Thursday, February 21, 2008

Ha'Penny Bridge Cancelled

When principle casting for the North American production of The Ha'Penny Bridge was announced late last month, there were rumours that it might end up on Broadway after a premiere in Toronto and a run in San Francisco.

That dream is no more.

In a press release yesterday, producer Garrett McGuckian declared that the show was being cancelled because it was not "commercially ready" for a May 16 opening, despite the fact that director Donna Feore and the rest of the creative team have been working on it for two years.

Richard Ouzounian reported that a discussion with McGuckian revealed the pull was more likely due to a lack of funds.

"We had been trying to create a big Broadway-style production," McGuckian told him, but it was too much for just two cities.

At press time, there were no estimations of what might fill the gap at the Princess of Wales Theatre between The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, which ends April 20, and The Sound of Music, which opens in October.

Mirvish Vice-President of Communications, John Karastamatis, however, assured Michael Posner that they would "find another terrific show for subscribers".

Meanwhile, the thirty-six (36) Canadians in the cast and creative team are now out of work.

"Our cancelling of this show has nothing to do with Donna Feore, whom we can't praise highly enough," said McGuckian.

In an interview from her Stratford home, Feore, who last directed Oklahoma! (2007) at the Festival, told Ouzounian that she is "saddened that the producers were unable to put together the venues that were required to make this a commercially viable show."

Rehearsals were slated to begin in five weeks' time, and would have included Kyle Blair, Keith Dinicol, Susan Henley, and Mary Ann McDonald.

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