Tarragon Theatre presents the Toronto premiere of And Slowly Beauty . . ., a Belfry Theatre/National Arts Centre English Theatre co-production directed by Michael Shamata. This acclaimed and poignant celebration of life and art runs February 27 to March 31 in Tarragon Theatre's Mainspace. The show is currently in previews, and BroadwayWorld has a first look at the cast in action below!
Tarragon continues its long tradition of presenting English translations of outstanding French-language plays with this work by Quebec City's Théâtre Niveau Parking Artistic Director Michel Nadeau, in collaboration with Marie-Josée Bastien, Lorraine Côté, Hugues Frenette, Pierre-François Legendre, Véronika Makdissi-Warren and Jack Robitaille, translated into English by Maureen Labonté.
When Mr. Mann wins tickets in an office draw to a modern version of Anton Chekhov's The Three Sisters, he ends up going alone as his family is busy elsewhere, even though he rarely goes to the theatre. But in those few precious hours watching the play, something unexpected stirs inside of him. And Slowly Beauty . . . tells the story of the transformative effect of theatre (and beauty) on a perceptive - albeit average - middle class, middle-aged man. A love letter to art and the poetry of life.
Michael Shamata is Artistic Director at Belfry Theatre in Victoria, B.C. since December 2007, where he originally directed the English-language premiere of And Slowly BeautyŠ as well as numerous other shows including The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee which won him a Jessie Richardson Award for Outstanding Direction. He has directed at most of the major theatres across the country including Soulpepper, Stratford Festival, Canadian Stage and the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. He is the former Artistic Director of both Theatre New Brunswick and the Grand Theatre in London, Ontario. Shamata also directed the National Arts Centre 2011 production of And Slowly Beauty . . . .
Dennis Fitzgerald is Mr. Mann. Caroline Gillis is Mr. Mann's wife Claudette, Shawn Ahmed is his son Quentin and Celine Stubel is his daughter Nadine. Mary-Colin Chisholm is the coffee-shop waitress Anita and Christian Murray is his co-worker Sylvain.
All of the talented cast, except for Ahmed, appeared in Shamata's original Belfry and National Arts Centre productions in the fall of 2011; at the time, they were members of the 2011-12 National Arts Centre English Acting Company. And all of the cast, except for Fitzgerald, play multiple roles - transforming into characters from The Three Sisters, as well as family members, office colleagues and more as the play moves through the present as well as simultaneously through Mr. Mann's memory and imagination.
Directed by Michael Shamata, And Slowly Beauty. . . stars Shawn Ahmed, Mary-Colin Chisholm, Dennis Fitzgerald, Caroline Gillis, Christian Murray and Celine Stubel. The creative team features Set and Costume Designer: John Ferguson, Lighting Designer: Michael Walton, Sound Designer: Brooke Maxwell, and Stage Manager: Marie Fewer.
Tarragon Theatre is known for its creation, development and production of new Canadian work. Now in its 42nd season, more than 190 plays by this country's most pre-eminent writers have premiered at Tarragon. Tarragon presents new plays from all parts of the country, revives significant Canadian plays and produces international work, contemporary and classical. Tarragon is also a pioneer in presenting Quebecois plays in translation. The theatre offers extensive play development programs in a concerted effort to develop the next generation of playwrights and an active outreach and education department. Tarragon received the 2012 Premier's Award for Excellence in the Arts in recognition of producing and developing leading edge and thought-provoking Canadian Theatre, both nationally and on the world stage. Richard Rose is the Artistic Director.
Tickets range from $27-$53 (inclusive of HST) and are available by calling the box office at 416.531.1827 or by visiting www.tarragontheatre.com. All performances play Tarragon Theatre's Mainspace, 30 Bridgman Avenue, Toronto, M5R 1X3.
Photo Credit: Cylla von Tiedemann
Dennis Fitzgerald and the ensemble
Mary-Colin Chisholm, Celine Stubel and Caroline Gillis
Christian Murray, Mary-Colin Chisholm, Celine Stubel, Caroline Gillis and Shawn Ahmed
Mary-Colin Chisholm, Celine Stubel, Dennis Fitzgerald and Caroline Gillis
Shawn Ahmed, Christian Murray, Celine Stubel, Mary-Colin Chisholm and Dennis Fitzgerald
Dennis Fitzgerald and Caroline Gillis
Celine Stubel and Dennis Fitzgerald
Christian Murray and Dennis Fitzgerald
Dennis Fitzgerald and Christian Murray