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Friday, May 17, 2013

Huron, Perth Waterloo and Wellington offer theatre buffs numerous entertainment options

Curtain rises on scenic theatre trips in RTO4
STRATFORD, Ont. —As the warmer weather gets many of us thinking of weekend getaways and summer escapes, the curtain is set to rise on a spectacular season of theatre in several scenic travel destinations in the heart of Ontario.

Whether it’s world-class Shakespeare productions, musical favourites or Monty Python’s hilarious take on the search for the Holy Grail, theatre buffs of all tastes ought to be able to find something on the playbill to keep them entertained this season in the tourism region made up of Huron, Perth, Waterloo and Wellington.

“We’re incredibly fortunate to have 12 professional theatre venues in our region which offer guests great variety and terrific entertainment value, whether they want to see a smaller, more-intimate production or something on a much grander scale,” said Napier Simpson, CMO and Director of Operations of RTO4 (Ontario Regional Tourism Organization Four).

With plays by William Shakespeare at its foundations, The Stratford Festival has set the standard for classical theatre across North America for more than 50 years from its home base in picturesque Stratford.

Among the 12 plays hitting the stage this summer in Stratford are:

·         Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, from May 18 to September 21
·         Classic rock band The Who’s Broadway hit, Tommy, from May 4 to October 19
·         Noel Coward’s enduring comedy, Blithe Spirit, from May 16 to October 20

Not far away in quaint Blyth, local, small and rural themes are embraced in all its forms. The Blyth Festival has been providing a year-round venue for original Canadian productions since 1975.

This season the theatre is producing six plays, including:

·         Last year’s smash musical hit Dear Johnny Deere returns for a limited run from June 11 to June 22
·         A play about agricultural life in the region surrounding the theatre, The Beyond the Farm Show, runs from June 26 to August 16
·         Yorkville — The Musical, from July 3 to August 11, turns the premise of Green Acres completely around, following the story of two country gals seeking fame, fortune and live in downtown Toronto

Theatre goers planning trips in the region can also choose from more than two dozen productions at six venues operated by Drayton Entertainment in several attractive destinations, including St. Jacobs, Grand Bend, Cambridge and Drayton.

Among the plays in this season’s line-up are:

·         Monty Python’s Tony-award winning comedy Spamalot, running from July 17 to August 3 at the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse
·         The Songs of Sinatra, a musical tribute to a true legend by seven male singers who explore Sinatra’s songbook,  running from June 26 to July 13 at the Drayton Festival Theatre
·         The spectacular new 500-seat Dunfield Theatre Cambridge, located along the Grand River in scenic Cambridge, presents Big Band Legends from June 12 to June 22, featuring a tribute to crooners like Tony Bennett, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald and more.

Booking a getaway to take in any of these productions is only a computer click away.

A one-stop-shopping reservations portal launched by RTO4 — iliketheatreing.ca — allows visitors to book their entire stay online, from world-class theatre tickets and accommodation, to heritage tours and fine dining, to spectacular hiking and relaxing escapes on some of Ontario’s best undeveloped beaches.

About Regional Tourism Organization Four:
Incorporated in October 2012 by a volunteer board and supported by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sports, RTO4 is dedicated to growing the tourism industry and economy in Waterloo, Wellington, Perth and Huron. For more information, visit betterweekending.ca.

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