The Fredericton Playhouse 2017-2018 Spotlight Series offers something for everyone.
(Fredericton, NB) – The Fredericton Playhouse has announced its 2017-2018 Spotlight Series, which includes twenty-four professional performances in music, theatre and dance from a wide range of different genres. The Spotlight Series, the Playhouse’s flagship program, invites some of the most exciting artists touring today to the Playhouse stage, offering East Coast favourites, internationally acclaimed ensembles, up-and-coming musicians, innovative dance and circus shows, hilarious comedy performances, inspiring theatre pieces and much more.
In addition to the Spotlight Series, the Playhouse will present a special Canada 150 Performance Series in the fall of 2017. This multidisciplinary series will celebrate the 150th anniversary of confederation, providing audiences the opportunity to connect with our country’s past, celebrate who we are today, and work toward building a legacy for tomorrow. All tickets in the series will cost $18.67, to mark the year of confederation.
“This season, our Spotlight Series will celebrate Canadian performers from coast to coast, while also featuring international artists, hailing from as far away as India, France, Belgium and the U.K.,” said Playhouse Executive Director Tim Yerxa. “We’re looking forward to welcoming a number of returning favourites, as well as artists who are visiting Fredericton for the first time.
“We’re also very excited to announce our Canada 150 Performance Series, which is an opportunity to mark a pivotal moment in our history by taking in performances that reflect Canada’s vibrant performing arts landscape.”
The Spotlight Series lineup of Canadian musicians includes some familiar names, such as Halifax-based Bill and Joel Plaskett, a father-son team touring in support of their first musical collaboration. Rising Toronto-born folk-pop star Basia Bulat will win audiences over with her electrifying voice and memorable lyrics, while up-and-coming Nunavut-based band The Jerry Cans will impress with their unique mix of Iqaluit alt-country, throat singing and reggae. Known for songs like “Teenland” and “Things I Do For Money,” Saskatchewan’s The Northern Pikes will perform their first major label album Big Blue Sky as part of a special 30th anniversary tour.
Comedy fans can look forward to the return of Playhouse favourite Late Nite Catechism, back by popular demand with a Halloween-themed show titled The Holy Ghost and Other Terrifying Tales. Beloved Canadian comic Elvira Kurt will lead an all-female variety show called Girls Nite Out, combining stand-up and improv for a hilarious performance that will have audiences laughing in the aisles
The season includes strong vocal performers, like Rosie & the Riveters, an all-female trio who perform uplifting folk music with a vintage 1940s flair. Canada’s premier a cappella group Cadence will bring infectious energy and uncanny verve to their performance, which promises to be full of on-stage antics and audience participation.
The 2017-2018 series includes a number of international performances. Paris – The Show is a vibrant tribute to the greatest French songs of the post-war years, and will bring all the charm and flavour of the City of Lights to Fredericton. Belgium’s Ô-Celli brings the talents of eight cellists together to take audiences on a fabulous journey through a repertoire of both original and arranged pieces. U.K.-based performer Tayo Aluko stars in Call Mr. Robeson, a one-man play that tells the story of Paul Robeson, a great American actor, singer and civil rights campaigner. The Playhouse will once again celebrate Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights with A Passage to Bollywood, a vibrant performance full of foot-tapping music, colourful costumes and a gripping plot from Mumbai-based Navdhara India Dance Theatre.
Performances by Canadian dance and theatre companies include Victoria, a play from Dulcinea Langfelder & Co. that addresses old age, vulnerability, loss and death, stretching the tension between comedy and tragedy to new extremes. Toronto Dance Theatre returns following their stunning performance in 2014 with a program that features five masterworks from artistic director Christopher House’s career, as a special celebration of the company’s 50th anniversary.
This holiday season, audiences can look forward to special performances from two great Canadian performers – jazz vocalist Emilie-Claire Barlow, performing songs from her new Christmas albumLumières d’hiver, and Celtic group The Barra MacNeils, who will combine traditional seasonal fare, entertaining stories and new musical twists in their Cape Breton Christmas show.
Families will appreciate the talents of Flip FabriQue, a cirque show that incorporates acrobatics, hula hoops, trampolines and lots of humour, making for a spellbinding and incredibly fun performance. Also perfect for audiences both young and old is Lemon Bucket Orkestra, the self-described Balkan-klezmer-gypsy-party-punk superband who won over the Playhouse with their wildly celebrated performance in 2015.
There are a number of powerful and thought-provoking performances coming up in the year ahead. Writer and storyteller Ivan Coyote will be joined by an all-tomboy band in Tomboy Survival Guide, a show that is part anthem, part campfire story, and part instructions for dismantling the gender stories we tell ourselves and each other. Based on the internet phenomenon created by Frank Warren, PostSecret: The Show is an immersive, poignant journey through the humour and humanity of the personal stories we keep to ourselves and, on rare occasions, share with others. Combining a spoken word component from former political prisoner Marina Nemat with a performance by Motus O Dance Theatre, Prisoner of Tehran explores themes of social justice, oppression and freedom. Inside/Out is a one-man show written and performed by Patrick Keating, a soft-spoken artist who spent years in and out of Canada’s penitentiary system.
