By the time the smoke cleared on the season's lineup, it was revealed that all six shows in the subscription series would be musicals. This is surprising since Mirvish usually provides a more eclectic mix that includes dramas and comedies. My theory is that he is trying to compete with Dancap who scored some major musicals lately including the Tony award winners from 2010 and 2008 (Memphis, In The Heights) and nominees including American Idiot and Next to Normal. While I'm personally thrilled since I LOVE musicals, David Mirvish needs to be careful that he doesn't annoy his subscription base who may be expecting more variety in their theatre experience.
Similarly video was used to present the next two musicals. Backbeat is based on the early days of the formation of the Beatles. I'm concerned about whether I will be able to understand the strong Liverpool accents (which strangely don't show up when the Beatles sing) and wish there were subtitles for heavily-accented English shows. I remember with dread a previous Mirvish show called The Harder They Come where the Jamaican accents were so thick and the idioms used so foreign that Mirvish held a members talk beforehand to educate patrons on the storyline and the lingo.. and still I had no idea what was being happening throughout the first act (we left before the second half).
The first was Sister Act, based on the Whoopi Goldberg movie. The cast was on hand to perform a couple of song and dance numbers. I did not find these songs to be very memorable so I'm hoping for more from the rest of the show.
Finally, there will be a brand new musical premiering in Toronto, based on the movie 1992 Honeymoon in Vegas. The only thing I remember about this movie is Nicolas Cage jumping out of a plane with a bunch of flying Elvises. The composer (Jason Robert Brown) came out to sing a couple of the songs, describing the plot leading up to each. After hearing only a few notes from the first song, I was able to identify him as the same one who wrote "The Last Five Years", since he more or less repeated bars of melody from that musical. Finally Tony Danza appeared to sing his big number from the show. I guess he represented the "big named celebrity" for this season.