In an online announcement yesterday, Neptune Theatre revealed a 60th-anniversary 2022-2023 season that includes its long-awaited production of Billy Elliot: The Musical as its anchor show.
“Being the artistic director of this theatre company, on this land, during this time has been a challenge, but also a gift and an honour,” says Neptune’s artistic director Jeremy Webb in a media release. “We have put together a season that speaks to current events, with intimate and powerful performances. Even with our ‘spectacle’ programming, like the big-hearted Billy Elliot, the core of the message is acceptance and growth.”
The new season will kick off in September with The Last Epistle of Tightrope Time (Sep 6-15). Written and performed by actor, poet, and playwright Walter Borden, his one-person autobiographical show follows the journey of a young Black queer man growing up in rural Nova Scotia.
In a special event in September, Neptune Theatre will play host to the Nova Scotia Mass Choir as it celebrates its 30th-anniversary with We Can Change the World (Sep 29-Oct 1), in a tribute to the Nova Scotian cultural experience.
In October, Prismatic Arts Festival co-presents Cliff Cardinal’s Huff (Oct 4-9), the award-winning darkly comic tale of Indigenous brothers struggling to cope with the death of their mother and the realities of life on a reservation.
Also playing in October is William Goldman’s stage adaptation of Stephen King’s Misery (Oct 14-Nov 6). The horror-thriller is the story of romance novelist Paul Sheldon rescued from a car crash by his “number one fan” and wakes up captive in her secluded home.
The holiday season sees the return of Elf: The Musical (Nov 22-Jan 8) to the Neptune stage. Based on the Christmas film classic starring Will Farrell, it is the story of Buddy, an orphan growing up at Santa’s workshop, unaware that he is a human until his size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth.
Also returning this holiday season is Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (Nov 29-Dec 29), Jeremy Webb’s stage adaptation of Charles Dickens’s classic story of redemption and the spirit of Christmas.
Reaching this milestone illustrates the importance our community places on the arts and culture and Neptune’s enduring connection to this place. One of our great challenges moving forward is to continually adapt and respond to our audiences to ensure we reflect the community we serve. – Neptune Theatre general manager, Lisa Bugden.
In February, Neptune presents Alison Crosby’s In Lieu Of Flowers (Feb 7-19), exploring the complexities of grief, loyalty, and what happens to those who are left behind.
Also, in February comes the stage adaptation of Ann-Marie MacDonald’s Fall On Your Knees (Feb 10-Mar 5), a sweeping saga that chronicles three generations of Cape Breton’s Piper family.
In March comes Ballad of the Motherland (Mar 21-Apr 9). Inspired by actual events of the 2014 armed conflict in Ukraine’s Donbas region, it deals with the human search for meaning in the face of impossible odds and reconciling ex-pat identities in the Slavic Canadian diaspora.
The season concludes with Billy Elliot the Musical (May 2-Jul 2). Originally slated to close the company’s 2019-2020 season, the show was one of many cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic. With music by Sir Elton John and based on the 2000 film of the same name, it tells the inspirational story of one boy’s stumble from the boxing ring to the ballet studio.
“I am hopeful that these shows will connect with our current patrons, and welcome new audiences into the building who see themselves reflected in the stories we are telling,” says Webb.
Subscriptions for Neptune Theatre’s 2022-2023 season go on sale on April 20, with single tickets available beginning on May 2. Visit neptunetheatre.com for more information.