Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Summer Tours Head to Canada's Shaw and Stratford Theater Fests

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Summer Tours Head to Canada's Shaw and Stratford Theater Fests

Article excerpt

For the 36th summer, the Post-Gazette will sponsor two Critic's Choice motor coach trips to the Shaw and Stratford theater festivals - offering a rich mix of comedy, tragedy, musicals and drama. For the first time, details of the two trips are being announced simultaneously.

July 16-20: Shaw and Stratford

This first trip includes two days and three plays at each festival, plus an optional extra play. The first two days are based at the Pillar & Post in the picturesque town of Niagara-on-the-Lake and the next two at the Arden Park Hotel in the larger town of Stratford. Included are a welcoming dinner, picnic lunch and post-show get-together over drinks, with discussions along the way led by the tour's longtime leader, senior theater critic Chris Rawson.

Shaw Festival shows included are:

* "Sex," a comic melodrama by Mae West, otherwise known as "the play that put Mae West in prison" - and also helped make her famous.

* "Rope," a 1920s murder mystery based on Leopold and Loeb and filmed by Alfred Hitchcock.

* "The Glass Menagerie," Tennessee Williams' nostalgic classic.

Stratford Festival shows include two seldom-done plays by Shakespeare:

* "The Merry Wives of Windsor," a comedy centered on the antics of the fat and foolish Sir John Falstaff.

* "Nathan the Wise," ?Gotthold Ephraim Lessing's famous parable about the common humanity of Christian, Muslim and Jew.

* "Henry VIII," Shakespeare's colorful pageant about the king and his first two wives.

* (Optional extra) "Billy Elliot the Musical," the story of the kid in a hardscrabble mining town who just wants to dance, with music by Elton John.

The tour price is $1,782 per person, based on double occupancy. The single supplement is $376. (To sign up, see below.)

Sept. 10-13: Shaw Festival

The second trip goes to the Shaw Festival alone for three days at the Prince of Wales Hotel. …

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