Rock of Ages (Nov. 6-11): On the Sunset Strip, infamous in the ’80s for hair metal bands like Twisted Sister and the ensuing debauchery, a girl gets caught up in the whirlwind of its most famous club, the Roxy.
Billy Elliot: The Musical (Mar. 19-24): During northeast England’s 1984 miners’ strike and riots, a boy from a blue-collar family bucks masculine expectations for a future in ballet.
A Few Good Men (Sept. 15-Oct. 7): Get it out of your system: “You can’t handle the truth!” Now, move swiftly into this fast-paced, politically-charged courtroom drama by Aaron Sorkin that’s so much more than an iconic Jack Nicholson line.
Next to Normal (Oct. 20-Nov. 11): No punches are pulled, just guitar strings, in this sometimes harsh and brutal rock musical about a family living with a bi-polar mother.
A Christmas Carol (Nov. 30-Dec. 23): The holidays don’t start until Tom Wood’s classic Dickens adaption does. Thirteen years strong, it never gets stale and always makes for a great introduction to theatre.
Private Lives (Feb. 2-24): Imagine being on your second honeymoon and finding out your ex is in the room next door. After a stormy three-year marriage, Elyot and Amanda thought they were finally rid of each other. But were they?
Blind Date (Feb. 13-24): Gentlemen, imagine going to a play for a few laughs but ending up on a date with the actor, getting married and having your first child together. Awkward, right? That’s the whole point of this improvised show by Rebecca Northan.
Ride the Cyclone (Feb. 22-Mar. 10): After six teens die in a rollercoaster accident, the lost possibilities of each life are explored in this provocative, sometimes hilarious and even heartfelt musical performed from the afterlife.
The Kite Runner (Mar. 9-31): In the Canadian debut of Khaled Hosseini’s novel-turned-movie-turned-play, production design by Turkish native Kerem Cetinel puts the page on stage with highly visual sets.
The Penelopiad (Mar. 30-Apr. 21): What did Odysseus’s wife do while she awaited his 20-year return? And what happened after he killed her suitors? Find out how Penelope fended off marauders and admirers when she tells her side (or, playwright Margaret Atwood’s) from Hades.
Spamalot (Apr. 20-May 19): Artistic director Bob Baker first saw Monty Python live in 1974, with a “bunch of stoned college kids,” and can still hear the audience roar when John Cleese came out with the parrot cage in hand. Let’s hope he gets the same response with his version of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
6.0 – How Heap and Pebble Took on the World and Won (Nov. 16-24): Global warming’s final thrust leaves the world iceless. Now, what are a couple of figure-skaters to do? Fearlessly try to resurrect the sport, of course.
Ride (Feb. 1-9): Ever wake up with a splitting headache, twisted stomach and a total stranger? This is about that, and how two people retrace their steps from a night of debauchery to now.
Dust (Apr. 5-13): After a passive male prison guard and aggressive female office worker, stationed in Iraq’s U.S.-controlled Abu Ghraib, begin an affair, symbols of a power struggle between them and the prisoners begin to surface.
An Accident (May 17-25): How would you feel if you made someone a quadriplegic? Playwright Lydia Stryk poses this question when she pits together the driver and victim in an emotionally charged drama that was well-received in San Fransisco, where it premiered.
Jack Goes Boating (Nov. 7-25): Watch one relationship beautifully blossom and another deteriorate. With a cast that’s half Edmontonian and half Calgarian, this co-production with Sage Theatre aims to keep the QE II open, artistically speaking, and give artists double the exposure.
Evie’s Waltz (Jan. 23-Feb. 10): Artistic director John Hudson tackles youth alienation in the Canadian premiere of this highly topical, controversial and suspenseful thriller about a school kid caught with a gun and his trigger-happy girlfriend going after his parents.
When That I Was (Mar. 6-24): If you’re impressed by an actor playing multiple roles, you’ll love seeing Christopher Hunt play all 20 characters, from Shakespeare’s bit players to the London puritans they must hide from following the Bard’s death.
Flight of the Viscount (May 1-19): After spending two years in David Belke’s mind, this period story, about the son of a noble who quits his vacation to come home to his father’s funeral and inheritance, is ready for its world premiere.
The Passion of Mary (Sept. 6-16): On death row, Mary, Queen of Scots, looks back on all her relationships with men, from her husbands to her sons, as she tries to rationalize her sins and prove she’s not a murderer.
Get Real (Nov. 24-May 18, selected days): Ever wanted to tell your story? Ever wanted it performed by professionals like Toby Berner and Chris Craddock? Completely improvised and hilarious, and often touching and existential, Get Real tells a different story from the audience each time.
Typhoon Judy (Oct. 11-28): Judy Garland’s infamous last years were better known for excessive drinking and flaring temper. She could have earned the nickname director Darrin Hagen and impersonator Christopher Peterson gave her (“Typhoon Judy”) when they imagined her “final performance,” from a hospital bed where she lies comatose.
With Bells On (Dec. 13-23): The newest holiday tradition by Darrin Hagen involves a seven-foot-tall “Glamazon” out to win the Christmas Queen holiday pageant and a freshly divorced, mild-mannered accountant ready for fun.
Free-man on the Land (Jan. 16-27): Confused and compelled by a philosophy against governance, playwright Steve Pirot honestly tries to decipher a life without law, while under the law.
Where the Blood Mixes (Feb. 14-Mar. 3): In this biting comedy, former Edmontonian and co-star of Corner Gas, Lorne Cardinal (profiled in Avenue’s July issue) is a residential school survivor during the salmon run, dealing with the harsh memories and hard truths that make up our nation’s history.
Let the Light of Day Through (Apr. 18-May 5): Following Dear Penthouse and Nighthawk Rules, another squeamishly dark comedy by Edmonton’s Collin Doyle emerges from this story about a couple’s perfect, double-income-no-kids life, but they must deal with a darker past.
The Weir (Oct. 17-27): No dirty politics here: Walterdale donors voted Conor McPherson’s spooky ghost story as its season opener, just in time for Halloween.
The Misanthrope (Dec. 5-15): Originally written in 17th Century France, the modern interpretation sees an English playwright becoming obsessed with an American film star, and the line between their classes being drawn with deception.
Summer and Smoke (Feb. 6-19): What is more important, the needs of the body or that of the soul? That’s the conversation between a minister’s daughter and an unsavoury doctor, who grew up together and fell in love against all odds.
Burning Vision (Apr. 10-20): Since first reading it five years ago, artistic director Sarah Van Tassel has wanted to direct the drama connecting Canadians to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Now she’s wrangled a cast large enough to pull it off.
From Cradle to Stage: An Evening of One-Acts (May 20-25): The annual mix of plays is the outcome of an open call to new playwrights who submitted one-acts to what’s become a predictor of local theatre talent.
Anything Goes (July 3-13): Director Barbara Mah just got off one boat — last year’s Titanic by another company — and hopped onto another: A Cole Porter musical about gangsters on a cruise ship.