By Cecilia Nasmith
As Northumberland Players launches its 2018-2019 season, it kicks off with three plays that are part of Cobourg's big Armistice 18 celebration.
Mary's Wedding, The Stars on Her Shoulders and Last Day, Last Hour: Canada's Great War on Trial are the group's contributions to a wide-ranging commemoration that is believed to be the largest celebration of the end of the First World War in the country. Other ways the occasion is being marked include a giant kick-off musical presentation, artwork, exhibitions and a speaker's series (a full line-up, along with ticket info, can be found at www.cobourgtourism.ca).
As for Northumberland Players, they will be offering the Stephen Massicotte play Mary's Wedding at the Firehall Theatre (213 Second St.) in 12 evening and matinee shows between Sept. 21 and Oct. 14, a story of love and survival set against the backdrop of a pivotal battle of the Great War. Tickets are $23,
Massicotte's play The Stars on Her Shoulders will be presented in a staged-play-reading format in the Victoria Hall Concert Hall (55 King St. W.), with five evening and matinee sessions between Oct. 18 and Nov. 10. The play deals with a group of the Nursing Sisters of the Canadian Army Medical Corps as they cope with the recent bombing of their own hospital and the effects of the physical and spiritual wounds they have suffered. Tickets are $17.50.
Hugh Brewster's Last Day, Last Hour winds up this particular series, a dramatization held in the Victoria Hall Concert Hall of an actual event that took place one floor down in the Old Bailey Courtroom – the libel suit brought by Sir Arthur Currie against the Port Hope newspaper that blamed him for high casualties on the last day of the war. There are 15 evening and matinee shows between Oct. 19 and Nov. 11 (offering the chance to make this part of your Remembrance Day observances). Tickets are $27.50,
This contribution to the Armistice 18 event does not mean a regular dramatic season will not be offered. This begins with Michelle Riml's Sexy Laundry, a dinner-theatre production between Oct. 19 and Nov. 4 at Cobourg's Best Western Coourg Inn and Convention Centre (930 Burnham St,). This production shares the struggle of a couple of a certain age to – shall we say – rekindle that spark, The $56 tickets include dinner.
An adaptation of Miracle On 34th Street is one of their two Yuletide productions, with evening and matinee shows between Nov. 30 and Dec. 16 at the Firehall Theatre. It's a great family outing with the opportunity to enjoy the beloved story from the classic motion picture of the same name. Tickets are $22.
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is a new dramatization of the C.S. Lewis classic which will be offered at the Victoria Hall Concert Hall. School performances will be available Dec. 12 through 14, with a public performance at 2 p.m. Dec. 15. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for youth,
Another dinner theatre runs from Jan, 18 through Feb. 3 at the Best Western, and it's another classic – Neil Simon's The Odd Couple. While the Players have done a female version of this story in the past, this particular production is the original male version. Tickets are $56 (including dinner).
The spring musical at Port Hope's Capitol Arts Centre (20 Queen St.) is The Drowsy Chaperone by Lisa Lambert, Don McKellar, Bob Martin and Greg Morrison. A young couple on the eve of their wedding could not imagine what's in store as other characters come into play, from a bumbling best man and a not-too-bright hostess to an intoxicated chaperone and pastry chefs who are not what they seem. Tickets are $30, and there are evening and matinee shows from Feb. 22 through March 3.
Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson is the true story of 19th-century astronomer Henrietta Leavitt. If you loved the movie Hidden Figures, this is a similar story that unfolded in another branch of the sciences. There are evening and matinee shows between March 22 and April 7 at the Firehall Theatre, and tickets are $22.
The third dinner theatre of the season is Ken Ludwig's A Fox On The Fairway. It's a tribute to the great English farces of the 1930s and '40s, and you don't have to be a golfer to enjoy the story of how far archrivals will go to win the big inter-club tournament. Tickets are $56 at the Best Western, and there are shows between April 26 and May 11.
The final show of the season is The Drowning Girls by Beth Graham, Charlie Tomlinson and Daniela Vlaskalic. There are three of the girls, with two things in common – the same husband and the way they died in the bath. The show is at the Firehall Theatre, with evening and matinee shows between May 24 and June 9. Tickets are $22.
Tickets are available at the Best Western for the dinner theatres (905-372-105), and at the Capitol for The Drowsy Chaperone (905-885-1071). Otherwise, you can purchase tickets at the Victoria Hall Concert Hall box office (905-372-2210).