Drayton Entertainment will present a stellar 2020 Season packed with an array of classic and contemporary Broadway hits, charming comedies, iconic dramas, entertaining pantos, Canadian fare, and a number of shows that pay homage to iconic artists and eras of music. Artistic Director Alex Mustakas has crafted a diverse playbill with a wide variety of crowd-pleasing productions on stage at the award-winning not-for-profit charitable theatre organization’s seven venues throughout Ontario.
“This is an exciting season packed with entertaining shows for theatregoers at every stage of life,” says Mustakas. “It’s also extra special because we are celebrating the 30th Anniversary of our flagship venue – the historic Drayton Festival Theatre.”
A number of musical blockbusters are on the playbill including contemporary hits such as Kinky Boots and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, beloved classics like 42nd Street, Evita, and The Sound of Music, and the return of the mega-hit musical Rock of Ages.
On the heels of last season’s tremendously successful production of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, another fabulous, feel-good musical will lift up audiences and have them dancing in the aisles – the global sensation Kinky Boots. Winner of six Tony Awards®, London’s Olivier Award, and a Grammy®, Kinky Boots features an infectious score by pop icon Cyndi Lauper. Based on a true story, this high-heeled hit chronicles the story of fledgling factory owner Charlie Price, who is struggling to save the men’s shoe factory inherited from his father in Northampton, England.
When all seems lost, a chance encounter with the dazzling drag queen Lola spurs an outrageous idea. With a little compassion and a lot of understanding, this unexpected pair eventually embrace their differences and create a sparkling line of sturdy stilettos unlike any the world has ever seen. The production will open the season at the Hamilton Family Theatre Cambridge from March 11 to April 5, and then run at the Huron Country Playhouse in Grand Bend from August 20 to September 5. Based on the Miramax motion picture, Kinky Boots is adapted for the stage by Harvey Fierstein.
Winner of the Tony Award® for Best Musical and acclaimed as a knock-’em-dead, uproarious hit,” A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder is an outrageous romp filled with unforgettable music and non-stop laughs. In 1907 London England, penniless clerk Monty Navarro is delighted to learn that he’s eighth in line for an earldom in the esteemed D’Ysquith family. Figuring the odds of outliving his predecessors are slight, he sets off down a sinister path knocking off his relatives one by one with his sights set on the family title and fortune. All the while, this loveable cad has to juggle his mistress (she’s after more than just love), his fiancée (she’s his cousin, but who’s keeping track?), and the constant threat of being caught. Of course, it will all be worth it if he can slay his way to the inheritance … and be done in time for tea. Based on a novel by Roy Horniman, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder is a musical comedy, with a book and lyrics by Robert L. Freedman and music and lyrics by Steven Lutvak. A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder will be on stage from May 20 to June 7 at the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse.
Broadway’s beloved Tony Award®-winning dance spectacular 42nd Street follows Peggy Sawyer, a talented young performer who gets her shot at Broadway stardom when she is plucked from the chorus to replace the leading lady … who literally breaks a leg. Full of glitz, glamour, dazzling
dance, and sensational songs like “Lullaby of Broadway,” “We’re in the Money,” and the unforgettable title tune, this iconic musical is on stage from June 10 to June 27 at the Hamilton Family Theatre Cambridge, and from July 2 to July 18 at the Huron Country Playhouse in Grand Bend. Based on the novel by Bradford Ropes, 42nd Street is adapted for the stage by Michael
Stewart and Mark Bramble, with music by Harry Warren and lyrics by Al Dubin.
Winner of countless awards and inspired by true historical events, the epic Broadway musical Evita charts the meteoric rise of Argentina’s infamous first lady Eva Perón from her early life of poverty to her ascent as the most powerful woman in South America. Featuring some of the best loved songs in musical theatre by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice including “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina,” “Buenos Aires,” and “Another Suitcase in Another Hall,” Evita is a powerful theatrical masterpiece beloved by audiences around the world. Evita is on stage at the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse from October 14 to November 1.
The hills will be alive with The Sound of Music as Rodgers and Hammerstein’s treasured musical comes to the Hamilton Family Theatre Cambridge for the holiday season. Featuring the memorable songs “My Favourite Things,” “Do Re Mi,” “Edelweiss,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “Sixteen Going on Seventeen,” and the glorious title song, this family favourite follows aspiring nun Maria as she leaves the convent to govern the seven mischievous children of Captain von Trapp. Renowned as one of the most popular musicals of all time, The Sound of Music is on stage from November 25 to December 20.
