ideas banner

Summer Theatre Preview


Reading + Entertainment

  • close-up of theatre stage floor with seating and lights in the background

Jessica, Preston | August 1, 2020

Movies for 2020 Theatre Fans

Summer 2020 was supposed to be a great one for theatre lovers. With the amazing touring productions arriving in Toronto, the Stratford Festival’s biggest season yet, and Drayton Entertainment’s usual slate of top-notch shows, we had a lot to look forward to.

Then COVID-19 hit, and every single production was either cancelled or postponed.

On the bright side, many of this summer’s plays and musicals have already been made into movies. If you’d like a taste of what could have been, check out some of these great DVDs available from Idea Exchange:

Chicago Hamlet Peter Pan The Hollow Crown Monty Python's Holy Grail


Where you were supposed to see it: The Stratford Festival

About the show: Bad behaviour is the road to stardom, at least for jazz age murderesses Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly. With the help of their slick lawyer, Billy Flynn, they plan to shake off their murder charges and make it big. The 2002 film adaptation won 6 Oscars, including Best Picture.


Where you were supposed to see it: The Stratford Festival

About the show: After the hasty marriage of his uncle to his mother, Prince Hamlet returns to investigate his father’s murder. In an exciting twist, Stratford’s production was going to have a gender-swapped Hamlet. For a more traditional take, try Laurence Olivier’s 1948 film version.

Wendy & Peter Pan

Where you were supposed to see it: The Stratford Festival

About the show: Wendy was going to be the star in playwright Ella Hickson’s reinvention of J.M. Barrie’s classic tale, although Peter Pan, Tinkerbell, and Captain Hook would still have been around too. If you haven’t already seen the most iconic movie version, be sure to watch Disney’s classic 1953 animated adaptation.

Richard III

Where you were supposed to see it: The Stratford Festival

About the show: Colm Feore was going to play the title scheming, humpbacked king in Stratford’s production. Benedict Cumberbatch took on the role in the third episode of 2016’s “The Hollow Crown”.

Monty Python’s Spamalot

Where you were supposed to see it: The Stratford Festival

About the show: Stratford has been hitting it out of the park when it comes to musical-comedies (they did “Little Shop of Horrors” last year and “Rocky Horror” in 2018). Their production of “Spamalot” looked to be just has hilarious as the source material, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (1975).

Much ado about nothing Fourty Second Street Les Miserables Driving Miss DaisyKinky Boots

Much Ado About Nothing

Where you were supposed to see it: The Stratford Festival

About the show: In one of Shakespeare’s best comedies, Beatrice and Benedick trade insults until their friends trick them into falling in love. Joss Whedon’s 2012 movie adaptation was filmed over twelve days at Whedon’s own house and stars alumni from his popular TV shows (including “Buffy,” “Angel,” “Firefly,” and “Dollhouse”).

42nd Street

Where you were supposed to see it: Hamilton Family Theatre, Cambridge

About the show: You may not know the story of this musical about Broadway during the Great Depression, but you probably know some of the songs (“We’re In the Money,” “I Only Have Eyes For You”). The live production is based on the 1933 classic movie, which features a young Ginger Rogers.

Les Misérables

Where you were supposed to see it: Princess of Wales Theatre, Toronto

About the show: Based on the classic Victor Hugo novel about justice and revolution in 19th-century France, “Les Misérables” was one of the biggest musicals of the 1980s and is still just as popular today, with countless international productions. The award-winning 2012 film adaptation starred Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway.

Driving Miss Daisy

Where you were supposed to see it: St. Jacob’s Country Playhouse

About the show: This Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about an old Jewish lady and her African-American chauffeur originally premiered in 1987. The 1989 film adaptation, starring Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy, won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Kinky Boots

Where you were supposed to see it: Huron Country Playhouse, Grand Bend

About the show: Featuring music by Cyndi Lauper and based on the 2005 movie, “Kinky Boots” tells the true story of a British shoe factory that boosted business when it started catering to drag performers.


Were you planning to see some theatre this summer? Which shows are you looking forward to seeing when the theatres reopen? Tell us in the comments below!


Submitted by Lauren (not verified) on

I was supposed to see Hamilton on March naturally I am very sad about that. Kinky Boots is one of my faves, and I was supposed to see that as well. Hopefully I will get to see Hamilton eventually, as well as Harry Potter and the Cursed Child if it still manages to go ahead early next year in TO.