The Dora-Award winning hootenanny Spoon River is headed Off-Broadway next year as part of a special theatre festival celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary.
The acclaimed production, playing at The Mack until August 20, will be included as part of a festival of new plays and musicals presented in New York, Off-Broadway at the Pershing Square Signature Center from June 29 to July 29, 2017. The festival is celebrating both Canada’s sesquicentennial and the 20th anniversary of Soulpepper Theatre Company.
Composed and adapted by P.E.I.’s own Mike Ross with Soulpepper Artistic Director Albert Schultz, Spoon River premiered in 2014, winning the Toronto Theatre Critic’s Choice and Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Best Director and Outstanding New Musical.
In association with The Charlottetown Festival, the musical was reimagined this summer for an 11-member ensemble within Confederation Centre’s intimate cabaret space, The Mack. This same version of the celebrated song-cycle will be presented in Toronto next year before making its New York premiere.
Based on Edgar Lee Masters’ seminal Spoon River Anthology, more than 50 townsfolk are brought to life by 11 performer/musicians in this immersive portrait of early 20th-century rural living, raising their voices in song to narrate their own epitaphs, telling of loves and hard-earned truths.
As is so often the case with popular and lasting literature, these stories celebrate the extraordinary that’s found in our everyday ordinary lives. To quote Richard Ouzounian of the Toronto Star, the musical is “so blindingly original that it’s hard to describe in terms of conventional song and dance…there is hope and despair, love and hate, passion and desperation.”
Spoon River plays Monday through Saturday at The Charlottetown Festival, and concludes its short run on Saturday, August 20.