Today's date: Sunday October 21, 2018
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Drayton Entertainment offers new, classic shows in 2018 season

He’s back - Neil Aitchison returns to the Drayton Entertainment stage as the Mountie in a brand new show, Canada 151: Better Late Than Sorry. Submitted photo

Drayton Entertainment offers new, classic shows in 2018 season

DRAYTON - Drayton Entertainment is reaching for the stars in its 2018 season.

Artistic director Alex Mustakas continues his bid to bring crowd-pleasing productions to the award-winning charitable theatre organization’s seven stages.

Among an array of musicals and comedies, the season will feature a brand new show, Canada 151: Better Late Than Sorry, celebrating the true north strong and free and starring local celebrity Neil Aitchison as the ever-popular Mountie.

A grand-scale production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid and the regional premiere of Ghost: The Musical, based on the hit film, are also featured in 2018.

“Variety is key next season,” Mustakas said.  “There is something for everyone, from Broadway blockbusters and hilarious comedies to classic musicals and family fun with another beloved Disney classic and our annual holiday panto.”

With attendance at record levels, Drayton Entertainment is extending into the fall shoulder season at the Drayton Festival Theatre in Drayton, Huron Country Playhouse in Grand Bend and King’s Wharf Theatre in Penetanguishene.

In the Waterloo Region, the 2018 season marks the official renaming of the Dunfield Theatre Cambridge to Hamilton Family Theatre Cambridge, thanks to the generous philanthropy of longtime supporters John and Terry Hamilton, officials state.

Over the last several years, Drayton Entertainment has offered the Canadian premieres of major Broadway shows, and 2018 is no different with the new Irving Berlin musical Holiday Inn scheduled.

Mustakas himself is returning to the stage for the first time in five years to star as the deluded knight errant, Don Quixote, in the musical odyssey Man of La Mancha.

Ticket information

Tickets are on sale now. Regular performance tickets are $46 for adults and $27 for youth under 20 years of age. Tickets for groups of 20 or more, as well as select discount dates are $37.  HST is applicable to all ticket prices.

Hamilton Family Theatre Cambridge

The 2018 season starts with eight-time Tony Award-winner Hairspray, on stage March 14 to April 8. This beloved musical celebrates diversity and dancing in equal measure as heroine Tracy Turnblad wins a coveted spot on a popular TV show and then proceeds to turn everyone’s world upside down with her trailblazing notion of integration in 1960s Baltimore.

Next up is the courtship comedy, The Birds and The Bees, running May 23 to June 10. A separated turkey farmer moves in with her mother, a divorced beekeeper. A strapping young grad student studying the bee population arrives in town as the women look to put their lives back together.  Throw in a meddlesome neighbour, some internet dating, a Turkey Days Dance, and lust and poultry collide in this comedy about chance encounters and fresh starts.

 On stage July 11 to 21 is Cruisin’ Classics, a ‘50s diner revue that “promises to tickle your funny bone and touch your heart,” officials state, with classic tunes including In The Still of the Night, Rock Around the Clock, It’s My Party and many more.

Following its acclaimed run in St. Jacobs earlier this year, the sleeper hit Jonas and Barry in the Home makes its Cambridge debut, Aug. 9 to 26. Written by Canadian playwright Norm Foster (who also stars in the production), this comedy explores the unexpected friendship forged between two seniors at an assisted living home.    

The musical masterpiece Man of La Mancha gallops onto centre stage in the fall, with Mustakas as the noble knight, Don Quixote.  Anchored by its unforgettable anthem The Impossible Dream, this production will inspire audiences with its imaginative retelling of the saga of Don Quixote. On stage Oct. 10 to Nov. 4.

The beloved 1942 Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire film comes to life in a stunning stage adaptation of Holiday Inn, Nov. 22 to Dec. 30, to close out the 2018 season in Cambridge.

This happy musical about a crooner and a hoofer vying for the affections of an up and coming performer features 20 iconic songs from Irving Berlin’s musical catalogue: Blue Skies, Cheek to Cheek, White Christmas and more.   

