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Shaw adds new series of outdoor shows, concerts

Outdoors @ The Shaw, a new series of concerts and events, will debut on July 10 on the grounds of the Festival Theatre and Royal George Theatre.

In a nod to Shaw Fair and Fête festivities of the past, the outdoor season is part carnival, part theatre celebration, the Shaw said in announcing the details of the season.

New outdoor performance spaces with limited capacities – the BMO Stage, Humeniuk Foundation Stage, Royal George Theatre’s Gallery Patio, Nona Macdonald Stage, affectionately known as “Nona’s tent,” and the Festival Theatre grounds – will host concerts and unique theatrical experiences. 

Outdoors @ The Shaw is in addition to the open-air performances of “The Devil’s Disciple” at the Nona Macdonald Stage, “Flush” at the Humeniuk Foundation Stage, “Charley’s Aunt” at the BMO Stage and the Shaw Festival’s presentation of “A Short History of Niagara” at both the Humeniuk and BMO stages.

“It’s thrilling to feel the buzz of activity and anticipation,” said artistic director Tim Carroll.

“If these 15+ months have taught us anything, it’s that we all dearly miss real human encounters and shared experiences,” he added.

“With this in mind, specially produced performances, concerts and curated events have been created for our audience. It’s been a long and enduring journey and now it’s time to say: Welcome back.”

In order to ensure health and safety protocols are followed, the Shaw said it plans to keep audience numbers to all performances under capacity limits and will continue to follow and exceed all government COVID-19 health regulations.

Tickets for the new outdoor shows are on sale now online at shawfest.com or the box office to Friends of the Shaw and the public on July 6. The shows include:

*”Gatsby's Jazz, Sonny's Blues”: Directed by Philip Akin, the BMO Stage, 10 Queen’s Parade on the Commons, with 17 performances from July 10 to Oct. 8. 

It includes excerpts from F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel and James Baldwin's story. Featured songs include “Beale Street Blues,” “Ain't We Got Fun,” the gospel hymn, “If Only I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again” and “Am I Blue?” Tickets $35 or $30 under 30.

*”The Duke And Two Irenes”: Directed and choreographed by Kimberley Rampersad, Festival Theatre grounds, south lawn patio, 10 Queen’s Parade, with 14 performances from July 14 to Oct. 7.

The music of Duke Ellington returns in a new revue that also includes songs by Irene Higginbotham and Irene Kitchings, two 20th-century African-American songwriters and musicians with ties to singer Billie Holiday. Songs include “Good Morning Heartache,” “Some Other Spring,” “Satin Doll” and “It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing).” Tickets are $35 or $30 under 30.

*”Chitra”: A one-act play by Rabindranath Tagore, directed by Kimberley Rampersad, Royal George Theatre Gallery Lawn and Gardens, 85 Queen St., with six performances July 15 to 31.

Gabriella Sundar Singh is Chitra, warrior princess. Determined to win the heart of Prince Arjuna, she asks the gods Mandana and Vasanta to cloak her fighting virtuosity with such beauty he would never leave her side. Based on a tale from the Mahabharata and written by Nobel Laureate Tagore. Tickets are $35 or $30 under 30.

*Coffee Concerts: The Humeniuk Foundation Stage, 10 Queen’s Parade, with nine performances July 17 to Sept. 30. Classical music concerts performed by a string quartet and members of the Shaw Festival Orchestra. Tickets are $10.

*”Assassins In Concert”: Book by John Weidman, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, based on an idea by Charles Gilbert Jr. and directed by Kate Hennig. On the BMO Stage for 12 performances, July 18 to Sept. 29.

Nine people have tried to kill an American president, four have succeeded and Stephen Sondheim created a darkly comic musical revue about it. A carnival of the macabre where assassins and would-be assassins – from John Wilkes Booth to Sara Jane Moore – tell their side of the story. Tickets $50 or $30 under 30.

*”Fairground”: Curated by Sanjay Talwar, created by the Shaw Ensemble, Festival Theatre grounds for 14 performances, July 23 to Oct. 8.

A guided ramble through the lush Festival Theatre grounds complete with welcoming fanfare and filled with the sensory delights of music, provided by a five-piece band; poetry, dance, and culminating with an exhilarating finale. Weather dependent. Tickets are $35 or $30 under 30 and $10 for youth.

*”Speakeasies”: The BMO Stage for three performances, on July 22, Aug. 7 and Sept. 18. An evening of jazz featuring associate music director Ryan deSouza and members of the Shaw Festival Orchestra, with special guests. Tickets are $20.

*”Shawground”: Curated by Sanjay Talwar, created by the Shaw Ensemble. On the Festival Theatre grounds, for 10 performances from Aug. 19 to Oct. 6.

An hour-long, Victorian fair-inspired guided jaunt through the Festival Theatre grounds features the wit and charm of Bernard Shaw and a few Shavian surprises. Weather dependent. Tickets are $35 or $30 under 30 and $10 for youth.

*”What’s In Your Songbook?”: The Nona Macdonald Stage, 10 Queen’s Parade, parking lot tent
for two performances, July 28 and Aug. 22.

An intimate and interactive evening with members of the Shaw acting ensemble. Performers open up their audition songbooks and reveal why those choices are so special to them. Tickets

*”Kreutzer Sonata”: The Humeniuk Foundation Stage, for seven performances, Aug. 26 to Oct. 9. 

In 1805, Ludwig van Beethoven dedicated Violin Sonata No. 9, Op. 47 to Rodolphe Kreutzer, a violinist internationally renowned for his virtuosity. This sonata then inspired Leo Tolstoy’s harrowing novella, “The Kreutzer Sonata.” Tickets $35 or $30 under 30.

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