Centaur Theatre is celebrating its 50th anniversary in style with three staged play readings dubbed the Legacy Series. The series includes two crowd pleasers from Centaur’s golden canon and a third not-yet-produced new work to metaphorically fling open the doors to Centaur’s next 50 years. The selections are testaments to Montreal ’s rich creativity and the theatre community that Centaur is dedicated to showcasing.
“Throughout this very special year, we pay tribute to the audiences who remind us what a privilege it is to live in a city as vibrant and diverse as Montreal and who inspire us to tell stories that celebrate extraordinary human experiences.”
- Artistic and Executive Director, Eda Holmes.
For the uninitiated, staged readings are not full-fledged productions however the who’s who of participating artists will evoke brand new memories of these vibrant, all-time faves and forge new roads to Centaur’s future.
The 1979 critical and box office hit, Balconville, fittingly opens the series. Step back in time to a hot summer in ‘the Point’ when the Expos were killing it at Jarry Park and colourful, working class characters shared their lives and opinions across balconies in a colourful mix of French joual and English. David Fennario’s trailblazing portrayal of his boyhood neighbourhood on Centaur’s stage and the subsequent cross-country and European tour, firmly established him as a new and exciting voice in Canadian theatre, well deserving of a place in the Legacy Series. It is directed by another Centaur legacy, Alison Darcy, daughter of Centaur’s founders, Maurice Podbrey and Elsa Bolam.
Written by David Fennario
Directed by Alison Darcy
Stage Manager Melanie St-Jacques
Danny Brochu, Danielle Desormeaux, Tom Fennario, Laurence Latreille, Jean Marchand, Gita Miller, Leni Parker, Michel Perron, Laurent Pitre, Hubert Proulx
Centaur then jumps ahead thirty years to the 2011 oh-so-Montreal smash, Schwartz’s: the Musical, based on Schwartz's Hebrew Delicatessen: The Story, a popular book about ‘the Main’ by Bill Brownstein’s, brought to musical life by Montreal’s beloved kings of parody, Rick Blue and George Bowser. What could be more Montreal than the hearty smoked meat sandwich that fueled the city’s bustling lifeline of merchants and their colourful clientele? The lively re-enactment is under the gifted direction of Eda Holmes.
Script, music and lyrics by Rick Blue and George Bowser
Directed by Eda Holmes
Musical Director Chris Barillaro
With Chris Barillaro, Rick Blue, George Bowser, Vito DeFilippo, Bruce Dinsmore, Holly Gauthier-Frankel, Dominic Lorange, Stephanie Martin, Gordon Masten and Felicia Shulman
Drummer: Parker Bert
Assistant Director: Jonathan Paterson
Stage Manager: Melanie St-Jacques
Fri. Dec. 14 @8pm
Sat. Dec. 15 @8pm
Sun. Dec. 16 @2pm
What Rough Beasts by Alice Abracen
Directed by Jessica Carmichael
Emerging playwright Alice Abracen’s play What Rough Beasts examines the political polarization of a university campus – a topic that sits at the heart of the Montreal experience.
More info to come.