Only about two hours away from Toronto, madness is infiltrating the town of Stratford, Ontario—but fortunately, it’s the kind that produces delightful results. Stratford Festival artistic director Antoni Cimolino has designed this year’s season around the theme “Madness: Minds Pushed to the Edge,” and explores it through everything from jukebox musicals to Shakespearean tragedies. And with the festival’s increasingly popular twice-daily bus service to and from downtown (in its second year), it’s easy to get a taste of what the mania is all about. Here’s Torontoist‘s take on a sampling of this year’s festival offerings—Ira Glass and his opinions notwithstanding, a whole lot of people would welcome a chance to spend some time with the Bard and some of Canada’s most esteemed artists.
These days, vacationers flock to Australia for the outback, the Great Barrier Reef, and, of course, kangaroos. But back in 1788, the only people travelling Down Under were the thieves, murderers, and prostitutes exiled from Britain. Our Country’s Good tells the story of some eager convicts who decide to make the best of their situation by putting on a play, unintentionally humanizing themselves in the eyes of their captors.
To the delight of those who fell victim to ticketing website crashes last year, The Book of Mormon is back! The brainchild of South Park‘s Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and Avenue Q co-creator Robert Lopez, this expectedly crude musical follows two 19-year-old Mormons as they travel to Uganda in hopes of converting the inhabitants of a small village. As one might imagine, hilarity ensues (with the help of some pretty catchy songs).
It’s 1968 and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. takes solace in his room at the Lorraine Motel as a storm rages outside. Exhausted, having just delivered his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech, he orders room service. The Mountaintop gives a sneak peek into the mind of this iconic leader as he launches into an intimate conversation with the young and mysterious maid that arrives with his meal.