By Alex Cook. The East.
Where would we be without Saint John’s Imperial Theatre? The theatre has been there longer than any of us can remember (in one form or another) and outshines any gem in Uptown Saint John #NoMoreFires2017. Fortunately, during an event this evening the theatre announced their 24th season, giving nobody any excuse to claim that there’s nothing to do in Saint John.
“I think we’ve found a great balance between old favourites and new adventures, with something for all tastes and all ages,” says Lee Bolton, Executive Director for the Imperial Theatre.
“Season 24 has a couple of big ‘wins’ for the Imperial – the only Canadian stop for the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players’ ‘HMS Pinafore’and the only New Brunswick presentation of ‘Empire of the Son.’ Canada 150 has made it possible for us to do some really different things – from the free summer performance of ‘The Dreamcatchers’ to a double bill of Digging Roots/William Prince to a flashback to the WW1 Performance troupe, The Dumbells. We’re also bringing the world to Saint John, with the spectacular ‘Passage to Bollywood’ and Scotland’s high-energy band ‘Breabach.’”
Here’s the completely line-up for the season that includes everything from the classic H.M.S Pinafore (their only Canadian tour stop) all the way to Kevin Smith. Check out those retro films!
New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players: H.M.S. Pinafore
H.M.S. Pinafore, or The Lass That Loved a Sailor marks the start of the Gilbert & Sullivan collaboration’s hit parade and the beginning of musical theatre as we know it. This is the show that brought us “Little Buttercup” and “A British Tar.” NYGASP has been performing G&S professionally across the U.S. for over forty years, and the Imperial Theatre is thrilled to host its first performance in Atlantic Canada.
Sister’s Back to School Catechism: The Holy Ghost and Other Terrifying Tales
Late Nite Catechism: She’s back! Having given Saint John a few years to sit quietly and think about our sins, Sister returns to share some terrifying (and hilarious) tales. Full of Sister’s signature class participation, you may even get experience in creating a Catholic-appropriate Halloween costume. *Mature Content
Girls Nite Out
All kinds of fun with an all-star, all-female comedy variety show. A hilarious mix of stand-up, sketch and improv with performers from Second City, CBC, Just for Laughs, NBC and The Comedy Network. Featuring Gemini and Canadian Comedy Award winner Elvira Kurt. *Mature Content
Kaha:wi Dance Theatre: Re-Quickening
It’s time to re-awaken the giant within. This work incites a tough dialogue on Indigenous women’s issues, fueled by reconstructing feminine power. Does reconciliation mean the same thing to everyone? Kaha:wi Dance Theatre returns to Imperial Theatre for the third time with another powerful piece of contemporary Indigenous dance theatre. * Mature Content
Connection Dance Works & Darryl Tracy: with far arms & All the Patsys
A year ago, Imperial Theatre was proud to host a development residency for local dance company, Connection Dance Works. We’re now thrilled to present the premier of that piece, with far arms. with far arms is a mysterious and dynamic quartet set to an original score by Andrew Reed Miller. The choreographer of that piece, Darryl Tracy, will complete the evening’s program with his highly physical and theatrical solo work, All the Patsys.
Toronto Dance Theatre: House Mix
In its 50th Anniversary season, TDT showcases Christopher House’s unique contribution to Canadian dance with a mixed program of masterworks from his career. This program ranges from the kinetic classic Vena Cava (1999), to contemporary creations like Echo Dark 1 (2015) and Martingales (2016).
DuffleBag Theatre: Beauty & the Beast
A beloved family tradition, Dufflebag Theatre is back to brighten the holiday season with their interactive version of Beauty and the Beast. A delight for the whole family, and you might even be the star!
Theatregroep Kwatta: Manxmouse
Based on the beloved children’s book, Manxmouse, the Mouse Who Knew No Fear by Paul Gallico. Imagine that you were a Manx mouse. A mouse without a tail, with huge ears and you are blue! Who will eat you? Who will chase you? You are meant for the Manx cat. The adventures of a brave little mouse performed by one of the world’s leading theatre groups, coming to us from the Netherlands.