Drayton Festival Theatre

Preceding its fall run in Cambridge, Holiday Inn will make its Canadian premiere at the Drayton Festival Theatre, May 16 to June 3.  A farmhouse is transformed into a fabulous inn with dazzling performances to celebrate each holiday, from Thanksgiving to the Fourth of July, in this stunning four seasons musical for the entire family.

Canada 151: Better Late Than Sorry stars Aitchison  as the Mountie in a brand new show about what it means to be quintessentially Canadian.  Featuring music, dance and Aitchison’s signature comedic spin on national and world events, the production runs June 20 to July 8.

On stage July 25 to Aug. 11 is The Birds and The Bees.  This comedy takes flight with its modern take on classic themes of family, fate, love and relationships.

The rockin’ sounds of Bill Haley to the ballads of Brenda Lee are showcased on Cruisin’ Classics, on stage Aug. 22 to Sept. 1.

Closing out the extended season, Oct. 3 to 14, is Kings and Queens of Country.  This hot ticket full of classic hits of early country music played to sold out audiences at the St. Jacobs Schoolhouse Theatre in 2017, and pays tribute to the genre’s greatest icons and pioneers: Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline and many more.

St. Jacobs Country Playhouse

A musical within a comedy starts the season off in St. Jacobs, March 28 to April 15.  The Drowsy Chaperone has been hailed as “The Perfect Broadway Musical,” winning five Tony Awards and leaving audiences singing, dancing and laughing their way out of the theatre.  

This tale of a celebrity bride and her impending nuptials comes complete with a tap dancing groom, desperate producer, ambitious chorus girl, goofy gangsters and a tipsy chaperone.

One of the greatest love stories of all time takes to the stage in the landmark Broadway musical, West Side Story. Inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliette, two star-crossed young lovers dream of being together in a world without prejudice in New York City’s Upper West Side during the turbulent 1950s.  

With breathtaking choreography and a sweeping score, audiences will be swept away in this forbidden love story May 9 to June 2.

The romantic comedy The Rainmaker runs June 20 to July 7.  In the midst of a harsh western summer, a struggling family meets a fast-talking stranger who claims he can make it rain – for a price.  What unfolds is a heartwarming tale of a family’s last chance at survival, a mystery man’s last shot at redemption and a woman’s last glimmer of romance.

Those young – and young at heart – will go “under the sea” with Drayton Entertainment’s production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, on stage July 18 to Aug. 4.  

A mermaid is given the opportunity to leave her magical underwater kingdom and live on land so she can follow her dream to explore the human world and win the heart of a handsome prince in this faithful retelling of the beloved animated film.

And, summer isn’t complete without some silliness. Out of Order, a classic British farce written by Ray Cooney, will have the audience doubled over in laughter when a married government minister heads to a hotel for a secret rendezvous only to discover a dead body in the suite. What follows is a plethora of mishaps, bedlam and confusion as he tries desperately to save his reputation. Out of Order runs Aug. 15 to Sept. 1.

Theatregoers are invited to relive the romance with Ghost: The Musical, a haunting retelling of one of the most passionate films ever made, on stage Oct. 3 to 21. After a mugging results in his death, a man is trapped between two worlds as a ghost and enlists the help of an eccentric psychic in order to protect the love of his life from imminent danger.

The 2018 season ends with a holiday tradition for the entire family. Jack and the Beanstalk: The Panto gives the well-known tale a contemporary makeover that will have audiences cheering for the hero and booing the evil giant. The production runs Nov. 28 to Dec. 30.

St. Jacobs Schoolhouse Theatre

One of the most popular comedies in Drayton Entertainment’s illustrious history is making a triumphant return to St. Jacobs for more murder, mayhem and melee.  

Packed with madcap improvisation and a spine-tickling mystery, Shear Madness delights as audiences put their detective skills to the test and take a stab at solving the crime.  

Listed in the Guinness Book of Records as America’s longest running play, the hilarious and wacky whodunit will keep the audience entertained and guessing from start to finish. Don’t miss it, Sept. 12 to Dec. 23.

December 29, 2017


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Community Guide Autumn 2018

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