On June 17, Richard Ouzounian reported in the Toronto star that “A Chorus Line” and “A Little Night Music” will be on the Stratford Festival 2016 playbill.
Ouzounian wrote that “A Chorus Line” will be directed and choreographed by Donna Feore, and performed on the Festival stage.
He added “A Little Night Music” will likely be directed by Gary Griffin at the Avon theatre. Griffin isn’t currently directing at Stratford. His previous shows at the Festival “West Side Story” and “42nd Street,” were both critically acclaimed. Click the links for reviews.
The following day, June 18, BroadwayWorld.com reported that “The Stratford Festival told BroadwayWorld Toronto in an exclusive statement “we haven’t confirmed the season yet – either with the rights holders or the board.”
It’s worth noting that Ouzounian didn’t frame his information as a rumor, or speculation, but rather as fact: “two of the greatest Broadway musicals of the 1970s will be produced at the Stratford Festival next season, the Star has learned.”
It’s also worth noting that the Festival hasn’t contradicted Ouzounian’s assertion that the shows will be presented at the Festival, only that nothing has yet been confirmed.
The leak, leading to Ouzounian’s report, can be damaging to the Festival, which might still be in the process of negotiating the rights to these shows.
Also, as noted below, Ouzounian speculated that Cynthia Dale would be cast in the leading role of Desirée in “A Little Night Music.” This speculation put Dale, director Griffin and everyone who might audition for that role in an uncomfortable position.
To me it all feels like a scene from the film “The Sweet Smell of Success” with Tony Curtis and Burt Lancaster who plays J. J. Hunsecker, a writer “whose gossip is gospel.”
Lancaster plays writer J.J. Hunsecker who holds considerable sway over public opinion with his Broadway column.
Ouzounian noted that “No casting is set yet for either show, but you wouldn’t have to be a betting person to put some money on the odds that Cynthia Dale would return to play the leading role of Desirée in A Little Night Music. Not only do she and Griffin have a history of working well together, but she’s ideal casting as the flirtatious theatre star of a certain age who breaks hearts left, right and centre.”