Flip Barbeque: Attrape Moi (Catch Me)
A trip to the cottage has never been quite like this! These six acrobatic friends will dazzle you with their high-flying feats, their circus prowess, and their humour. Imperial Theatre scours the country for the finest of contemporary cirque, and we’re thrilled with this year’s offering.
Dulcinea Langfinger & Cie: Victoria
Our heroine Victoria has lost her memory, her pussycat, and control over her life and her bladder. She has not lost her dreams. So her wheelchair becomes a rocking chair, a tango partner, a flying chariot. Full of sweetness and comedy, this dance piece returns to Imperial Theatre after 17 years.
Call Mr. Robeson: A life, with songs
Written and Performed by Tayo Aluko. Directed by Olusola Oyeleye, Designed by Phil Newman. A rollercoaster journey through African-American actor and singer Paul Robeson’s remarkable life, highlighting his pioneering and heroic political activism. Features Ol’ Man River and other famous songs, much fiery oratory, and a defiant testimony to the House Un-American Activities Committee.
Ivan Coyote: A Tomboy Survival Guide
Author of 11 books, spoken word artist, activist and educator, Ivan Coyote is a force to be reckoned with. Their performance features stories about gender, identity, coming out and coming of age, with a rocking’ band and letters from fans. For anyone who ever felt like life just didn’t fit. *Mature Content
Evans & Doherty
East Coast music stalwarts Kevin Evans and Brian Doherty have spent the last four decades wowing audiences around the world. From traditional Irish tunes to sea shanties to original songs, these two Saint John favourites deliver a guaranteed toe-tapping, singing-along, good time.
The Barra MacNeils’ Christmas
What could make a Maritime Christmas better than an evening with Cape Breton’s own Barra MacNeils? Share stories and laughter, and of course the songs that make this season bright.
After more than 25 years performing with her siblings, Heather Rankin stepped into the solo spotlight with her record, “A Fine Line,” earning a 2017 Juno nomination for Adult Contemporary Album. In concert, Heather and her band will share an eclectic mix of original songs, sometimes surprising covers, and familiar favourites.
Soldiers of Song: A Tribute to the Dumbells
Canadian history can be fun! Find out with this evening of theatre, music, and storytelling based on the original works of the Dumbells, a Canadian concert party that entertained the troops on the front line in World War I. The Dumbells founded a tradition of music and comedy that runs from Spring Thaw to the Royal Canadian Air Farce to This Hour Has 22 Minutes.
Oh, Canada, We Sing for Thee!
Created by Leisa Way, Starring Leisa Way & The Wayward Wind Band. Fred Smith, Bobby Prochaska & Nathan Smith, Bruce Ley & Sam Cino. Take a journey across our country with a cavalcade of non-stop hits by Canada’s biggest stars: Celine Dion, Paul Anka, Joni Mitchell, BTO, Shania Twain and MORE!
Nomad by Dr. Susan Aglukark, O.C.
Susan Aglukark is one of Canada’s most-honoured artists. An Inuk from Arviat, Nunavut, Susan has been walking in a tension between two worlds, a defining note in her outstanding career. Share an evening of stories with this remarkable woman, as she candidly talks about her culture, her career, her personal journey and of course, her music.
The Northern Pikes
This is classic Canadian rock music at it’s best: honest, straight forward and about love & life. You know the songs: Kiss me You Fool, She Ain’t Pretty, Girl with a Problem and lots more. Catch the band as they tour through SJ on their 33rd Anniversary Tour.
Classic Albums Live: Rush: 2112
Classic Albums Live brings us THE definitive Rush album, 2112. This famous 1976 album, listed in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die will be played in CAL’s usual, true-rock style – Note for note / Cut for cut. Great Canadian rock played live by great Canadian musicians.
