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‘Soup, soap, salvation’ and Shaw: Guys and Dolls and Major Barbara principal casting

Media Release #28

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, November 12, 2012… An exceptional collection of talent has been assembled to bring the Shaw Festival’s 52nd season to life — a unique and entertaining playbill rich with new and provocative conversations, culture clashes, magical transformations and dazzling ideas. The Salvation Army marches in this season with freshly re-envisioned productions of Guys and Dolls, one of musical theatres most celebrated pieces, and Shaw’s Major Barbara – an ever relevant and potent play.

In true Shaw Festival style, Guys and Dolls, the quintessential American musical, will receive a re-interpretation by Polish director Tadeusz Bradecki and Major Barbara will be presented for the first time in the intimate setting of the Royal George Theatre.

The Shaw Festival is delighted to announce the principal casting for Guys and Dolls and Major Barbara.

Guys and Dolls

Book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, music and lyrics by Frank Loesser
Previews – April 12 Opens – May 11 Closes – October 12
Festival Theatre

Kyle Blair returns to play gambler Sky Masterson after spending a season at the Stratford Festival helming a production of The Pirates of Penzance and appearing in 42nd Street.

Elodie Gillett appears as conservative Save-a-Soul Mission sergeant Sarah Brown after her acclaimed portrayal last season as Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti. Elodie returned to The Shaw in 2012 after a two-year turn as Lorraine in the Toronto production of Jersey Boys.

Jenny L. Wright appears as nightclub performer and perpetually engaged Miss Adelaide. Her memorable portrayal of Hilda Shannon in last season’s A Man and Some Women made her the odious woman audiences loved to hate.

Currently appearing in Canadian Stage’s The Arsonists, musical theatre veteran Shawn Wright returns to The Shaw after a 23-year absence to play charming small time hood Nathan Detroit.

Thom Allison’s heart-felt portrayal of Coalhouse Walker Jr. in last season’s musical juggernaut Ragtime was universally critically acclaimed. Thom is set to reveal his comedic side as gambler Nicely-Nicely Johnson. His rendition of “Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat” will surely be one of many anticipated highlights of the production. Thom returns to The Shaw fresh off his judging duties on CBC’s Over the Rainbow.

Guys and Dolls also features the talents of the Acting Ensemble members: Patty Jamieson as General Cartwright, Billy Lake as Benny Southstreet, Peter Millard as Arvide Abernathy, Aadin Church as Big Jule and Kelly Wong as Rusty Charlie.

The Shaw welcomes back TD Bank Group as sponsor of the musical Guys and Dolls.

Major Barbara

Bernard Shaw
Previews – May 2 Opens – May 10 Closes – October 19
Royal George Theatre

The Shaw Festival’s unrivalled expertise in exploring and presenting our namesake’s work continues this season with Major Barbara. After her celebrated portrayal last season of Shaw’s superwoman millionairess, and newspaper woman Hildy in His Girl Friday, Nicole Underhay returns to play another of Shaw’s powerhouse female leads— the iconic Barbara Undershaft.

Back from reprising his role as Henry Higgins in Arena Stage’s celebrated production of My Fair Lady, Benedict Campbell returns as Andrew Undershaft. In 2012, he played opposite Nicole Underhay in His Girl Friday and the two are looking forward to sparring again, this time in one of Shaw’s major works.

After his explosive turn as lead Richard Shannon in last season’s A Man and Some Women, Graeme Somerville returns to play Barbara’s admirer Adolphus Cusins. His haunting portrayal of the guilt-ridden Henry Law in the highly praised 2011 production of When the Rain Stops Falling still resonates.

Laurie Paton’s return this season as Barbara’s manipulative mother Lady Britomart marks her sixteenth season at The Shaw. Among her most memorable roles, audiences will recall her last appearance at the Royal George as the scheming Regina Giddens in The Little Foxes.

Major Barbara also features additional members of the accomplished Shaw Acting Ensemble: Wade Bogert-O’Brien as Charles Lomax, Alana Hibbert as Jenny Hill, Ijeoma Emesowum as Sarah Undershaft, Peter Krantz as Peter Shirley, Billy Lake as Snobby Price, Catherine McGregor as Rummy Mitchens and Ben Sanders as Stephen Undershaft.

2013 season ticket on-sale dates to note:

  • Members’ Special Priority Booking Period: November 3, 2012 to November 30, 2012
    Telephone, in-person, online, fax and mail orders are currently being processed.
  • General Public: January 12, 2013
    Fax, mail and online beginning January 9
    By phone and in-person beginning January 12


Please visit our website at www.shawfest.com/news for other Shaw Theatre Festival media releases. For more information, or to download images from our image bank to accompany this release, members of the media may contact:

Odette Yazbeck
Public Relations Director
905-468-2153 or 1-800-657-1106 ext. 2222

Jenniffer Anand
Public Relations Coordinator
905-468-2153 or 1-800-657-1106 ext. 2224

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