Entertainment

Stage and TV stars join Foster Festival for second year

John Law

By John Law, Niagara Falls Review

Foster Festival artistic director Patricia Vanstone has gathered more TV and Shaw Festival talent for the company's second season, starting in June. PHOTO:  Bob Tymczyszyn/St. Catharines Standard/Postmedia Network

Foster Festival artistic director Patricia Vanstone has gathered more TV and Shaw Festival talent for the company's second season, starting in June. PHOTO: Bob Tymczyszyn/St. Catharines Standard/Postmedia Network

Canadian TV stars and Shaw Festival veterans will join The Foster Festival for its second season in St. Catharines.

In casting announced by artistic director Patricia Vanstone, real-life husband and wife Booth Savage and Janet-Laine Green will star in Norm Foster’s bittersweet romance Old Love, opening in July.

Savage starred as Team Canada head coach Harry Sinden in CBC’s 2006 miniseries Canada Russia 72, and played Principal Callaghan for four seasons on Mr. D. He’s also appeared on Being Erica, Goosebumps and Street Legal.

Green, a three-time Gemini nominee, played Mayor Iris Peters in the Canadian sitcom She’s the Mayor and as Judge Serkis in the CBC legal drama This is Wonderland.

“(They) are going to melt hearts,” says Vanstone, who directs all three shows of the festival’s sophomore season. “I can’t wait to get in the rehearsal room with these two stars of stage and screen.”

Longtime Shaw Festival performers Peter Krantz and Catherine McGregor will joins Niagara actress Melanie Janzen - returning from last season - for the world premiere of Foster’s Lunenberg, opening in August.

“The chemistry among these three hugely talented actors is extraordinary in Norm’s hot-off-the-press latest play,” says Vanstone.

The season will kick off with another Foster world premiere, the fast-paced spoof Screwball Comedy in June. It will feature Eliza Jane Scott and Kevin Hare playing a total of seven roles. “They are going to be pulling off a real high-diving act,” says Vanstone. “Both are brilliant comedians with years of experience across the country, from Edmonton to Charlottetown.”

The show also stars Joanna Douglas and Darren Keay.

Also returning from last season is Shaw Festival set designer Peter Hartwell, who will design all three shows at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

“His beautiful set last summer for our first show, On a First Name Basis, had our audiences enthralled,” says Vanstone. “How he integrated design elements of Cairns Hall into the set brought an intimacy to the show and showcased the incredible beauty of our performance space.”

The Foster Festival is the first theatre company devoted to the work of Canadian playwright Norm Foster. Tickets are available at www.fosterfestival.com

jlaw@postmedia.com