Want some intentionally frivolous theatre for these hot summer days? Check out Gravy Boy's Avant-Vardeville , an 11-day mini-fest that lays claim to being the most eclectic event of the summer.
Each show starts with a production of Richard Feren's Rotund Round Rumps (Child's Play) , "a performance cartoon" that's been seen in several versions over the years. This time, though, under the direction of Stephen Seabrook , its cast is made up of actors ranging in age from 10 to 13. The 8 pm show is aimed at a family audience.
Parents might want to check out the rest of the evening on their own. Acts include burlesque troupe Skin Tight Outta Sight , the Polecats , Mysterion the Mind Reader , Mike Kennard , Andrew Scorer , comedy from the Illustrated Men and Mutt Unleashed and music by Run with the Kittens and house band Fred Spek's Camp Combo .
See Opening, page 87, for details.
Bull's eye musical
Irving Berlin 's Annie Get Your Gun has one of the greatest Broadway scores of the 40s, with hummable tunes like Doin' What Comes Natur'lly, I Got The Sun In The Morning and that paean to performing, There's No Business Like Show Business.
The original 1946 production featured the leather-lunged Ethel Merman, while Bernadette Peters starred in a more recent New York production.
Now the talented Louise Pitre (Mamma Mia!) plays Annie Oakley in a staged concert version of the show, with country music's Billy Ray Cyrus - remember his 1980s hit Achy Breaky Heart? - as Frank Butler, the rival sharpshooter who's taken by more than Annie's skill with a rifle.
Donna Feore directs and choreographs the production, which features a fine cast that includes Jonathan Wilson , Sandy Winsby , Billy Merasty , Sandra Caldwell and Avery Saltzman . Musical direction is by Rick Fox .
The show opens Tuesday (August 2), with a preview on Monday (August 1) benefiting the Therapeutic Clown Program at Sick Kids Hospital and the Sick Kids Foundation. See Opening, page 87, for details.
A pair of shows that had successful runs in Toronto are hitting the road.
The Counterfeit Marquise , a drag puppet show by Stranger Theatre that played in Rhubarb! and last year's SummerWorks, tours to Montreal and four American cities.
Theatre 2.0 goes even further afield with BREATH[e] . The textless theatrical installation designed and directed by Steve Lucas with breathing by Jane Miller - yup, that's a key part of the show, which works through sensual impressions and evokes a state resembling meditation - opens at the Edinburgh Fringe next month.