Drayton Entertainment announces ‘a season for everyone’

CAMBRIDGE – Drayton Entertainment has announced an ambitious 2023 Season, featuring 16 productions across the local region. 

Mega-musicals, hysterical comedies and touching dramas will take centre stage from April 5 to Dec. 31 at the theatre organization’s four venues in Waterloo Region and Wellington County: the original Drayton Festival Theatre, St. Jacobs Country Playhouse, St. Jacobs Schoolhouse Theatre, and Hamilton Family Theatre Cambridge.

“After a tough couple of years for everyone during the pandemic, we are excited to continue moving forward by uniting people through the shared experience of live theatre,” says Drayton Entertainment artistic director and CEO Alex Mustakas.

“There really is something for everyone in our 2023 season,” Mustakas adds.

St. Jacobs Country Playhouse

The 2023 season in St. Jacobs launches with an explosive new drama that examines a nation’s racial divide through the eyes of parents whose worst fear hangs in the balance. 

In American Son, an estranged interracial couple desperately look for information about their missing teenage son when he is detained by the local police following a traffic stop incident. Winner of the prestigious Laurents Hatcher Award, American Son is on stage from April 5 to April 23.

Next up is the Ontario premiere of Broadway’s newest musical comedy, The Prom – a smart, big-hearted production that celebrates the love that unites us all. Winner of the Drama Desk Award for Best Musical, and created by the team behind The Book of Mormon, The Drowsy Chaperone, and Mean Girls, this comedic musical follows the tale of four narcissistic Broadway stars who are desperate for a new stage and on a mission to change the world, and a small town girl who is banned from bringing her girlfriend to her high school prom. This show runs from May 17 to June 11.

The season continues with another Broadway smash hit musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. This dazzling Broadway spectacle by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice is beloved by theatregoers around the world. It features famous tunes like “Go, Go, Go Joseph”, “Any Dream Will Do”, and “Close Every Door”. It is on stage July 12 to Aug. 5.

Moving into the cooler fall weather, the production of Mary’s Wedding is an epic tale of love, hope, and survival. A Canadian work, Mary’s Wedding weaves time, dreams, and memory together against the stark realities of World War 1. This play centre stage Oct. 26 to Nov. 12.

The 2023 season concludes with Drayton Entertainment’s perennially popular family panto. Next year’s offering is Peter Pan: The Panto. Brimming with adventure, this memorable tale about a boy who would not grow up becomes awash in swash and buckle. The production runs Nov. 29 to Dec. 31.

Hamilton Family Theatre Cambridge

The 2023 season in Cambridge opens with a tribute to one of music’s greatest stars. Beautiful: The Carole King Musical shares the inspiring true story of her remarkable journey from teenage songwriter to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The production covers King’s entire songwriting career and features classics such as “You’ve Got a Friend”, and “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling.” This musical runs May 17 to June 10. 

Next up is the groundbreaking drama (not to mention an Academy Award-winning movie) A Few Good Men by author Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing, Moneyball, The Social Network). The famed courtroom drama, inspired by actual events, follows the trial of two marines accused of killing one of their own. Can audiences “handle the truth?” 

A Few Good Men runs July 5 to July 23.

The international blockbuster musical Kinky Boots is on stage Aug. 3 to 20. Winner of six Tony Awards, London’s Olivier Award, and a Grammy Award, this high-heeled hit will delight audiences with its sensational score by pop icon Cyndi Lauper. 

Based on true events, the musical chronicles the story of Charlie Price, who is struggling to save a men’s shoe factory, and a chance encounter with the dazzling drag queen Lola.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita chronicles the life of Argentina’s infamous Eva Perón. With unforgettable songs like, “Another Suitcase in Another Hall,” and “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina.” The show runs Oct. 18 to Nov. 5.

The season in Cambridge concludes with a time-honoured favourite. Fiddler on the Roof has touched audiences around the world with its winning combination of humour, warmth, and honesty. The production features a score full of classic songs like “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” and “If I Were A Rich Man.” Fiddler on the Roof runs Nov. 29 to Dec. 24.

Drayton Festival Theatre

The 2023 season in Drayton opens on a high note with Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story. This finger-snapping musical pays tribute to the golden age of music through renditions of Buddy Holly’s greatest hits – classics like “Peggy Sue”, “It’s So Easy”, “That’ll Be The Day” and many more. The show runs May 24 to June 10.

The New Canadian Curling Club is a laugh-out-loud comedy inspired by the local refugee resettlement program.  When a small town organizes a learn-to-curl class to welcome newcomers, a group of unlikely athletes must face off against prejudice in order to inspire the community. This quintessential Canadian comedy runs July 12 to July 29.

The season will close with Sh-Boom: Life Could Be a Dream, a joyous jive down memory lane. This jukebox musical features 25 chart-topping vintage doo-wop standards in heavenly harmony, such as “Fools Fall in Love” and “Runaround Sue” and more. This feel-good musical is on stage Aug. 16 to Sept. 3.

St. Jacob’s Schoolhouse Theatre

With its larger-than-life characters and rib-tickling one-liners, the hilarious comedy Perfect Wedding will amuse audiences with its tale of matrimonial bliss. The story takes place in a honeymoon suite, which quickly becomes a centre of chaos and confusion on the morning of Bill and Rachel’s wedding day. Perfect Wedding is perfect summer theatre fare and runs July 19 to Aug. 27.

Up next is a funny and regrettably relatable musical about getting over getting dumped! The hit comedy Bittergirl – the Musical is set to a soundtrack of ‘60s and ‘70s girl group numbers like  “Be My Baby”, and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”. Bittergirl – the Musical runs Oct. 4 to Dec. 24.

Additional programming

The inaugural Drayton Entertainment Youth Academy High School Musical Program will allow high school students across Waterloo Region to learn valuable life skills gained by participating on stage and behind-the-scenes, in a fully staged production of Legally Blonde The Musical.

The production will run at St. Jacobs Country Playhouse from Feb. 15 to  26.

Ticket information

Tickets are on sale to everyone by phone, in person at select Box Office locations (Hamilton Family Theatre Cambridge and St. Jacobs Country Playhouse only) and online 24/7 at www.draytonentertainment.com.

To order by phone, call 519-621-8000 or toll free at 1-855-372-9866. 

For more information about Drayton Entertainment’s complete 2023 season on all seven stages visit www.draytonentertainment.com.