Billy McGuigan’s Rock Show
Part rock concert….part rock tribute….all rock n’ roll. Billy McGuigan’s Rock Show combines these elements to create a high-energy show featuring the greatest music ever made from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s! “An iconic and innovative performer on stage” – Chicago Sun Times
Classic Albums Live: Supertramp: Breakfast in America
1 of the top 5 best selling albums of all time. 2 Grammys. 4 U.S. Billboard hit singles. 6 Weeks #1 on Billboard Top Albums Chart. Played, note for note / cut for cut by Classic Albums Live. 1 Night not to be missed at Imperial Theatre.
Claire Lynch Band
Linda Ronstadt calls Claire Lynch’s voice “beautiful and effervescent” and Emmylou Harris says its, “the voice of an angel.” With six International Bluegrass Music Association Awards, 25 years of touring and 15 albums (including her latest, “North by South”, featuring Canadian songwriters), Claire Lynch delivers a concert to remember.
Bill & Joel Plaskett
Multiple Juno award winner and Imperial Theatre favourite, Joel Plaskett shares the stage with his dad Bill for a sweet blend of different experiences and voices, united by family and the love of music. Their recent album, “Solidarity” welds Bill’s traditional folk leanings with Joel’s rock history, creating a unique journey in song.
Digging Roots & William Prince
Husband and wife team Raven Kanatakta and ShoShona Kish bring sweet harmonies and melodic accompaniments to their eclectic tapestry of roots and blues. Digging Roots’ music intertwines images of struggle and survival with sweet romance and bursting joy.
William Prince is storytelling singer/ songwriter from Peguis First Nation who sidesteps clichés to provoke thought and facilitate discovery. His baritone vocals pay tribute to his late father and his genuine delivery acknowledges the hundreds of hours he’s spent on stage.
Secret Theatre: Landline
Friday – Sunday Sept. 15-17-17
Created by Dustin, Harvey & Adrienne Wong. Unlike anything we’ve ever done before, LANDLINE is a performance that takes place in two cities at once. Starting at the Imperial, each audience member listens to an audio guide and walks the city streets while conversing via instant messaging with a partner who is doing the same in another country (To be Announced!). Discover a new relationship with your town and with a distant stranger. Requirements: a ticket + headphones + Smartphone with data
Empire of the Son
Written & Performed by Tetsuro Shigematsu, Directed by Richard Wolfe Produced by Donna YamamotoA Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre Production. Actor/comedian/radio broadcaster Tetsuro Shigematsu has toured his acclaimed multi-media show across Canada. Separated by language, history and culture, Shigematsu and his father are still more similar than they might admit. A funny, emotional, magical tale of exceptional family life.
Theatre New Brunswick: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Adapted by Thomas Morgan Jones. For its annual Christmas visit, TNB brings us Dickens’ beloved seasonal ghost story in a new adaptation by Artistic Director Thomas Morgan Jones. Staying faithful to the original, Jones offers a theatrically innovative retelling that balances deliciously between spine-chilling and heart-warming. (May not be suitable for younger children.)
PostSecret: The Show
Created by Frank Warren, TJ Dawe, Kahlil Ashanti, Justin Sudds; Directed by TJ Dawe; Music Composed by Mario Vaira. Projected images, videos, three actors and a guitarist guide the audience through crowd-sourced narratives revealing the true stories behind the secrets we rarely share. See what brought millions to the PostSecret blog and became six best-selling books and a Smithsonian exhibit. Created by PostSecret originator and Internet phenomenon Frank Warren with an award-winning team of theatre professionals. *Mature Content
WOMEN & SONG
Emilie-Claire Barlow: Lumières d’hiver / Winter Lights
Two-time Juno Award winning jazz vocalist Emilie-Claire Barlow celebrates the season with songs from her newest recording “Lumières d’hiver – Winter Lights.” An engaging performer and imaginative arranger, Barlow and her incredible band will bring to the stage fresh interpretations of your holiday favourites and classics from her popular repertoire (The Beat Goes On, Clear Day, Seule ce Soir) and of course, Winter Wonderland.
