2014 VPP season starts Tuesday


This article was submitted by Victoria Playhouse Petrolia

It’s shaping up to be another great summer season for theatre in

Southwestern Ontario. This year the spotlight will shine brilliantly on Victoria Playhouse Petrolia

(VPP). Co-Artistic Directors David Hogan and David Rogers, along with resident Musical

Director Mark Payne, will continue to bring Canada’s most talented performers to the Petrolia

stage. Co-Artistic Director David Hogan said, “There’s a buzz around Victoria Playhouse this

year, complemented by our best advanced ticket sales in over eight years, and Canada’s best

talent! You won’t want to miss a single minute.”

Promising a summer “bursting with laughter and song,” VPP kicks off the season with the

Canadian premiere of Church Basement Ladies, which has set a VPP box office record for preseason

ticket sales. Due to overwhelming interest, two additional performances have been

added to the run. The show will begin its run on May 20 through June 1. This hilarious musical

comedy, based on the best-seller Growing Up Lutheran, by Janet Letnes Martin and Suzann

Nelson, quickly became a hit south of the border. The musical, written by Jim Stowell and

Jessica Zuehlke with music/lyrics by Drew Jansen, celebrates the countless women who work

tirelessly in church kitchens. A cast of outstanding Canadian musical theatre performers

includes Barbara Barksky (seven time Dora Award Nominee), Gail Hakala (The Phantom of

the Opera), Rebecca McCauley (Godspell), Stephanie Roth (Stratford Festival) and favourite

funny man Mark Weatherley (The Odd Couple). This zany production will leave audiences

laughing and quoting lines from the production well into Thanksgiving.

Next up on the playbill is the hand-clapping, toe-tapping Fiddler on the Loose 2, starring fiddler

extraordinaire and VPP favourite, Jesse Grandmont. Running from June 10 through 29, this

show is a sequel to last year’s wildly popular Fiddler on the Loose. Grandmont will be

accompanied by the always popular Starbright Band and backed with new special guests

including Jenn Kee, Gerrad Everard, Leah Grandmont and Bret Trampleasure. The show is

guaranteed to raise the roof!

Featuring the best music from Eh to Zed, Canada Sings runs from July 8 through the 27. This

original production applauds the diversity and richness of Canadian music and promises to

leave audiences declaring to friends and family, “I didn’t know that song was Canadian!” The

youthful cast of 12 includes Londoner, Cassandra Hodgins, who first won Canadian hearts as

she competed, and placed in the top five, on the CBC television show Over the Rainbow. The

show boasts new and extraordinary talents who join Cassandra to bring audiences Canadian

favourites such as “Four Strong Winds”, “Songbird”, and “If You Could Read My Mind” in a

fresh new way. With over 100 Canadian songs represented in this Glee-like celebration, it is a

show not to be missed!

There will be much funny bone tickling in the production of The Nerd by acclaimed playwright

Larry Shue. This riotous comedy runs from August 12 to 24 and will have people wiping away

tears of laughter as they follow the journey of young architect who is paid a surprise visit from

the man who saved his life. Audience favourite, Michael Hogeveen, returns as “the nerd”

following his riotous performance in last season’s The Fox on the Fairway. His former co-star,

Kelli Fox (Stratford and Shaw Festivals), steps into the director’s chair. Michael DeRose,

Rachel Jones, Kevin Kruchkywich, Ashley Magwood, Mark Weatherley and Hunter

Burgess round out this all-star cast to bring you their unique brand of comedic timing in The


Elvis introduced the beat to everything—music, language, clothes—and VPP is excited to

celebrate the music and memories of The King in its original production of Everything Elvis,

running from September 2 through 13. Unlike other Elvis tributes, the cast will not impersonate

Elvis, instead, the performers will entertain audiences with their powerful voices, great

arrangements, and stellar harmonies honouring the legacy of his great music. Canadian

musical theatre powerhouse Michael Torontow, (Mamma Mia, Dirty Dancing) joins Alex

Baerg, Callandra Dendias, Aaron Tessis and Jennifer Walls for this world-class

review, presenting the songs of The King like they have never heard them before.

What better way to close out the season than with Broadway Heroes, starring Co-Artistic

Director David Rogers? Regarded as one of Canada’s most accomplished leading men,

Rogers brings his critically acclaimed show to VPP for the first time, from September 16 to

21. Paying tribute to songs from beloved musicals, such as The Phantom of the Opera, Les

Misérables, Camelot, Man of La Mancha and more, this journey through song, laughter and

romance is sure to leave audiences breathless as they dare to dream “The Impossible Dream”

and relive “The Music of the Night.”

This promises to be VPP’s best season ever, thanks to the great talent and a lineup of

outstanding shows. Subscription and group rates are available and tickets can be purchased

by calling the Victoria Playhouse Petrolia box office at 1-800-717-7694, or by

visiting www.thevpp.ca. Petrolia offers not only world-class theatre, but beautiful picnic areas,

restaurants and one-of-a-kind shops in a scenic, Victorian atmosphere. Come and spend the

day in this picturesque town and wonderful theatre.

The 2014 Season Sponsor of The Victoria Playhouse Petrolia is GoodLife Fitness