Due to construction delays at its $3 million downtown Sudbury Refettorio outdoor theatre — and the popularity of its current “Jersey Boys” production — STC-YES Theatre is making some adjustments in its summer programming.
“Romeo and Juliet,” which was supposed to open at the Refettorio on Aug. 8, is now slated to run Aug. 22 to Sept. 3.
Similarly, “Forever & For Always: The Music of Shania Twain,” which was supposed to open at the Refettorio Aug. 9, has had its run changed to Sept. 7 through Sept. 24.
“Jersey Boys,” which began its run in the Sudbury Theatre Centre building on July 7, is having its run extended by a week until Aug. 13 — and possibly longer if the demand is there.
The theatre companies’ executive director, Alessandro Costantini, said they probably could have “crammed” to open the Refettorio shows with the current dates, “but there’s so many things involved with opening a new theatre, right?
“It’s amazing how many tiny details there are. We're used to building sets and getting a production opener, and seeing it all come together in three days — and it feels like that. But of course, it's such a mammoth, huge thing.”
Those who had booked tickets for the delayed Refettorio shows can contact the theatre centre to rebook their visit. Staff will also be reaching out to ticket holders.
Meanwhile, as stated above, the run of “Jersey Boys” has been extended for a week.
Costantini said as far as he’s aware, this will make it the longest-running show in Sudbury’s history, possibly in Northern Ontario, narrowly edging out popular productions at STC in the 1980s.
“We have broken box office records (for “Jersey Boys”), I think, six or seven times on daily sales, which is amazing, and we've officially sold over 8,000 tickets,” said Costantini, who directs and performs in the show himself.
“With the extension, it will be one of the longest-running shows in the history of the city. I believe the longest running (previously) was either ‘The King and I’ in the ’80s or ‘Oliver’ here at the STC back in the Tony Lloyd days.
“So to reach that level of, you know, fever pitch again, is quite extraordinary, because the ’80s here at the theater, were sort of the best time ever, right? So yeah, it's really quite wild.”
Why is “Jersey Boys” so popular? Costantini said the show is one of the most popular “jukebox musicals” in general, and Sudbury audiences have been enjoying it.
“It's the music that people know and love,” Costantini said. “It's the way in which the music is fused into this narrative that is very dramatic and compelling, and makes for good theatre.”
Giving his troupe props, Costantini said people won’t just show up to a show because of the title — there also have to be strong performances and production values.
STC-YES Theatre’s 2023 season continues this fall with “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” which is slated to open at STC on Oct. 20, and Roald Dahl’s “Matilda,” which opens Nov. 24.
Sudbury Theatre Centre and YES Theatre have presented their 2023 season in partnership as they’ve explored a merger.
Costantini said he expects the merger will be finalized next year, with the two entities examining the statistics from the 2023 season before moving forward with the final process.
“This show (“Jersey Boys”) alone is going to hit probably 12,000 people, which is like five years with the numbers in the previous model,” he said. “So it's quite exciting. And our kids' classes are at a record high number. There's just engagement on all levels. That feels really exciting.”
Heidi Ulrichsen is Sudbury.com’s associate content editor. She also covers education and the arts scene.