Friday, September 2, 2011

News: (Niagara-on-the-Lake) Shaw Festival releases mid-season assessment

Deborah Hay as Eliza Doolittle and Mark Uhre as Freddy Eynsford-Hill in My Fair Lady. Photo by Emily Cooper.

Despite some troubles reported by the Toronto Star, The Shaw Festival has released information that suggests they are having an excellent season, notably that their production of My Fair Lady, by itself, will have sold 90,000 tickets by the end of the season.

Press release:

Shaw Festival 50th season has much to celebrate including extensions of two productions

Media Release #28

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, August 30, 2011… The extension of two shows, record breaking sales for the landmark musical My Fair Lady and clear evidence that the plays of Bernard Shaw are still relevant to theatre-goers across Canada and the United States are just some of the reasons the Shaw Festival has cause to celebrate.

The Shaw Festival is pleased to announce the extension of the world premiere production of Maria Severa by Jay Turvey and Paul Sportelli, as well as Drama at Inish – A Comedy by Lennox Robinson, both directed by Jackie Maxwell. Each production has been performing to sold-out houses and standing ovations since previewing in June. Their runs will be extended by four performances each, beginning September 25. The schedule will be as follows:

Maria Severa

Drama at Inish – A Comedy 

Sunday, September 25
Tuesday, September 27           
Thursday, September 29
Sunday, October 2       

Tuesday, October 4
Thursday, October 6
Saturday, October 8
Sunday, October 9

8:00 p.m.
8:00 p.m.
8:00 p.m.                                   
8:00 p.m.  (Final performance)

2:00 p.m. (Special matinee)
8:00 p.m.
8:00 p.m.        
8:00 p.m.  (Final performance)

Ticket prices range from $46 to $91, with youth tickets available for just $30. Special matinee pricing is available for students at $24 and $41 for seniors.

The Shaw Festival has realized a number of significant box office benchmarks during its 50th milestone season:

·       My Fair Lady, which has garnered praise from both audiences and critics alike, will be the best selling production in the history of the Festival. Directed by Molly Smith, The Shaw’s fresh reinterpretation of the popular Lerner and Loewe musical, based on Shaw’s Pygmalion, will have attracted close to 90,000 people by the end of the season.
·       Looking to the next 50 years, and frankly assessing the relationship between Bernard Shaw and the Festival, The Shaw is pleased to report that at the conclusion of the 50th season the plays by Bernard Shaw — Heartbreak HouseOn the Rocks and Candida – will have sold over 60,000 tickets. Given that this represents 24% of overall ticket sales and is a marked increase over the last four years, it affirms the continued importance of The Shaw’s namesake in the fabric of the Festival.

“These figures give us the confidence to continue vigorously re-examining, reimagining and ultimately presenting plays by Shaw in fresh, interesting and innovative new ways,” noted Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell.

·       Tickets purchased under the “Family Ticket” program have experienced an increase of 248% over 2010 season sales.
·       The Shaw has also proudly welcomed visitors from every province in Canada, two territories and every state in the United States this season.

The Shaw Festival’s 50th season continues until October 30, 2011 with productions of My Fair LadyCandidaOn the RocksThe Admirable CrichtonDrama at Inish – A ComedyCat on a Hot Tin Roof, The PresidentMaria SeveraHeartbreak House and When the Rain Stops Falling on the Festival’s four Niagara-on-the-Lake stages. For tickets and information on theatre packages, visit or call 1-800-511-7429 or 905-468-2172 (local).

Visa Infinite is the official payment card of the Shaw Festival.

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