MAT returns to the stage


A dramatic moment at Mariposa Arts Theatre's Chicago rehearsal. (SUBMITTED)

A dramatic moment at Mariposa Arts Theatre's Chicago rehearsal. (SUBMITTED)

Mariposa Arts Theatre (MAT) opens its new season with the blockbuster musical Chicago on the Orillia Opera House main stage in November.

Meantime auditions are already coming up for MAT’s next production, the Arthur Miller classic All My Sons.

The ever-popular Chicago is the second-longest-running Broadway show of all time, and the longest-running American musical in London’s West End.

“We’re thrilled to be putting on this show,” said director Wayne Noble. “It’s a musical that sums up the Roaring Twenties. The music is jazzy, the dance is sexy, the costumes skimpy. It’s always been a huge audience hit.”

The show is based on real events in the violent Chicago of the 1920s, where attitudes to women are changing and a sensational press glorifies crime. Velma (Olivia Lloyd) and Roxie (Janelle Bartosek) are both in jail for murder but find their stories as orchestrated by lawyer Billy Flynn (Josh Halbot) and corrupt jailer Mama Morton (Angela Munday) make them the toast of Chicago.

The show brings together MAT regulars and newcomers, said co-producer Ruth Watt.

“What the audience will really notice is the youth and energy of the cast. We have amazing dancing, and a fabulous band that’s on stage the whole show,” she said.

Chicago plays at the Orillia Opera House for a two-week run starting Nov. 9. Tickets cost $25 ($20 for groups of 10 or more) and are available from or the box office (705-326-8011).

Meanwhile, MAT is auditioning for All My Sons, in which an apparently apple-pie American family deals with the dark aftermath of the Second World War.

“Director Iain Moggach needs both men and women to play 10 characters whose ages range 20s through 60s, as well as someone to play an eight- to 12-year-old boy,” said producer John Caryl. “It’ll be great community theatre, with big parts and small parts, so come along and try out. We’ll be glad to see you, and especially if you’re a man.” Auditions will be held during the evenings of Sept. 13 and 15 at the MAT Centre, 12 Brammer Dr. For details, contact Caryl at or 705-327-9759.

MAT has also announced the fall program for MAT Film Nights at Orillia Galaxy Cinemas. With screenings at 4 and 7 p.m., usually on the first and third Wednesday of each month, Film Nights present Orillia with movies from the Toronto International Film Festival, often films that would not otherwise be shown in town. The season opens Sept. 6 with Their Finest, a romantic comedy set in Britain’s wartime film industry, which presents a different view of Dunkirk from the blockbuster movie. The fall season continues with Tanna (Sept. 13), a Romeo-and-Juliet story set in the tribal society of Vanuatu in the South Seas; The Glass Castle (Oct. 4), based on Jeannette Walls’s best-selling memoir; Loving Vincent (Oct. 18), in which Van Gogh’s paintings are brought to life to tell his story; The Big Sick (Nov. 1), about a mixed-race romance struggling with clashing cultures and a mysterious illness; and Tulip Fever (Nov. 15), a tale of passion set amid the tulip fever of 17th-century Holland and with a cameo by Dame Judy Dench.

Details about MAT Film Nights and the rest of MAT’s program can be found at

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