After playing to sold-out crowds in Cambridge in 2017, Rock of Ages is back – this time in St. Jacobs, Grand Bend, and Penetanguishene. Aspiring rocker Drew falls madly in love with Sherrie, a fresh-faced Midwesterner chasing her movie star dreams. Will their stars rise? Will their love last? Find out in this hard rockin’, hilarious musical on stage next summer at three venues: July 2 to July 18 at St. Jacobs Country Playhouse; July 23 to August 15 at the Huron Country Playhouse; and August 20 to September 5 at the King’s Wharf Theatre. Featuring 28 classic rock tunes like “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “We Built This City,” “Wanted Dead or Alive,” “Here I Go Again,” “Can’t Fight this Feeling,” “I Want To Know What Love Is,” and more, fans of ’80s arena rock will dig this high-energy hit that wails with big chords, big hair, and an even bigger heart.
Along with Broadway hits, Drayton Entertainment will also produce the Canadian musical memoir Billy Bishop Goes to War. The production will be on stage for three weeks only from April 8 to April 26 at the intimate St. Jacobs Schoolhouse Theatre, which will expand its season having traditionally only operated in the fall. The incredible saga of Canadian WWI flying ace William Avery Bishop comes alive on stage through rousing stories, haunting memories, and vibrant song in this critically-acclaimed winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama. From his modest start as an underachiever at the Royal Military College to his remarkable rise through the Royal Canadian Air Force, this powerful production follows one of Canada’s most irreverent heroes as he transforms from a rebellious young man into the most successful fighter pilot of his generation.
Drayton Entertainment’s 2020 playbill also includes a variety of heartwarming comedies including The Dixie Swim Club and the Canadian play Buying The Farm, as well as the cherished classics Driving Miss Daisy and On Golden Pond. Full of Southern-fried humour, The Dixie Swim Club will be on stage at several venues next summer. Five Southern women who met years ago on their college swim team set aside a long weekend every summer to reminisce and reconnect. Free from husbands, kids and jobs, they meet at the same beach cottage on North Carolina’s Outer Banks to catch up, laugh, and offer advice on everything from men, sex, and marriage, to parenting, divorce, and aging. Part Steel Magnolias, part Designing Women … with just a hint of Golden Girls, this warm and witty friendship comedy is funny, touching, and filled with some unexpected twists and turns. Written by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten, The Dixie Swim Club is on stage from June 10 to June 27 at the Drayton Festival Theatre, from July 2 to July 18 at the King’s Wharf Theatre, from July 23 to August 8 at the Huron Country Playhouse II, and from August 13 to August 30 at the Hamilton Family Theatre Cambridge.
Country wit meets city bluster in the rural romantic comedy Buying The Farm on stage at the Drayton Festival Theatre from July 8 to July 25. Aging bachelor farmer Magnus finds himself with mounting debt, some health concerns, and suburban neighborhoods encroaching from every direction. Brad, a young real estate agent, arrives at the farm determined to succeed where others have failed. It might be a done deal, except that Magnus’ great-niece Esme is unwavering in her resolve that this family farm is NOT FOR SALE. Offering a sobering look at the plight of rural Canada, this multi-generational comedy by Canadian playwrights Shelley Hoffman and Stephen Sparks is a love note to farming about high hopes, last stands, skunks, and love among the chickens.
Winner of the Academy Award® for Best Picture and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Alfred Uhry’s Driving Miss Daisy is one of the most iconic American stories of the late twentieth century. In mid-century Atlanta, an elderly Jewish widow named Daisy is determined to maintain her independence. But when she crashes her car and is deemed unfit to drive, her son insists on hiring a chauffeur – an African-American driver named Hoke. Over the course of 25 years, the unlikely pair explore each other’s quirks and perks as they share amusing adventures and develop a profound, life-altering friendship that transcends all of the societal boundaries placed between them. This beloved story about overcoming prejudices, accepting change, and the transformative power of friendship is on stage from July 29 to August 16 at St. Jacobs Country Playhouse.
Part relationship comedy and part poignant drama, the touching play On Golden Pond is on stage from May 6 to May 24 at the Hamilton Family Theatre Cambridge. Ethel and Norman Thayer return to their summer home on Golden Pond for the 48th year for some much-needed rest and relaxation. But their delightful summer routine is thrown for a loop when their daughter Chelsea visits for her dad’s 80th birthday, bringing her boyfriend Bill and his teenage son in tow. With its heartwarming message about celebrating the everyday moments in life, On Golden Pond is a universal story about life, love, and the importance of family and forgiveness. Building on the success of praised productions like Twelve Angry Men, The Miracle Worker, and Death of a Salesman, the acclaimed courtroom drama A Few Good Men launches the season at the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse from March 4 to March 22.
