The New Anne Shirley

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On Wednesday, July 5 at 4:30 p.m., Meet Me at Green Gables and Rideau rouge et pignons verts, published by Bouton d’or Acadie, will be launched in Studio 1 at Confederation Centre of the Arts. Written by Michel Bourque and illustrated by Jean-Luc Trudel, the two children’s books – one publication in English and one in French – tell the story of Gracie Finley and Glenda Landry, who played Anne and Diana in Anne of Green Gables—The Musical TM.

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“It’s great that the books are being launched where the story actually took place – at Confederation Centre of the Arts,” reflects Prince Edward Island author Michel Bourque. “This is where Gracie and Glenda’s dreams of performing on stage all came true. And what a great way to celebrate Canada 150!”

 Gracie Finley played the part of Anne from 1968 to 1974 and in 1984 and 1985. She remains the youngest to be cast in the title role of The Charlottetown Festival musical and was the first native Islander to do so. Glenda Landry played Diana between 1970 and 1991 and also played many other Avonlea characters in the long-running musical, including Mrs. Rachel Lynde and Mrs. Pye. Gracie and Glenda have played the parts of Anne and Diana more times than anyone else and have delighted fans around the world, from Japan to New York City, and at home on P.E.I.

In 1984, Michel Bourque had the chance to see Gracie and Glenda play the roles of Anne and Diana at The Charlottetown Festival. Thirty years later, he attended an event at the Centre where the two actors shared their memories of the Guinness Record-holding musical. Inspired by their beautiful friendship on stage and off, Michel started writing a children’s story as a tribute to both of them. “I love Jean-Luc’s illustrations!” enthuses Michel. “They beautifully capture the essence of Gracie and Glenda’s heartwarming story,” he adds.

 This is not the first time that Quebec illustrator Jean-Luc Trudel has created illustrations to tell the story of a well-known Island artist. In fact, he illustrated the book Le pit à papa, inspired by the childhood story of singer-songwriter Angèle Arsenault. The picture book Ma petite boule d’amour, which he created with author, playwright and actress Jasmine Dubé, was shortlisted for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. More recently, he illustrated Diane Carmel Léger’s My Two Grandmothers.

 All are welcome to attend the book launch on July 5 in Studio 1, which will include a book signing, refreshments, and remarks from Gracie and Glenda. Those who wish to attend are asked to RSVP by sending an e-mail to etheuerkauf@confederationcentre.com by June 30.

Rockin’ in Memphis

If it weren’t for the rocks in its bed, the stream would have no song. ~ Carl Perkins

Blue Suede Shoes opened things up. The set was a border of light featuring a recording studio full of gold records & vintage instruments. I couldn’t miss this Opening Night & I was not disappointed with this picture perfect Charlottetown Festival musical celebration last Friday!

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Million Dollar Quartet had a great storyline centred around Sam Phillips’ (played by Stephen Guy-McGrath) Sun Records, 4 legends from the 50’s and loyalty to the man who got them to the top of the game when Rock n’ Roll was in its infancy. A young up and coming Jerry Lee Lewis (Jefferson McDonald) was a Real Wild Child and was my personal favorite of the Quartet. He was outspoken and matched his over the edge comedy with high adrenaline musical portrayals of his best known songs.

The King of Rockabilly, Carl Perkins (Ed Murphy) had something to prove and played some awesome licks on the guitar, Man in Black Johnny Cash (Greg Gale) walked the line with a heavy heart, & The King Elvis Presley, (who was accompanied by his girl Dyanne (Alicia Toner), was the guest of honor.

Some of my favorite performances included Who Do You Love? By Perkins, That’s All Right by Presley, Fever by Dyanne, I Walk the Line by Cash, & of course, Great Balls of Fire by Lewis.

The players had the moves, the look, and most notably, the musical ability to make me believe I was transported in time to Memphis for an inside look at a session like no other. Great tunes, and a fast paced sentimental journey music fans of any generation can appreciate in a 1 act masterpiece. It is definitely happening at The Confederation Centre in Charlottetown in 2017!

 

Written by Cindy Lapena.

Originally posted on http://www.onrpei.ca. Used by permission.

Top Hats and Tales

The Four Tellers are back with their new show, Top Hats and Tales. All new stories and even bigger laughs! David Weale, Alan Buchanan, Dennis King and Gary Evans gather around the kitchen table on the Harbourfront Theatre stage for two evenings of off the cuff storytelling, covering four distinct areas of the Island and talking politics, religion, liquor and language.

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Throw in a few local impressions and some live tunes and you’re in for a rollicking Saturday night PEI kitchen party!

The Four Tellers are at the Harbourfront Theatre on July 22 air 7:30 PM.

Watermark Announces Music Series

Watermark is pleased to announce the lineup for the 2017 Classic Music Reignited Series. Curated by Rob Oakie, the series features Island musical artists interpreting classic composers. To commemorate Canada’s sesquicentennial the 2017 series will consist of all Canadian composers. The three Sunday evening performances will feature an all-female Canadian composers night, an all male Canadian composers night, and a Canadian band night.

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July 23rd Canadian Composers – Female
The Music of k.d. lang, Alanis Morissette, Feist
Performed by: Kelley Mooney, Katie McGarry, Marlee & Morgan Saulnier

August 6th Canadian Composers – Bands
The Music of Barenaked Ladies, The Band, Heart
Performed by: Dylan Menzie, Nick Doneff, Ben Aitken

August 20th Canadian Composers – Male
The Music of Kim Mitchell, Gino Vanelli, Stan Rogers
Performed by: Richard Wood & Gordon Belsher, Tim MacPherson, Logan Richard

All performances are at 7:30PM.
Tickets can be purchased at http://www.ticketwizard.ca

For more information please contact Andrea Surich at 902-963-3963 or generalmanager@watermarktheatre.com

Watermark is a proud member of the PTN – Professional Theatre Network of PEI