Playhouse stages one of the world’s most popular comedies . . .

"Same time, next year" opens Sept. 5th . . .

Thursday, Aug. 22nd - A comedy by a little known Canadian playwright premiered on Broadway in 1975, and since then it’s become the most performed comedy in 40 languages all over the world. That play was Same Time, Next Year and the writer was Bernard Slade, who created such a sensation with the show, that audiences lined up in excitement to see one of the theatre’s most memorable relationships unfold in one of the funniest and unforgettable love stories of all time. The popularity of Same Time, Next Year continues to this day, and the show runs at The Playhouse Thursday, September 5th - 29th offering audiences a comedy about everyday people experiencing the joys and challenges of everyday life. It’s a comedy that gives them much to laugh and think about long after the final scene. The kind of comedy that generates laughter and empathy- sometimes simultaneously. The kind of comedy Playhouse audiences look for when they come to Morrisburg’s popular theatre.


        Same Time, Next Year is about Doris and George, a couple who, although each married to someone else, have a romantic rendezvous in the same room, at the same hotel at the same time every year. During this marathon extramarital affair, the couple share a relationship that often grows closer than their actual marriages. One of the entertaining and rewarding aspects of this show is the journey the audience takes with Doris and George as we visit them every five years through some of the most life-changing times in their lives. We’ll see how their lives change as we move from the Big Band era of 1951, the Rock ‘n Roll and Elvis craze of the mid- 50’s, the 60’s Vietnam War, JFK and moon-landing and the Hippie and Women’s Lib generation of the 70’s.

        Audiences can nostalgically reflect on these changing times as they witness how Doris and George are affected by the music, fashion, and social trends of the day. They also share in the ups and downs that these characters face over the decades.

        Playhouse artistic director Donnie Bowes confesses to have wanted to produce Same Time, Next Year for some time. Being such a popular play, the performance rights were often not available because of theatre companies having an option on it for touring purposes. When The Playhouse and Orillia Opera House acquired the rights for a joint production this season, they were inundated with actors wishing to play these iconic characters. Their hands-down choice was the same dynamic couple who co-starred in last season’s Plaza Suite-Viviana Zarrillo and Nigel Hamer.

        This talented pair won audience’s hearts with their comedic flare and impressive acting chops,’ remarks Bowes. ‘The Orillia leg of the production is selling out and audiences are leaping to their feet and laughing their heads off. We can’t wait for the lights to go up on the show when it plays on our stage here at The Playhouse in September.’

Besides recently seen in Plaza Suite, Zarrillo also starred in The Playhouse productions of Halfway There, Last of the Red Hot

        Lovers and Whose Wives Are They Anyway. Her career has ranged from summer theatres and dinner theatre to the National Arts Centre and ShawFestival. She can be seen on dozens of TV commercials and plays a recurring role in the world- wide tween series, The Next Step. Hamer has performed for several seasons at the Stratford Festival and has worked on Broadway and London’s Grand Theatre. He has also played at many of the country’s regional theatres, Toronto’s Mirvish Productions and on a host of TV shows such as Suits, Degrassi and The Good Witch.

        Same Time, Next Year is directed and designed by Jesse Collins who has over 40 years’ experience in the theatre, tv and film business. An Emmy-nominated director, Collins directed several shows for The Playhouse including this season’s opener, Where You Are, and such other hits as Halfway There, The Affections of May and The Ladies Foursome. He also created and directed Dean and Jerry-What Might Have Been, which enjoyed sold-out runs twice at The Playhouse. Collins is currently artistic director at Orillia Opera House.

       Same Time, Next Year wraps up a highly successful summer season at Upper Canada Playhouse and is followed by The Rise and Fall of Lucien October 3-6 and Leisa Way’s Rock ‘n’ Roll is Here to Stay October 15-24. The season concludes with Norm Foster’s Christmas show, Ethan Claymore’s Christmas November 28-December 15.

        ‘We’ve waited a long time to produce Same Time, Next Year,’ adds Bowes. ‘We’re going to enjoy doing it as much as our audience will enjoy seeing it!’

Same Time, Next Year runs Thursday, September 5th - 29th.

Tue, Wed, Thu, Sat at 2PM & Thu, Fri, Sat at 8PM.

623-543-3713 & 1-877-550-3650/

Foster's Lunenburg playing now . . .

Norm Foster
Norm Foster

Wednesday, July 24th - It’s always an exciting time for Playhouse audiences when a new Norm Foster comedy takes centre stage. Famous for setting his comedies in small towns and about everyday ordinary people, Foster looks to the South Shore of Nova Scotia for LUNENBURG, his latest sure-fire hit, running August 1-25.

        Hailed by critics and audiences as ‘a laugh-filled, poignant East Coast road trip’ (Orillia Matters) and ‘a comedy that envelopes you in its warmth’ (Stage Door), LUNENBURG had its premiere production in 2017 at St. Catharine’s Foster Festival and has gone on to be produced at theatres across the country. Upper Canada Playhouse is delighted to mount its own production of this hit show with a power-house cast and design team.

        LUNENBURG is filled with all the components that make an entertaining, smart and memorable experience for audiences. It’s brimming with story, mystery, romance, intrigue and that ever-popular, tried and true genius of Foster’s comic touch that has made him Canada’s most popular and most-produced playwright.

        Foster’s plays always leave audiences laughing long after the final curtain while at the same time giving them lots to relate to and think about. 

