Paul Nolan to sing at Yankees home opener

April 12, 2012

Actor Paul Nolan will be singing God Bless America during the seventh inning stretch at the Yankees home opener tomorrow, Friday, April 13.

Paul just made his Broadway debut as Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar, directed by Artistic Director Des McAnuff.

Fans can watch the game – and Paul – at The Pour House, 92 Downie Street, right across from the Avon Theatre, where Jesus Christ Superstar played to sold-out houses last season. The game starts at 1:05 p.m. ET.

Paul, a native of Rouleau, Saskatchewan, has been a member of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival’s acting company for five years, in such roles as Tony in West Side Story, Al in The Grapes of Wrath, Orlando in As You Like It and Valvert in Cyrano de Bergerac.

Photos of Paul Nolan in Jesus Christ Superstar at Stratford:
http://www.stratfordfestival.ca/imagegallery/imagegallery.aspx?id=18366

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Des McAnuff to be honoured with a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award

March 6, 2012… The Stratford Shakespeare Festival extends heartiest congratulations to Artistic Director Des McAnuff, who is the recipient of the National Arts Centre Award of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards in recognition of his extraordinary accomplishments over the past performance year.

“Des is very deserving of this recognition,” says General Director Antoni Cimolino. “He has indeed had an extraordinary year, directing two large-scale productions at the Festival, filming one and taking the other on to La Jolla and then to Broadway. This is all in addition to his international accomplishments, which in themselves required super-human strength to complete. We all congratulate him on his achievements and this very great honour.”

At the Stratford Shakespeare Festival Mr. McAnuff directed a celebrated production of Twelfth Night starring Brian Dennehy and Stephen Ouimette. His acclaimed production of Jesus Christ Superstar enjoyed an extended run at Stratford, moved to La Jolla Playhouse in California, and is set to open on Broadway this month with its Stratford cast.

Mr. McAnuff opened the second North American tour of Jersey Boys in Philadelphia. He directed a new musical production of Doctor Zhivago, which played in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, Australia, and is now being performed in Seoul with an all-Korean cast. He directed Gounod’s Faust for the Metropolitan Opera starring Jonas KaufmannRené Pape, and Marina Poplavskaya. Mr. McAnuff’s achievements over the past year also include film, with his production of Faust shown in cinemas worldwide and his production of The Tempest, starring Christopher Plummer released in cinemas. (His production of Caesar and Cleopatra, which also features Christopher Plummer, enjoyed a similar release in 2009, while Twelfth Night is scheduled for cinema release this week).

The year 2011 also saw Mr. McAnuff planning Stratford’s 60th anniversary playbill, half of which are Canadian works, including three world premières – Morris Panych and Marek Norman’s WanderlusThe Best Brothers by Daniel MacIvor, and Hirsch by Alon Nashmon and Paul Thompson, about the former Stratford artistic director and legendary theatre artist John Hirsch. Mr. McAnuff will also be directing Shakespeare’s Henry V and Christopher Plummer’s one-man show A Word or Two.

The Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards will be presented in Ottawa in early May.

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Press Release: Broadway beckons: Jesus Christ Superstar to open at the Neil Simon Theater on March 22, 2012

The Stratford Shakespeare Festival is thrilled to announce that its production of Jesus Christ Superstar, directed by Artistic Director Des McAnuff, will commence a Broadway run this spring.

The New York production of Jesus Christ Superstar will open at the Neil Simon Theatre on Thursday, March 22, 2012, with previews beginning Thursday, March 1.

Dodger Properties and the Really Useful Group will present the Stratford Shakespeare Festival production of Jesus Christ Superstar.

“I have wanted to do Jesus Christ Superstar for quite a long time,” says Artistic Director Des McAnuff. “I’m extremely pleased to be able to stage the piece with the company of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. I am even more pleased to be able to go with them back to La Jolla Playhouse, which I still consider an important home. We will all be very excited to go from there on to New York.”

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the Festival,” says General Director Antoni Cimolino. “Des’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar has delighted audiences here all season long. Now, as it heads for Broadway by way of La Jolla, it will raise our international profile and entice new audiences to come and experience more of our work in Stratford.”

The Festival’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar opened in Stratford on June 3 and will run through November 6. Following that, it will play La Jolla Playhouse from November 18 to December 31.

The Toronto Star called Jesus Christ Superstar “the best show you’ll see this year,” while The Globe and Mail said, “This production is an absolute miracle.”

“A sparkly production literally pulsing with life,” wrote the Toronto Sun; and Variety enthused, “McAnuff has managed to come up with a vision that is faithful to the original but manages to make it seem fresh to an audience in 2011.”

A number of Stratford productions have gone on to New York over the years, including 2002’s King Lear, with Christopher Plummer in the title role; 1998’s The Miser and Much Ado About Nothing; 1996’s Barrymore; 1994’s The Molière Comedies; 1983’s The Mikado; and 1956’s Tamburlaine the Great. The 2009 production of The Importance of Being Earnest, directed by and featuring Brian Bedford, inspired a Broadway run this year, as did the 1994 production of Timon of Athens, directed by Michael Langham with Mr. Bedford in the title role.

Press Release: Jesus Christ Superstar extended by one week

The Stratford Shakespeare Festival is delighted to announce the extension of its production of Jesus Christ Superstar, helmed by Artistic Director Des McAnuff. The Festival has added eight performances between November 1 and 6, extending the 2011 season by one week.
“It’s a testament to the work that we do and the talent we’ve assembled that this production has received such positive response,” says Mr. McAnuff. “And it’s extremely gratifying to have praise come from the highest quarters with lyricist Tim Rice and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber attending the show and offering their support. We’re very pleased to be able to give people additional opportunities to see this production at the end of our season.”
Jesus Christ Superstar has been thrilling audiences and critics since it first previewed in May,” says General Director Antoni Cimolino. “It’s been a tremendous success for the Festival this season, and the demand for tickets is so strong that we wanted to ensure that everyone gets a chance to see this truly remarkable piece of theatre.”
Immediately following the run the production will transfer to the La Jolla Playhouse in California, where it will play from November 18 – December 31.
Tickets will go on sale for the extension period to the General Public on Monday, July 25 at 9 a.m. Festival Members will have access to these tickets starting on Saturday, July 23 at 9 a.m. To order tickets, contact the Box Office at 1.800.567.1600 or visit http://www.stratfordshakespearefestival.com, where the new performances have been added to the online calendar.