Last year they were caught by surprise.
This year, however, Upper Canada Playhouse artistic director, Donnie Bowes, and his staff were prepared to cope with the rush of people taking advantage of their pre-season tickets and flex pass sales. The new season of musicals and plays at the Playhouse was officially announced on Monday, November 4.
“Just like last year, people were lined up outside the theatre door by 8:15 a.m.,” Bowes said, “and our box office didn’t even open until 10 a.m. It is simply amazing.”
Judging by the response to the launch of the new season last year, staff at the Playhouse will probably be swamped for at least two days, and the phone calls and walk-ins will be strong for a good two weeks. Bowes indicated that as many as 50 per cent of the tickets for the season are often sold before December. And the Playhouse Flex Pass continues to be very popular with purchasers.
This year Bill Halman, of Variety 104.5 and CJSS, was on air live, broadcasting from the box office of the Playhouse.
“Shows here at the Playhouse are fantastic,” Halman said. “It’s great for Corus Entertainment to sponsor some of them.”
Audiences have an exciting, hilarious and star-studded line-up to look forward to in the new season.
“I like to announce our new season before the old one is completely over,” Bowes said. “Our audiences like to ‘look at life through a comic lens,’ so two of our summer shows will be very popular farces, A Bedfull of Foreigners and Lend Me A Tenor, which feature jam-packed hilarity on stage.
And Norm Foster, Canada’s most popular and renowned playwright is bringing The Ladies’ Foursome to the Playhouse for our second show.”
Foster’s hugely successful play, The Foursome, has left audiences asking for a sequel for 20 years.
“Norm called us this summer, said he was currently writing the sequel, and asked if we would like to premier the production,” Bowes laughed. “Well, did we ever! We are thrilled to be staging the debut of an original, exciting Norm Foster comedy.”
Foster himself will be starring in the fourth production of the 2014 season, On A First Name Basis, a spectacular show which has played to sold out tours in Canada and Florida.
And that’s just the main summer season at the Playhouse!
Coming in April will be the musical revue, Memories of Summer Love, by Chris McHarge and Colin Stewart, a blockbuster homage to the music of the 1960s, and, in October, their Memories of Rock & Roll is sure to have Playhouse crowds cheering.
And for the final show of the 2014 season, the theatre is offering actor/playwright Jesse Collins’ new play, Lights, Camera, Christmas!, an hilarious and heart-warming musical story set around the making of a 1970’s Christmas Variety Show.
“Hopefully this will be a season audiences will really enjoy. A real balance of plays and different types of comedy,” said Bowes. “We feel we have a good idea what our audiences want to see.”