Come see The Matchmaker – BOGO for $1!

The patron reviews are in, and it’s all great news for The Matchmaker!  Here’s what you had to say about this hilarious star-studded rom-com.

“Saw The Matchmaker on Saturday night. It was hilarious!!!! What an enjoyable show & much deserving of the standing ovation. Thank you 🙂 :)”

The Matchmaker was fantastic!! A must see for sure.”

“One laugh after another. Excellent!”

“Hilarious!!”

“Brilliantly funny – what a tonic to watch!”

“I went to see The Matchmaker and loved..loved..loved it!!! Still having giggle fits and humming the song.”

“Run, don’t wait to see #ssfMatchmaker @stratfest! It’s a HIT not to be missed!”

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

With reviews like this, tickets aren’t going to last long! Get yours while you still can!

View more photos from The Matchmaker here!

From today until Monday, May 28, at 11:59 p.m., buy one regular adult ticket to The Matchmaker and get your second for $1!* This limited-time offer is only available online for the following performances:

  • June 1, 2012, 8:00 p.m.
  • June 7, 2012, 8:00 p.m.
  • June 9, 2012, 8:00 p.m.
  • June 15, 2012, 8:00 p.m.

Remember to log into our website with promotion code 43854!

We’ll see you at the theatre!

Psssst, we’re giving away a pair of tickets to The Matchmaker on the last Wednesday of every month! Find out how you could win at our online “dating site” www.dolly-levi.com. (You might even find your perfect match!)

*Offer is only valid online and excludes A+ seating. $1 ticket available with the purchase of one regular adult ticket until May, 28, 2012, at 11:59 p.m. Offer is not available in conjunction with any other offer, including TiXX, MMP/SSP, Play On and Family Experience. Subject to applicable taxes and handling fees. Offer may expire without notice.

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Celebrate May 2-4 all month long with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival!

by Lisa Middleton

The warm weather is here and so is our 60th season! The long weekend is never quite long enough, so we want to help you get a head start on celebrating Victoria Day (and even extend it a little bit). We’re offering you $24 tickets to all May performances of The Matchmaker – and because we like you, we’re throwing in the June 1 performance as well!

What makes this offer extra special? You can book any seat in the house, from the front of the orchestra to the back of the balcony!  But don’t wait— this great offer is only available from 2 p.m. today until 4 p.m. tomorrow!

Here’s a bit more about The Matchmaker:
With his eye ever fixed on the bottom line, wealthy merchant Horace Vandergelder can’t see the value of love – even as he searches for a wife. His matchmaker, Dolly Levi, however, is making her own plans for him, while his clerks pursue their hearts’ desires in the big city.

Some things you might not know about this show:

  • If the plot of The Matchmaker sounds familiar, you’ve probably seen the musical inspired by this loveable comedy – Hello, Dolly! (maybe when it played at the Festival in 2005).
  • Playwright Thornton Wilder developed The Matchmaker in Stratford – and when he needed a break from working on the play, he spent his time helping out in the prop shop!
  • If you enjoyed Seana McKenna and Tom McCamus’ chemistry in the 2010 production of Dangerous Liaisons, you’ll be thrilled to see this superstar pair together again in the leading roles of Dolly Levi and Horace Vandergelder.
  • The designer, Santo Loquasto, has long been creating for the Festival stage – and his set and costume designs for The Matchmaker are exquisite.  If you’ve seen Dangerous Liaisons (2010), Cyrano de Bergerac (2009) or Oliver! (2006) – to name just a few productions – you’ve probably admired Mr. Loquasto’s work.

Are you ready to enjoy The Matchmaker? Log into our website with promotion code 43618 to purchase your tickets, then kick back and get ready to celebrate the long weekend all month long!

p.s. Tickets to The Matchmaker make a great Mother’s Day gift. Order yours just in time to celebrate Mom this Sunday!

*Offer may expire without notice. Taxes and service charges extra. Some conditions apply. Only available online.

Get ready for the 2012 season!

By Christi Rutledge

Well, we officially wrapped up the 2011 season last weekend with the closing of Jesus Christ Superstar at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. It has been an absolutely fabulous season – and as sad as I am to see it close, I can’t help but get excited about 2012! We have a spectacular line-up to celebrate our 60th season of world-class theatre. Take a tour with me as we explore what’s being offered on our five (!) stages next year.

The Festival Theatre will host four productions: Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, 42nd Street and The Matchmaker. Henry V will return to the Festival stage for the first time in 11 years. Directed by Des McAnuff, this production will no doubt be spectacular and have lots to say about war, leadership and friendship. Expect to see a familiar face on stage as Aaron Krohn, who played Lenny in The Homecoming this year, takes on the title role. Mr. Krohn is joining the ranks of some luminous actors – the part of Henry V was first performed at the Festival by a man named Christopher Plummer.

