Citadel’s 49th Season Promises to Push Some Boundaries

There’s a lot to be excited about the Citadel Theatre’s 49th season, kicking off in September this year. After attending the Citadel’s season launch and researching the shows that will be part of the season, it’s clear that the Citadel is continuing its effort to branch out and develop audiences, which perhaps might push the boundaries of their “typical” audience member or season subscriber. Bravo to the Citadel for programming what looks to be an excellent – and highly relevant – season!

Kim’s Convenience – the story of a Korean-Canadian family who operates a convenience store in a neighborhood that is being gentrified is the first show of the season. Mr. Kim receives a very generous offer for his convenience store from a company that is moving into the neighborhood, and the story that unfolds tells a story of familial love and the experience of a first generation Canadian family. Check out this preview from Soulpepper Theatre Company:

In October Ronnie Burkett’s The Daisy Theatre will return to The Club at the Citadel to shock and amuse audiences for another three week run.

The Citadel’s October/November Main Stage show will be One Man, Two Guvnors – a slapstick comedy based on the 1743 play Servant of Two Masters where a man is working for leaders of two different criminal organizations. An international hit that’s been produced internationally since 2011, the show is localized with audience participation and – best of all – local ukulele cover band The Be Arthurs will be playing on stage before and during the show as well as throughout intermission.

In December, of course, the Christmas classic, A Christmas Carol returns to the Citadel for a 15th season.

2015 will start with the two main stage shows I’m most excited about in the 2014/2015 season: Venus in Fur (January/February) and Vigilante (March). Venus in Fur will be directed by James MacDonald (who most recently directed Clybourne Park at the Citadel) and explores the relationship between men and women at work, specifically in the performance industry. A month after Venus in Fur closes, Vigilante – the latest work from Catalyst Theatre – will be presented in partnership with the Citadel. Vigilante tells the story of the Black Donnellys, an Irish family the immigrated to Canada and was eventually massacred – a case that was never solved. I’m sure everyone who’s seen any of Catalyst’s previous work will join me in being excited to see another Catalyst show at the Citadel!

One of the shows that intrigues me the most about being added to the Citadel’s 2014/2015 season is Playing with Fire: The Theo Fleury Story (January/February). A play about an NHL hockey player… what?! It will be really interesting to see who comes out to see the show and if it contributes to developing new audiences at the Citadel. I’m not really a hockey fan (much to the disappointment of my partner), but I must say the preview the Citadel showed at the season launch intrigued me.

Attendees of the Citadel’s season launch were also treated to a sneak preview of a “Canadian theatre/concert hybrid” coming to The Club in February called Life Death and The Blues. The performance explores the blues as an art form and social commentary as performed by Raoul Bhaneja and Divine Brown with accompaniment from various blues musicians from across Canada.

The Citadel/Banff Centre Professional Theatre Program’s production in March and April 2015 will be Arcadia – a play that spans 200 years in the same house and explores the idea of truth across the eras. The set and props are not changed as the setting changes back and forth between 1809 and 1993, so I am especially excited for how the set and props designer will work together to create a set that works in both eras and dress it with props that show the blending of past and present.

Finally, the Citadel will close its main stage series with Avenue Q. Having heard about Avenue Q during its last appearance in Edmonton in 2012 from the company Two One-Way Tickets to Broadway, I was pleasantly surprised that the Citadel included Avenue Q in its upcoming season. A musical that’s as funny as it is blunt and timely, Avenue Q draws inspiration from the world of Sesame Street while exploring topics of racism, homophobia and pornography.

More information about Citadel Theatre’s 2014/2015 season can be found on their website.

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