Before it became an Academy Award®-winning movie, A Few Good Men was the ground- breaking first play by then-unknown author Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing, Charlie Wilson’s War,Moneyball, The Social Network, and many more), who would become one of the greatest screenwriters of the 21st century. When two marines are accused of killing one of their own at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, hotshot young lawyer Daniel Kaffee, with a penchant for plea bargains, is tasked with their defense. It looks like a simple case of soldiers behaving badly until evidence suggests that high-ranking officials may have ordered an illicit disciplinary measure known only as a “Code Red.” When fellow lawyer and naval investigator Lieutenant Commander JoAnne Galloway suspects a cover up, the legal team must face the highest authorities, and put the entire marine code of honour on trial in order to solve the case. But can they “handle the truth?” Find out in this gripping story about conspiracy and corruption in the
name of patriotism.
In addition to many Broadway musicals, comedies, and dramas, four entertaining shows that pay homage to iconic artists and eras of music are sure to bring audiences to their feet next season – Fiddler on the Loose, Return To Grace, A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline, and the new wartime revue, We’ll Meet Again.
Fiddler on the Loose is back by popular demand! After a sensational sold-out run in Drayton last summer, the high-energy musical extravaganza will bring its fantastic fiddling to Grand Bend, Cambridge, and Penetanguishene next season. Anchored by fiddler and showman Jesse Grandmont, Fiddler on the Loose is a gregarious musical variety show that features over 60 songs running the gamut of genres including “Dust in The Wind,” “Devil Went Down to Georgia,” “Footloose,” “Tennessee Waltz,” “Orange Blossom Special,” and more. Fiddler on the Loose is on stage from June 10 to June 27 at the Huron Country Playhouse, July 2 to July 18 at the Hamilton Family Theatre Cambridge, and July 23 to August 15 at the King’s Wharf Theatre. Fiddler on the Loose is created and directed by renowned Canadian performer David Rogers with arrangements by Mark Payne.
Get ready for the concert of a lifetime with Return To Grace, the hip-swiveling, lip-curling salute to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll! Relive the hits of an American icon as internationally-renowned, award-winning performer Steve Michaels and a talented cast of singers and dancers celebrate the King’s chart-topping hits including “Love Me Tender,” “Hound Dog,” “Suspicious Minds,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” and many, many more. This high-energy homage to a rock ’n’ roll legend opens the 30th Anniversary Season at the Drayton Festival Theatre from May 13 to May 30, and then runs in the fall from October 7 to October 25 at the Hamilton Family Theatre Cambridge.
The memories of a legendary performer, her colourful life and remarkable career are celebrated in the inspiring musical A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline. Journey through Patsy’s triumphs and tragedies in this stirring production that contains 21 of her greatest hits including “Crazy,” “Sweet Dreams,” “Walkin’ After Midnight,” “I Fall to Pieces,” and many more. A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline will be on stage at the Drayton Festival Theatre from July 29 to August 15, and then at the Huron Country Playhouse II from August 20 to September 5.
From morale-boosting melodies and lovelorn ballads, to jukebox jives and high-energy swing tunes, the unforgettable songs of World War I to World War II are celebrated in the nostalgic revue We’ll Meet Again. This brand new “sentimental journey” through a hit parade of wartime classics includes popular songs like “Oh! What a Lovely War,” “Keep the Home Fires Burning,” “The White Cliffs of Dover,” “Don’t Sit Under The Apple Tree,” “You Made Me Love You,” “In The Mood,” the famous title song, and many, many more. We’ll Meet Again is on stage at the St. Jacobs Schoolhouse Theatre from September 22 to December 20. We’ll Meet Again is created and directed by Artistic Director Alex Mustakas.
Finally, with a winning combination of popular songs, energetic dancing, tongue-in-cheek humour, and outrageous characters, two fun-filled pantos will be on stage for families to enjoy. Featuring a dozy princess, feisty fairies, two dashing princes, and a malevolent villainess,
Sleeping Beauty: The Panto will entertain audiences from June 10 to June 27 at the King’s Wharf Theatre in Penetanguishene, and then July 2 to July 18 at the Huron Country Playhouse II in Grand Bend. Adapted by Caroline Smith, this dreamy panto offers a fresh take on the famed fable.
Follow the Yellow Brick Road to St. Jacobs for the holiday season, because one of the greatest tales ever told is touching down with a brand new twist – Wizard of Oz: The Panto. With its joyous blend of incredible music, lively dancing, extraordinary costumes, audience participation, and of course, a dash of theatrical magic, this playful panto adaptation of the famous family favourite brims with humour, heart, and adventure. Join Dorothy as she takes a surprising new journey over the rainbow and makes her way to Oz with the help of some newfound friends from November 25 to December 27 at St. Jacobs Country Playhouse. Creative teams and casting will be announced at a later date.
Sale Information –
Tickets are on sale this fall exclusively to Members in early November, followed by Groups and Subscribers in mid-November, and the General Public in early December, just in time for the holidays. For more information about the 2020 Season, please visit the website at