through Peter's creativity and encyclopedic knowledge of theatre design, we now have what we consider the most versatile theatre in the world.
"The Ed Mirvish Theatre will now be able to accommodate brilliant, big musical shows such as WICKED and ALADDIN at 2,300-seats; smaller musicals such as SPRING AWAKENING and RENT at an 1,800-seat configuration; and intimate plays such as GASLIGHT at 1,384 seats."
About KINKY BOOTS
KINKY BOOTS, will extend performances through March 6, 2016. Tickets go on sale Friday November 6, 2015. KINKY BOOTS tickets will be available online at www.mirvish.com at 12:01AM. Phone sales begin at 9AM and are available by calling TicketKing at 416-872-1212 or 1-800-461-3333. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Royal Alexandra Theatre Box Office, 260 King St. West beginning at 12:00 Noon. Group orders of 15 or more may be placed by calling 416-593-4142 or 1-800-724-6420.
With songs by Grammy and Tony winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper, this joyous musical celebration is about the friendships we discover, and the belief that you can change the world when you change your mind.
Inspired by true events, KINKY BOOTS takes you from a gentlemen's shoe factory in Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan. Charlie Price is struggling to live up to his father's expectations and continue the family business of Price & Sons. With the factory's future hanging in the balance, help arrives in the unlikely but spectacular form of Lola, a fabulous performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos.
With direction and choreography by two-time Tony Award-winner Jerry Mitchell (Legally Blonde, Hairspray) and a book by Broadway legend and four-time Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein (La Cage Aux Folles), KINKY BOOTS is the winner of 6 Broadway Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Choreography.
The design team for KINKY BOOTS includes Tony Award nominee David Rockwell (Scenic Design), Tony Award-winner Gregg Barnes (Costume Design), Tony Award-winner Kenneth Posner (Lighting Design), Tony Award-winner John Shivers (Sound Design), Josh Marquette (Hair Design), Stephanie Gorin and Telsey + Company/Justin Huff, CSA (Casting), with Musical Supervision and Arrangements and Orchestrations by Tony and Grammy Award-winner Stephen Oremus.
KINKY BOOTS is produced by Daryl Roth and Hal Luftig, James L. Nederlander, Terry Allen Kramer, Independent Presenters Network, Jayne Baron Sherman, Just for Laughs Theatricals/Judith Ann Abrams, Yasuhiro Kawana, Jane Bergere, Allan S. Gordon & Adam S. Gordon, Ken Davenport, Hunter Arnold, Lucy and Phil Suarez, Bryan Bantry, Jim Kierstead/Gregory Rae, BB Group/Christina Papagjika, Michael DeSantis/Patrick Baugh, Brian Smith/Tom and Connie Walsh, Warren Trepp and Jujamcyn Theaters in association with David Mirvish.
Patrick Hamilton's classic mystery thriller premiered in London in 1938 and immediately became an international success. In 1944, it was adapted into an iconic film starring Ingrid Bergman. Since then, the play has become a staple of theatre companies in Britain but rarely seen in North America. This brand new production will be mounted in the U.K. before travelling across the Atlantic to the Ed Mirvish Theatre.
As the ghostly living room gaslight flickers and the floorboards creak around her, Bella Manningham becomes convinced that she is losing her mind, as her mother did before her. With her husband away on business, she loses all sense of reality. Does the terror exist in her imagination or are dark secrets living in her home? The surprise arrival of a retired detective leads to a shocking discovery that will shake her respectable Victorian marriage to its core. A powerful psychological drama.
GASLIGHT will play the Ed Mirvish Theatre January 19 through February 28, 2016. An on sale date for ticket sales will be announced at a later date.
Photo Credit: Cylla von Tiedemann