Things are about to heat up for one Winnipeg-based theatre company.
Winnipeg's Dry Cold Productions marks their 20th anniversary with A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder — a hilariously grim belated celebration!
Established in 2001 by actor, singer and director Donna Fletcher and fellow Winnipeg arts community organizer Reid Harrison, the company was created with the vision of presenting musicals rarely (if ever!) produced in Winnipeg by a professional theatre company.
“At that point, the large theatres were doing really big, super traditional Golden Age musicals primarily,” says Fletcher. “We really birthed this idea because we wanted to do a bunch of Sondheim musicals.”
Starting with A Little Night Music in their inaugural year, Dry Cold Productions has gone on to produce many other Sondheim works (Into the Woods, Company and Sweeney Todd) and beyond, while employing multidisciplinary actors and artists.
“When we created the company, we made our mandate to hire and foster local people primarily… as well as to mix up our wonderful performers from the opera world, the musical theatre world and from the straight theatre world.”
One such individual is Erin McGrath — director of Dry Cold’s twentieth production, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.
After moving to Winnipeg in 2005, McGrath quickly came to know Fletcher through Winnipeg’s tight-knit theatre community.
“I moved here and was working primarily as a performer,” says McGrath, who performed in the 2017 Dry Cold staging of The Bridges of Madison County.
“Over the last few years, I have been transitioning more into directing,” says McGrath. “Dry Cold really does foster such a rounded aspect of our careers here in Winnipeg.”
Described as “a murderous romp filled with unforgettable music, non-stop laughs and a scene-stealing role for one actor playing all eight of the doomed heirs who meet their ends in the most creative and side-splitting ways,” A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder opened on Broadway in 2013 and was the most-nominated show of the season — taking home 4 Tony Awards.
“I think this show really helps us return back to the roots of what we created the company for,” says Fletcher on the multidisciplinary nature of cast. From operatic coloratura to classic Gilbert and Sullivan style patter to Golden Age songbook singing, the vocal requirements run the gamut.
“You can genuinely just sit back and watch these incredibly talented performers just tear it up and do what they do best.” “You don’t walk out feeling stressed. It’s just pure joy. Morbid… but joyful!”
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder runs from Tuesday, June 21 through Sunday the 26th at Manitoba Theatre for Young People.
Visit: www.drycoldproductions.ca for more details and tickets!