        This play centres around Iris Oulette and her friend Natalie Whitaker who travel from Maine to the Maritime village of Lunenburg to look at a property Iris has inherited from her recently deceased husband. They’re greeted by the property’s informative and engaging next-door neighbour, Charlie Butler, who reveals a series of surprises and secrets that the ladies were unprepared to discover.

        As Iris learns more about her new property and her late husband, Natalie discovers a good deal about the charming man next door. Twists and turns abound as everyone’s lives change in this highly entertaining comedy.

        LUNENBURG’S cast features some of The Playhouse’s most popular actors. Iris is played by local actress Kathleen Egan Veinotte, who has appeared in such Playhouse productions as The Affections of May, Steel Magnolias and Having Hope at Home to name a few. Debra Hale, last seen in Foster’s hit comedy Halfway There, is Natalie. Hale played the same role in Orillia Opera House’s production of LUNENBURG and enjoys recreating the role a new cast for The Playhouse production. Hale has also appeared in countless Playhouse productions including A Bedfull of Foreigners and There’s A Burglar in My Bed.

        Jamie Williams returns to The Playhouse as neighbour Charlie Butler, and is familiar to audiences for starring in such shows as Run For Your Wife, A Nice Family Gathering and countless Ray Cooney farces. Williams has just completed a run of The Writer, another new Foster comedy at the Foster Festival. LUNENBURG is directed by Donnie Bowes with set design by John Thompson and lighting design by Sean Free.

        Robin Hawdon's 'Don't Dress for Dinner' run continues thru Sunday, July 28th at the theatre. Foster's Lunenburg then takes over the stage, running Thursday, August 1st thru Sunday, August 25th inclusive.

Tue, Wed, Thu, Sat at 2PM & Thu, Fri, Sat at 8PM.

623-543-3713 & 1-877-550-3650

"Don't Dress for Dinner" running now . . .

Anita La Selva; Mark Burgess; Perry Mucci; Stephanie Folkins; Garfield Andrews; AnnaMarie Lea
Anita La Selva; Mark Burgess; Perry Mucci; Stephanie Folkins; Garfield Andrews; AnnaMarie Lea

"Don't Dress for Dinner" comedy wooing crowds at Upper Canada Playhouse . . .

Monday, July 14th - Upper Canada Playhouse’s currently running comedy, Don’t Dress For Dinner, is keeping  audiences in stitches. The laughs are one right after another for theatre-goers watching six ill-fated characters tie themselves in hysterical knots in their desperate attempts to navigate the traps and mishaps they’ve set.

        The classic comedy running thru Sunday, July 28th, is by Robin Hawdon, who packed The Playhouse two seasons ago with another of his hit shows, Boeing Boeing. Don’t Dress For Dinner is a brand new episode featuring friends Bernard and Robert who continue to get themselves into trouble with embarrassing and risky predicaments and cover-ups.

        "These comedies alway begin with someone making a bad decision that they soon regret and attempt to reverse", comments director Donnie Bowes, "As they try to wriggle out of the mess they’ve created, it’s high stakes for them and high comedy for the audience. It’s like watching a ticking time bomb about to go off.’

Perry Mucci; AnnaMarie Lea
Perry Mucci; AnnaMarie Lea

        In Don’t Dress For Dinner Bernard has carefully planned an affair with his mistress while his wife Jacqueline is away. He invites his friend Robert to join them as an alibi and hires a cook to prepare dinner for them. When Jacqueline cancels her trip, all plans are off and Bernard forces Robert to help him deal with the fallout.

        The cook is coaxed into playing the mistress and the mistress into playing the cook. Soon no one is actually sure who anyone really is. Except the audience who can sit back and enjoy a couple of hours of hilarious comedy.

        Bowes has put together a dynamite cast for this show, all with years of experience handling the physical and comedic demands of this fast-paced, high-energy show. Many of them have entertained Playhouse audiences many times and have sent them home laughing long after the final curtain.

        Garfield Andrews, who has starred in such comedies as The Amourous Ambassador and The Odd Couple, plays Bernard, who sets this rollicking roller-coaster in motion. Unwilling partner in crime, Robert, is played by Perry

Mucci who is also a Playhouse favourite having starred in such hits as The Sensuous Senator and Whose Wives Are They Anyway.

Garfield Andrews; Perry Mucci
Garfield Andrews; Perry Mucci

        AnnaMarie Lea, known to audiences for countless comedies including Perfect Wedding and last season’s

The Great Kooshog Lake Hollis McAuley Fishing Derby, plays hired cook, Suzette. Lea is also producer of the popular Cow Patti Dinner Theatre. Joining the cast as Bernard’s wife Jacqueline is Anita La Selva, who also has a number of Playhouse comedies under belt including Caught In The Net and It Runs in the Family. She is also a well-known Toronto director who has extensive stage and television experience.

Stephanie Folkins, who audiences will remember for her hilarious performance as the Swedish air stewardess in Boeing Boeing, plays Bernard’s mistress Suzanne. The Playhouse welcomes veteran actor Mark Burgess making his Morrisburg debut as Suzette’s husband George. Burgess has extensive experience in major theatres across the country and recently appeared in Murder at the Howard Johnsons at Orillia Opera House.

        Don’t Dress For Dinner is directed by Donnie Bowes, with set design by Jim Smagata and costume design by Alex Amini.

        "We’ve been having a lot of fun rehearsing this hilarious show," adds Bowes. "We can’t wait to open the doors and share the laughter with our audience!’

Don’t Dress For Dinner

runs Thursday, July 4th thru Sunday, July 28th.

Tue, Wed, Thu, Sat at 2PM & Thu, Fri, Sat at 8PM.

623-543-3713 & 1-877-550-3650

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