Much Ado About Nothing is high comedy perfection – and with a cast featuring Ben Carlson and Deborah Hay as Benedick and Beatrice, it will be impossible for anyone to resist this performance. Expect to see a Brazilian flare to this witty comedy directed by Christopher Newton, former Artistic Director of the Shaw Festival.

The Festival is also extremely excited to welcome back Cynthia Dale, who will play Dorothy Brock in Gary Griffin’s production of 42nd Street. This smash Broadway hit tells the classic story of a small town girl moving to the big city to make a name for herself. And it’s full of sensational tap dancing!

And last, but certainly not least, the Festival stage will feature The Matchmaker– Thornton Wilder’s story of a wealthy merchant named Horace Vandergelder (played by Tom McCamus) who searches for a wife with the help of his matchmaker, Dolly Levi (Seana McKenna). This production will be directed by Chris Abraham, who brought you The Little Years (2011) and For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again (2010).

Over at the Avon Theatre, the greatly anticipated return of Gilbert and Sullivan has finally come with Ethan McSweeny’s staging of The Pirates of Penzance. The theatre will also house a one-hander called A Word or Two, written and performed by the legendary Christopher Plummer and directed by Des McAnuff. And there will be a production that appeals to the child in everyone – You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

It is always exciting for us at the theatre and for our patrons when we get to put on a show as magical as Pirates. It’s one of the first plays that my brother saw as a child here at the Festival, and I remember him coming home from his school trip in 1994 and telling me how fascinated he was by it. Filled with wit and with cherished musical numbers, this is a great play for children and adults alike.

A Word or Two will no doubt be difficult to get tickets to, so the sooner you order yours, the better. You won’t want to miss seeing Mr. Plummer back on our stage to offer an intimate look at his life-long love of literature. And Donna Feore’s production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown – presented for the first time at the Festival thanks to Schulich Children’s Plays – will be another heart-warming show to bring the family to. For all the baby-boomers out there, it also offers a chance to revisit a beloved childhood icon.

My favourite theatre, the Tom Patterson, will feature three productions next year: Cymbeline, Wanderlust and Elektra. I am particularly excited for this set of shows!

Cymbeline will be directed by Antoni Cimolino. After falling in love with The Grapes of Wrath this season, I can hardly wait to see how he interprets this fantastic Shakespearean romance.

Another show to get excited about is Wanderlust, a new Canadian musical by Morris Panych and Marek Norman. Wanderlust is a fictional story about the adventures of Robert Service, the great Bard of theYukon, as he grapples with his love for his co-worker Louise, who is engaged to a forbidding man. With songs based on Service’s poetry and Tom Rooney playing the lead (as well as Lucy Peacock playing his landlady, Mrs. Munsch!), this piece had me at “hello.”

Lastly, let’s take a look at Elektra – a play that should be on everyone’s must-see list for the 2012 season. This classic Greek tragedy will be led by the fabulous Yanna McIntosh in the title role, along with Seana McKenna as Clytemestra. Athenian director Thomas Moschopoulos will be making his Festival debut with this production; you may know him as the artist behind the Olympic closing ceremony in Athens in 2004.

The Studio Theatre is home to three productions in our 60th season: MacHomer, The Best Brothers and Hirsch. Rick Millers’ MacHomer, directed by Sean Lynch, reimagines Shakespeare’s Macbeth through the voices of more than fifty characters from The Simpsons. If you’re dying to see this hilarious production, make sure to book tickets soon – it’s only running through the month of May!

Daniel MacIvor’s The Best Brothers is another new Canadian play that we’re excited to feature in its world première. Associate Artistic Director Dean Gabourie helms this two-man show, in which Mr. MacIvor will star. It’s about two brothers, Hamilton and Kyle Best. Upon the unexpected death of their mother, Hamilton and Kyle mourn in very different ways, leading them to some profound realizations about each other and the woman who raised them.

The last play that we’ll be showing on the Studio stage is Hirsch, a play chronicling the life of John Hirsch, former Artistic Director of the Festival. Mr. Hirsch was orphaned at a young age by the Holocaust, but survived and eventually moved to Canada, where his fierce talent and stormy temperament won him acclaim in the theatre. It’s a gripping play, created and conceived by two celebrated Canadian theatre makers: Alon Nashman and Paul Thompson.

One final production, I promise, and then I’m done!

Next year we will be hosting special guest ensemble VideoCabaret in a brand new theatre space. The Studio Theatre Annex will be accessible through the Studio Theatre and will feature The War of 1812, a satirical examination of Canada’s past from Michael Hollingsworth’s series The History of the Village of the Small Huts.

PHEW – I got through them all! I am so excited to share more about our 2012 productions and hope that you find a great selection of shows to come see during our 60th season.

Any shows that you’re already looking forward to? Share your thoughts on our 2012 season!