“If you can’t forget the past, you stay in it and never get out.”
Media Release #18
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, June 28, 2012 . . . Come Back, Little Sheba, the heartfelt drama that launched William Inge’s career and became a Broadway hit, begins previews today at the Shaw Festival’s Royal George Theatre. Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell directs this powerful portrayal of flawed humanity and the enduring power of love. With this production, she adds a third work (previously Picnic (2001), Bus Stop (2005)) by the writer known as the “Playwright of the Midwest” to her directorial repertoire at The Shaw.
Lola (Corrine Koslo) was the high school beauty queen who had to marry young. Trapped in a lonely marriage, she and Doc (Ric Reid), a recovering alcoholic on the brink of relapse, live in a cluttered Midwestern home heavily infused with disappointment and tension. When Marie (Julia Course), their pretty young boarder, takes up with Turk (Kevin McGarry), an unrefined athlete, the relationship not only intrigues both Lola and Doc, but also disturbs the delicate domestic balance of the household, leading to an inevitable, but still surprising confrontation.
Come Back, Little Sheba also features Sharry Flett as Mrs. Coffman, and Andrew Bunker, Lorne Kennedy, James Pendarves, Graeme Somerville, Sanjay Talwar and Jonathan Tan.
The Shaw’s production of Come Back, Little Sheba is designed by Christina Poddubiuk, with lighting design by Bonnie Beecher and original music composed by Zachary Florence. The stage management team includes Stage Manager Beatrice Campbell and Assistant Stage Manager Ivory Seol.
Come Back, Little Sheba opened on Broadway at the Booth Theatre on February 15, 1950. Directed by Daniel Mann, the play ran for 190 performances and starred Shirley Booth and Sidney Blackmer – both of whom won Tony Awards for their performances. The play has had many revivals and been adapted for film – in 1952, starring Shirley Booth and Burt Lancaster; and television – in 1977, starring Joanne Woodward, Laurence Olivier and Carrie Fisher. The 2008 Broadway production earned leading actress S. Epatha Merkerson a Tony nomination. This is the play’s first appearance at the Shaw Festival.
Come Back, Little Sheba begins preview performances Thursday, June 28, opens Friday, July 6 and plays in repertory until Friday, October 19.
The Shaw Festival’s season began April 10, runs until October 28 and proudly features 11 productions presented on the Festival’s four Niagara-on-the-Lake stages. For more information on our season, performance schedule and ticket information, please visit www.shawfest.com.
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In the spirit of Bernard Shaw, the Shaw Festival provokes the mind and stirs the soul through a theatre experience so compelling that, year after year, ever-broadening groups of artists, audiences and supporters are drawn to our work in Niagara-on-the-Lake and beyond.
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