Opening week in review!

by Christi Rutledge

Opening week has flown by, but not without a lot of hard work and celebration! If you weren’t able to make it out, or haven’t had a chance to crack open a newspaper, here’s a bit of what you missed!

Monday: Opening Night – Much Ado About Nothing
There is always an extra special buzz of excitement in the air on opening night (perhaps it’s the bagpipers :)). The pomp and circumstance, the glamour and the sense of anticipation all make your skin tingle. If you weren’t able to be there for the opening of our 60th season, or if you want to take it in again, here are some highlights from the evening.

Opening Night Red Carpet Live Stream

What were people saying about Much Ado About Nothing
“Ben Carlson and Deborah Hay are brilliant together” – Twitter

“Much Ado is a must see! For brevity’s sake let it suffice to say the star studded cast pays tribute to the vast depth of this great company.” – Facebook

“Tears of laughter, sadness and joy… it’s hard to ask for much more from a night at the theatre.” -Kelly Nestruck, THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Check out some of these beautiful production photos!

Tuesday: 42nd Street

All that glitters is theatrical gold in 42nd Street! Here’s what you had to say about this dazzling tap musical!

“We were blown away by 42nd Street!! Awesome production!” – Facebook

“I smiled through the entire show! Cannot recommend #ssf42nd highly enough. Entire cast were amazing!” – Twitter

Wednesday: You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

It’s hard not to smile when you’re watching Charlie Brown. This show is the entire cast’s Stratford début (with the exception of Stephen Patterson) and boy, did they rock it!

Here is the cast of Charlie Brown singing “Beethoven Day” (#SQUEE, seriously!)

“@stratfest I laughed so hard during #ssfCharlie I cried. Tears. Pouring down my face. Brilliantly done. Also: best Snoopy ever. Thanks!” – Twitter

“LOVED Charlie Brown last night 🙂 I usually just see the Shakespearean productions but this was such a treat . I am going to recommend it to everyone!” – Facebook

Thursday: Cymbeline

The rarely staged Cymbeline opened to rave reviews from critics and fans alike. This beautiful late Shakespearean romance stole my heart from the first line – don’t miss seeing it at the Tom Patterson Theatre!

View more production photos from Cymbeline here!

This is what you thought of Cymbeline

“#ssfCymbeline a moving, funny, beautifully staged production. The actors are inspiring, reminds me why I want to be one. Get your tickets!” – Twitter

“Just left the theatre after seeing Cymbeline. WOW! Loved it!” – Facebook

Friday: The Pirates of Penzance

The beloved Gilbert and Sullivan made a fabulous, splashy reappearance on Friday night at the Avon Theatre. I couldn’t wait to see this personal favourite of mine on opening night! If you’re into fabulous music, comedy, steampunk design and magnificent casting (and really, who isn’t) you’re going to loooove this show!

Here’s a bit of what you can expect to see on stage:

More of your reviews from Pirates!
“I saw [The] Pirates of Penzance today and it was PHENOMENAL!!! It was the first play I’ve ever seen and my mum and I were fortunate enough to get seats 2nd row from the front. I’ve heard amazing things about the Festival but what I experienced today went WELLLLLL above and beyond my expectations. I will absolutely go back and bring all my friends and family with me!!” – Facebook

“#SSFPIRATES of PENZANCE is a GLORIOUS thing! See it now so you’ll have time to see it again & again b/c it’s extraordinary!” – Twitter

Saturday: The Matchmaker

On Saturday afternoon we launched our beautiful 60th season book, Stratford Behind the Scenes. If you haven’t had a chance to peruse it yet, you need to! Stratford Behind the Scenes explores the process of building a season, from choosing the playbill to set construction to performance. Filled with interviews, observations and breathtaking full-colour photography, this new coffee-table book will lead readers on a fascinating journey into corners of the Festival seldom seen by members of the public. Keep watching for the interactive digital version of this book filled with exclusive video footage from behind the scenes!

From the launch we were off to our last opening (at least for this month!), The Matchmaker. It has been a long time since I’ve heard an audience laugh like they did during this performance. I had read the patron reviews, so I knew The Matchmaker would be amazing, but you really have to see it to understand how good it is!

Here’s a sneak peek at this show! (Seana McKenna and Tom McCamus together on stage – perfection!)

More patron reviews from The Matchmaker!
“The Matchmaker is one of the best productions we’ve seen at the Festival, and we’ve see a lot! ” – Facebook

“I saw “The Matchmaker” on Friday night and it really should be on everyone’s must-see list this summer. The whole thing just sparkles with wit and humour!” – Facebook

“@stratfest LOVED #ssfMatchmaker was hilarious, definitely taking more friends & family 2 see it and it is an excuse to go again!!” – Twitter

I’m not sure whether to cheer or cry – perhaps a bit of both! Opening week is always a highlight for me, so it’s sad to see it end, but it’s also exciting to have the season in full swing!

Do you have any favourite opening week moments? Let us know in the comment box below!

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