Crazy For You anchors new Gateway Theatre season

Jovanni Sy, artistic director of Gateway Theatre, has selected six new plays for next season, including a December musical
Jovanni Sy, artistic director of Gateway Theatre, has selected six new plays for next season, including a December musical 'Crazy For You.'
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Gateway Theatre has taken the wraps off the 2014-2015 season, a milestone for the venerable Minoru Park playhouse that will mark 30 years of theatre this fall.

In keeping with tradition, artistic director Jovanni Sy has chosen four plays for the MainStage and another two for the smaller space of Studio B.

This year’s Christmas musical, as the December MainStage show is known, is the modern-era Gershwin musical Crazy For You. Written by Ken Ludwig and first produced on Broadway in 1992, the show is based on Ira and George Gershwin’s 1930s musical Girl Crazy, but also includes songs from other productions. The story is about bachelor Bobby Child. After his mother forces him to foreclose on a theatre, Bobby puts on a play to pay the mortgage.

Barbara Tomasic, who starred with Sy in last December’s musical The King and I, will direct the show, scheduled for Dec. 4 to 31. In an online video accompanying Tuesday’s announcement, Tomasic said she’s been listening to the show’s music since she was a kid.

“It’s been playing in our car since I was a child. I love the music. I absolutely love Gershwin, and I love the treatment of the music in this show. It has so much energy, and you hear the story in the music.”

In choosing the play, Sy said he loved how smart and funny the script is.

“It feels like it was written in the ‘30s even though it was written by Ken Ludwig, who did Lend Me a Tenor. It’s got all the kind of zany mad-cap kind of writing that you’d get back in the ‘30s.”

•Conversations With My Mother: A comedy by Stacey Kaser and Alison Kelly hits the MainStage Oct. 9 to 25. The play is a graduate of Gateway’s SceneFirst play development program. After keeling over in her garden, family matriarch Hyacinth still roams the earth, despite the fact that she is very much dead. And while Hyacinth tries to give up her ghost, her grown daughters struggle with their own midlife crises.

•How To Disappear Completely: In association with the Chop Theatre, Gateway opens Studio B Nov. 13 to 22. The show, about a gregarious raconteur who returns to Israel after his mother is diagnosed with terminal cancer, is described as part documentary, part memorial and all heart.

•Valley Song: Athol Fugard’s play comes to the MainStage Feb. 5 to 21. In post-apartheid South Africa, in a valley where properties are still owned exclusively by white people, a 76-year-old continues to work the land he will never own.

•Miss Caledonia: Melody A. Johnson’s play illuminates Studio B March 5 to 14. It’s 1955 in rural Ontario and Peggy Ann Douglas is hitching her wagon to the pageant circuit in the hope it’ll steer her to the bright lights of a Hollywood movie set.

•Rodgers and Hammerstein: Out of a Dream. A new Rodgers and Hammerstein musical revue takes over the MainStage April 9 to 25. Creatively curating the classics are musical theatre prodigies at Patrick Street Productions—delivering the best singing from Vancouver’s brightest stars.

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