The Post-Gazette's annual Critic's Choice tour to the Shaw Festival heads north, Sept. 11-14.
The Shaw is in pretty, compact Niagara-on-the-Lake, north of Niagara Falls, five hours from Pittsburgh by motor coach. People love it: This will be the 69th tour PG senior theater critic Chris Rawson has led to the Shaw in 34 years.
In addition to the stimulating plays and colorful town, another attraction is the charming Prince of Wales hotel, a few steps from all three theaters, not to mention shops, parks and Lake Ontario.
We see five shows, plus two options, adding up to three comedies, two dramas and two musicals. Authors include Wilde, O'Neill, Brian Friel and Shaw, whose comi-intellectual, Anglo-Irish influence is everywhere in this theatrical smorgasbord.
• "Major Barbara," Shaw's comic battle between father and daughter over feminism, war, ideals and morality.
• "Trifles," a noontime, hour-long treat of two short marital mysteries: Susan Glaspell's "Trifles" and Eugene O'Neill's "A Wife for a Life."
• "Enchanted April," a romantic comedy about four ordinary women who set off on an Italian adventure and change their lives.
• "Lady Windermere's Fan," one of Oscar Wilde's major comedies, a witty marital mystery of political and personal scheming.
• "Faith Healer," Brian Friel's intriguing drama of conflicting points of view, all about an itinerant healer in the Irish countryside.
The two options:
• "Guys and Dolls," the quintessential American musical of post-Prohibition wiseguys and chorines, with Frank Loesser's great score.
• "Light in the Piazza," a surprising, vest-pocket musical tale of an American girl, her worried mother and an Italian suitor.
Included in the package are a welcoming dinner and a post-show discussion over drinks.
The prices are $1,389 per person, based on double occupancy, with a single supplement of $449. A deposit of $500 per person is required to hold a reservation; status of reservation will be sent upon receipt of deposit.
Space is limited. Deposits are made payable and mailed to Gulliver's Travels, 460 S. Graham St., Pittsburgh, PA 15232-1210; phone 412-441-3131 or, outside Pittsburgh, 1-800-848-4084.
Call Gulliver's with questions about trip details, but contact Mr. Rawson with questions about the plays (412-216-1944 or email@example.com).