By SHANNON KELLY
Think Shakespeare is boring? Think again. First of all, despite its name, the venerable Stratford Shakespeare Festival is featuring only three plays—of fourteen total—by the Bard this year. That may be disappointing for some, but this season promises to be like no other, with a one-man show starring Christopher Plummer (veteran of the festival since 1956); Wanderlust, a world premiere Canadian musical; and MacBeth as performed by characters from The Simpsons (see the video).
The anniversary season is also a tribute to the festival’s homeland—half of the productions are Canadian this year.
Hard to believe it all started with two plays performed in a tent in 1953. These days, 50,000-plus theatregoers take over the small western Ontario town each spring through fall.
What’s on at the festival in 2012 and when (shows we’re personally jazzed about seeing are marked with **):
42nd Street (musical). Opens April 12.
Much Ado About Nothing. Opens April 26.
**MacHomer: the Simpsons characters do MacBeth—as performed by one-man vocal mimicry whiz Rick Miller. Opens May 2.
**The Pirates of Penzance (musical). Opens May 3.
**Cymbeline. Opens May 10.
The Matchmaker. Opens May 12.
You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (musical). Opens May 15.
Hirsch. Opens June 20.
**Wanderlust, a world-premiere musical set during the Alaska-Yukon gold rush era. Opens June 20.
Henry V. Opens June 24.
The Best Brothers. Opens June 26.
The War of 1812. Opens June 26.
**A Word or Two, a one-man show by Christopher Plummer. Opens July 25.
Elektra. Opens July 29.