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'Jesus Christ Superstar,' 'Love Never Dies,' '& Juliet' in Mirvish lineup

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TORONTO — Two Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals and a Canadian production of a pop music-filled twist on "Romeo and Juliet" are among the shows in Mirvish Productions' upcoming season.

The newly announced 2020/21 lineup includes Lloyd Webber's 50th anniversary production of the rock opera "Jesus Christ Superstar" and the Canadian premiere of "The Phantom of the Opera" sequel "Love Never Dies."

"Love Never Dies," which is set 10 years after the Phantom disappeared from his Paris Opera House lair, starred Ontario-raised Ramin Karimloo as the masked misfit in the original 2010 production in London.

The season will also have a new Canadian production of pop songwriting great Max Martin's "& Juliet," which looks at what would have happened if Juliet had decided to choose her own fate in Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet."

The production will mark the North American premiere of the musical, which debuted last year in England and features Martin's chart-topping hits, including "...Baby One More Time," "Roar" and "Can't Feel My Face."

Martin did the music and lyrics for "& Juliet," while Toronto native David West Read wrote the book.

Other shows in the upcoming lineup include the Canadian premiere of a new take on Rodgers & Hammerstein's 1943 classic "Oklahoma!", which won the 2019 Tony Award for best revival of a musical.

The production reimagines the musical, about a love triangle in farm country, for the 21st century.

Also making its Canadian premiere will be the wartime play "Pressure," written by David Haig and starring Kevin Doyle, who played butler/valet Joseph Molesley in TV's "Downton Abbey."

"Pressure" is the true story of James Stagg, a Scottish meteorologist whose weather forecasting was critical in the timing of General Dwight Eisenhower's order of the D-Day invasion during the Second World War.

And audiences will get the North American premiere of Agatha Christie's crime mystery "Murder on the Orient Express," which is the first ever stage adaptation of the famous novel.

A total of 12 shows are in the next Mirvish lineup, which will also continue the record-breaking run of the homegrown hit "Come From Away."

Former "Degrassi" actor Jake Epstein will star in his autobiographical musical "Boy Falls From the Sky," about the Toronto performer's theatre career that has taken him to Broadway and beyond.

Fellow Canuck actors Tom McCamus and Seana McKenna will star in the Canadian premiere of the family drama "Things I Know To Be True" by Australian writer Andrew Bovell, co-produced with The Company Theatre.

Other shows in the lineup include "Mythic" and the previously announced "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child," "Miss Saigon" and "Les Miserables." 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 26, 2020.

Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press





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