Fans of audience favourite Classic Albums Live will enjoy two performances this season from these skilled musicians, with Rush: 2112 and Supertramp: Breakfast in America.
The Canada 150 Performance Series will consist of four shows. The Tale of a Town – Canada marks the return of FIXT POINT, a theatre group that first visited Fredericton in 2014 to gather stories, and is now back with a live stage show featuring a local choir and stories from main streets and downtowns across Canada. One of Canada’s leading contemporary dance companies Kaha:wi Dance Theatre presents Re-Quickening, a performance that uses bold imagery and Indigenous narratives to reaffirm life and the sovereignty of female voice and body. Five-piece Scottish band Breabachdelivers a thrilling brand of contemporary Celtic music that embodies a sound that greatly influences music from Canada’s East Coast. They’ll be joined by Nova Scotia’s own Juno-winning folk musician Old Man Luedecke for a special double bill concert. Finally, the Fredericton Symphony Orchestra will commemorate Canada’s 150th anniversary with a performance of a musical score by Laura Rossi, performed alongside the groundbreaking 1916 documentary film The Battle of the Somme.
The Playhouse will once against present its Kidstage Series, and is pleased to announce that all performances this season will have Pay-What-You-Will ticketing. The series features three theatre pieces: DuffleBag Theatre’s Cinderella; Manxmouse: The Mouse Who Knew No Fear from Netherlands-based group Theatergroep Kwatta; and Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia with performances of Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny.
The Fredericton Playhouse Spotlight Series includes a special Spotlight Membership option. For only $55, Members receive early access to the best seats in the house and special discounted pricing on all Spotlight Series and Spotlight Partner performances (Kidstage Series, Theatre New Brunswick, New Brunswick Country Showcase, Symphony New Brunswick and the Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada).
“We’re thrilled that our Spotlight membership program has received such a high level of participation over the years,” Yerxa said. “With the purchase of one membership, patrons can buy up to six discounted tickets per performance, which puts money back in their pockets right away.”
Spotlight Memberships are on sale now and members can purchase tickets to Spotlight, Canada 150 and Kidstage Series performances immediately. Full priced tickets go on sale on July 28.
For detailed information on 2017-2018 Spotlight Series performances, a season guide is available at the Playhouse box office or online at www.theplayhouse.ca.
2017-2018 Series at a Glance:
The Northern Pikes – October 13 (www.thenorthernpikes.com)
Late Nite Catechism – October 22 (www.latenitecatechism.info)
Ô-Celli – October 25 (www.octuorocelli.wixsite.com/octuorocelli)
Bill and Joel Plaskett – October 26 (www.joelplaskett.com)
Paris – The Show – November 8 (www.paris-lespectacle.com)
A Passage to Bollywood – November 16 (www.navdharaindia.com)
Classic Albums Live performs Rush: 2112 – November 17 (www.classicalbumslive.com)
The Jerry Cans – November 25 (www.thejerrycans.com)
Emilie-Claire Barlow – November 28 (www.emilieclairebarlow.com)
The Barra MacNeils – December 17 (www.barramacneils.com)
Toronto Dance Theatre – January 25 (www.tdt.org)
Girls Nite Out – February 2 (www.facebook.com/GirlsNiteOutComedy)
Basia Bulat – February 3 (www.basiabulat.com)
Victoria – February 14 (www.dulci-langfelder.org)
Call Mr. Robeson – February 22 (www.tayoalukoandfriends.com)
Lemon Bucket Orkestra – February 23 (www.lemonbucket.com)
Inside/Out – March 15 (www.neworldtheatre.com)
PostSecret: The Show – March 17 (www.postsecretshow.com)
Ivan Coyote – April 5 (www.ivancoyote.com)
Rosie & the Riveters – April 11 (www.rosieandtheriveters.com)
Classic Albums Live performs Supertramp: Breakfast in America – April 12 (www.classicalbumslive.com)
Prisoner of Tehran – April 18 (www.motuso.com)
Flip FabriQue – May 4 (www.flipfabrique.com)
Cadence – May 5 (www.cadence-unplugged.com)
Canada 150 Performance Series:
Kaha:wi Dance Theatre – September 28 (www.kahawidance.org)
The Tale of a Town – Canada – October 5 (www.thetaleofatown.com)
Fredericton Symphony Orchestra – November 6 (www.frederictonsymphonyorchestra.blogspot.ca)
Breabach and Old Man Luedecke – November 9 (www.breabach.com; www.oldmanluedecke.ca)
A Fredericton Playhouse media release.