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 collaborTarragon 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 tonight, February 27 to March 31 in Tarragon Theatre's Mainspace (with previews beginning February 20). 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.
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 Beauty 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 (Alberta Theatre Projects' Our Country's Good, Zastrozzi, Problem Child; Theatre Calgary's A Christmas Carol, Candida; Great Canadian Theatre Company's A Doll's House; Neptune Theatre's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Dancing At Lughnasa) is Mr. Mann. Caroline Gillis (Tarragon's Was Spring, After Akhmatova, Communion, A Beautiful View) is Mr. Mann's wife Claudette, Shawn Ahmed (Driftwood Theatre's Macbeth, Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA) is his son Quentin and Celine Stubel (Atomic Vaudeville's Legoland, Belfry Theatre's My Chernobyl - Jessie Richardson Award, Electric Company's Studies in Motion for Citadel and Canadian Stage) is his daughter Nadine. Mary-Colin Chisholm (National Arts Centre's Creation; Neptune Theatre's The Beauty Queen of Leenane, The Little Years) is the coffee-shop waitress Anita and Christian Murray (National Arts Centre's The Little Years, Artistic Fraud/World Stage's Afterimage, Neptune Theatre's The Producers) 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.