Patricia Cano: Cabaret Cree
The irresistible Patricia Cano interprets songs – in English, French, Cree and Spanish – by one of our country’s most famous playwrights, Tomson Highway. Experience a Brazilian samba with Cree lyrics, a hot and memorable tango number in English, a French language bossa nova, powerful and elegant ballads that evoke Broadway-era Kurt Weill, and much more! Accompanied by the exceptional Ian Cusson on piano and the mighty fine Marcus Ali on sax, Cano brings to life the worlds of Highway’s plays.
A huge hit for the last two seasons. Imperial’s Mystery Concert returns with another completely different group. Pay $20. If you decide in the first 20 minutes that this show isn’t for you, get your $20 cheerfully refunded. Take a chance!
Old Man Luedecke & Breabach
From around the corner and around the world, music that celebrates roots and sprouts wings. Nova Scotia boy and Saint John favourite Old Man Luedecke is the real thing, a modern-day people’s poet, traveling bard and balladeer.
Scottish five-piece Breabach deliver a thrilling and unique brand of contemporary folk music that has earned them international recognition on the world and roots music scene as one of the UK’s most dynamic and exciting bands.
Navdhara India Dance Theatre: A Passage to Bollywood by Ashley Lobo
A vibrant stage musical with foot tapping music, colourful costumes and a gripping plot that keeps you at the edge of your seat. Experience drama, action, romance, and dance just like a typical Bollywood film. Wherever you’re from, everyone speaks the language of passion and music.
Lemon Bucket Orkestra
Canada’s own Balkan-gypsy-klezmer-punk-party superband is BACK! You don’t “see” a Lemon Bucket performance, you experience it – ask anyone who was here with them in 2015. A high-energy dance party is coming our way. If you missed them last time, don’t let it happen again!
Theatre New Brunswick: A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens. Adapted by Thomas Morgan Jones. For its annual Christmas visit, TNB brings us Dickens’ beloved seasonal ghost story in a new adaptation by Artistic Director Thomas Morgan Jones. Staying faithful to the original, Jones offers a theatrically innovative retelling that balances deliciously between spinechilling and heart-warming. (May not be suitable for younger children.)
Marina Nemat & Motus O Dance Theatre: Prisoner of Tehran
In 1982, at the age of sixteen, Marina Nemat was arrested and spent more than two years in Iran’s notorious Evin prison. Decades later, she published the account of her imprisonment and escape to Canada, speaking for all those who could not. Motus O Dance Theatre and Ms. Nemat have created a moving, surprisingly funny and intensely invigorating piece of theatre that allows her to tell her story to audiences in schools, universities and theatres across Canada. GRADES: 9 TO 12
Theatergroep Kwatta: Manxmouse
Based on the beloved children’s book, Manxmouse, the Mouse Who Knew No Fear by Paul Gallico. Imagine that you were a Manx mouse. A mouse without a tail, with huge ears and you are blue! Who will eat you? Who will chase you? You are meant for the Manx cat. The adventures of a brave little mouse performed by one of the world’s leading theatre groups, coming to us from the Netherlands. GRADES: K to 5
Kevin Smith Double Bill: Clerks/Chasing Amy
Area 506 FILM VIEWERS CHOICE
Mutiny on the Bounty
Stand By Me
Halloween DOUBLE BILL: Nosferatu 1922/The Thing
Nosferatu is a Co-Presentation with Symphony NB and Open Arts. Will include musical accompaniment with an 8-10 piece orchestra. After a short intermission we will show John Carpenter’s the Thing
Miracle on 34th Street
The Color Purple
E.T. – March Break Movie
Jesus Christ Superstar
Thelma & Louise