HURON COUNTRY PLAY-HOUSE
It all began in a tent on a farm just outside of Grand Bend in 1972 but the Playhouse now boasts two theatres that draw thousands each summer to laugh at comedy and tap their feet to well-known musicals. The 650-seat main stage is home to full-scale broadway musicals, with the kind of scale that most summer theatres can’t match. The 300-seat Playhouse II offers comedies and smaller musicals.
Today the Playhouse is part of the Drayton Entertainment group that includes theatres in Drayton, Cambridge, St. Jacobs and Penetanguishene.
Huron Country Playhouse kicks off its 47th season with the iconic musical West Side Story on the main stage.
Set to run June 7-23, West Side Story borrows from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to tell of the impact of a gang war in New York City’s derelict Upper West Side during the turbulent 1950s. Young lovers Tony and Maria find themselves caught in a turf war between rival gangs – the Puerto Rican Sharks and the American Jets – as they dream of being together in a world without prejudice.
West Side Story features some of Broadway’s most memorable songs including “Maria”, “I Feel Pretty”, “Somewhere”, “Tonight”, and “America”.
Coming up from June 27 to July 7 is a tribute to the classic rock ’n’ roll music of the 1950s and 1960s with Cruisin’ Classics: A Night at the Diner.
Chuck, the owner of a struggling diner, must grapple with the possibility of selling his beloved haunt. As he relives the moments and music of a simpler time, from the early rockin’ sounds of Bill Haley to the beautiful ballads of Brenda Lee, the voice of an entire generation is revealed. A hit parade of timeless tunes is on the menu, such as “Rock Around The Clock”, “You Send Me”, “Crying” “It’s My Party”, and “In The Still of the Night”.
Playhouse favourite Neil Aitchison brings his comic RCMP Constable Archibald F. Inkster back to the Playhouse in Canada 151: Better Late Than Sorry – The Mountie’s First Farewell Tour.
After reaching his milestone 70th birthday, Constable Inkster and his faithful horse are both finally being put out to pasture but he’s not going without unleashing his outrageous take on national and international affairs.
Canada 151: Better Late Than Sorry – The Mountie’s First Farewell Tour runs from July 12 to August 4.
Coming up later in the summer, The Little Mermaid, August 9 to September 2 and Holiday Inn, September 13-30.
At the smaller, more intimate Playhouse II, the season begins with Kings & Queens of Country – Classic Hits of Early Country Music playing from June 13 to June 30.
In the tradition of the Grand Ole Opry, some of country music’s greatest pioneers are celebrated in this energetic, fun-filled musical revue: Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, Conway Twitty, Charley Pride, Merle Haggard, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, and more.
Drayton Entertainment has made the traditional English panto a popular part of its repertoire and this year’s edition is Cinderella: The Panto playing from July 5-22.
With its winning combination of popular songs, energetic dancing, tongue-in-cheek humour, and outrageous costumes, the panto offers audiences the opportunity to cheer for Cinderella and her friends and boo the evil stepmother and wicked stepsisters.
British farce has been a favourite at the Playhouse since the beginning and Ray Cooney, one of the best farce writers, offers Out of Order, his award-winning comedy, from July 25 to August 11.
Richard Willey, a married Government Minister with a “hands-on” approach to his work, uses the backdrop of an all-night parliamentary debate to spend a naughty evening at a nearby hotel with Jane Worthington, one of the Opposition’s typists – but things go disastrously wrong when they discover a body in their hotel suite, forcing Willey to call on his hapless secretary, George Pigden, to clean up his caddish mess and avoid a political scandal.
Coming up in August at Playhouse II, is the comedy The Birds and the Bees by Mark Crawford.
Tickets for Huron Country Playhouse can be purchased by calling 1-888-449-4463 or through the website www.draytonentertainment.com.