House of Martin Guerre Debuts in Charlottetown

The Confederation Centre of the Arts is bringing the critically-acclaimed and multi-award-winning The House of Martin Guerre toThe Charlottetown Festival this September. This intimate concert presentation, starring Adam Brazier and Josée Boudreau, is based on a true story from 16thcentury France and explores what limits an individual confronts to follow their heart.

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The original book was written by Leslie Arden and Anna Theresa Cascio, and then adapted to music and lyrics by Leslie Arden. The story follows a young peasant girl named Bertrande who is forced to marry the abusive Martin Guerre.  After years of unhappy marriage, he abandons her and their son; but years later a stranger returns claiming to be Martin Guerre. He is a transformed individual and Bertrande accepts this person, but then she declares him an imposter and he is sent to jail and trial.

“Making its Atlantic Canadian debut, The House of Martin Guerreis a powerful musical about community, tradition, and what we’re willing to believe for love,” says Adam Brazier, artistic director of The Charlottetown Festival and starring in this musical.

It is one of the most celebrated Canadian musicals ever written, but it was lost to the public for decades because rights of the piece were locked up by American commercial producers. The last productions were in Toronto in 1997 and in Chicago in 1996.  This production at the Confederation Centre, directed by Mary Francis Moore with musical direction by Wayne Gwillim, is a chance for local audiences to see this concert.

“I saw this inspired musical almost 20 years ago and it remains one of the best original Canadian musicals I’ve ever seen,” says Brazier.

Leslie Arden is one of Canada’s foremost musical theatre composers. Her extensive career has taken her around the world, but her love of theatre came from watching The Charlottetown Festival, where her mother, Cleone Duncan, performed for many years in Anne of Green Gables – The Musical™.

The House of Martin Guerre (Concert Presentation) comes to the Homburg Theatre on September 18 at 7:30 p.m. and tickets can be purchased now. Appreciation is extended to the title sponsor for The 2018 Charlottetown Festival, CIBC. Media sponsors are Ocean 100, Hot 105.5, and The Guardian.

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Soul Sister Takes the Lead

The story of Jesus Christ Superstar is told through the eyes of Judas Iscariot – a tragic figure who is dissatisfied with how Jesus is leading his disciples and what downfalls may come because of it. This season at The Charlottetown Festival, audiences have been raving about actor Lee Siegel’s interpretation of the role.

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This week, people who come to our production of Jesus Christ Superstar will see a new interpretation, as actress Alicia Toner fills in for the iconic part.

“I’ve known since I got my contract for this year that I would be going on this week, so I started going back to the album and the movie and listening again,” says Toner about her preparation. “I also had the entire rehearsal period to watch Lee (Siegel) make Judas into a compassionate but conflicted being and had my own understudy run to get a feeling for stepping into this role.”

Toner is a well-known singer and performer on P.E.I.. Earlier this year she won the SOCAN Songwriter of the Year award with MusicPEI and has been on The Charlottetown Festival main stage for the past six seasons.

The role of Judas, itself, has always been a dream for Toner to play. Toner says, “I definitely did not think I would ever be able to say I got a chance to play Judas. It means a lot to be able to do it here in Charlottetown.”

Adam Brazier, director of Jesus Christ Superstar and artistic director of The Charlottetown Festival, is also excited to see Toner in this role.

“Alicia Toner is a powerhouse force of nature. Her incredible vocals and ability to interpret this story without gender bias or any shifting of narrative offers an amazing experience for anyone who is familiar with this highly celebrated production,” adds Brazier.

For Toner, she feels the narrative of the story doesn’t change with a woman in the role of Judas, but by simply having a different actor playing that part it will be a new experience for audience-goers.

“If you’ve already seen the show, you know that Lee is a force to be reckoned with. We are obviously two different people, genders aside, and seeing the show with a different Judas will be a different experience. That being said, the narrative remains the same. One thing I love about playing Judas as a woman is that nothing needs to change.

If you’ve heard the musical, you also know how vocally-demanding the role of Judas can be. Toner has years of experience as a singer and performer that has allowed her to prepare, vocally, for these parts. Only in one song was the key changed and the rest remains the same. Still, even though she feels she’s ready, she’s also nervous and excited.

“Name the emotion and I am feeling it – excited to share the stage in a different context with this incredible cast and thankful to Lee for creating such a beautiful character for me to step in to.”

Alicia Toner will be taking on the role of Judas from August 15 to 19 and can be seen throughout the season in Jesus Christ Superstar as a Soul Sister and Anne of Green Gables-The Musical as Prissy Andrews until September 22.

Last Yuks of the Summer

August 18, 2018 10:30 pm – 11:30 pm
The Popalopalots (PEI’s favorite improv group) will be taking the stage June 9th & 23rd, July 7th & 21st, and August 4th & 18th at The Guild, bringing laughs and an all-around good time with them…All while making everything up on the spot!
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Just like a classic episode of ‘Whose Line is it Anyway?’ the audience members play a pivotal role at a Popalopots show, where they bring suggestions to life with stories, characters, and jokes that either knock it out of the park or, at times, fall flat on their face. Either way, you’ll be in for a night of unforgettable laughs.

Tickets are $15 with general admission seating.

30 Years of Hoofing It

dance umbrella registration is now open for 2018-2019 classesCelebrating 30 years of collaboration, inclusivity, and creativity

dance umbrella, an arts education training programme under Confederation Centre of the Arts, is celebrating 30 years of providing high-quality dance and movement classes. The school offers instruction in a wide range of dance styles for children, young people, and adults, such ascreative movement, ballet, jazz, contemporary, afro-jazz, hip-hop, tap, and musical theatre.Registration for 2018-2019 classes are now open with classes starting on September 10, 2018.

 

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Founders Peggy Reddin and Julia Sauvé established dance umbrella in 1988 with the vision to make a more inclusive and collaborative dance community. For the past 30 years, dance umbrella has strived to highlight dance as an enriching art form that helps build self-confidence, create healthy bodies and minds, and develop creativity. Thousands of students have gone through its training programmes, many of whom have successful careers in the arts. Students under the programme have the opportunity to perform in works outside the context of school recitals and increased opportunity to work with other artists in the community. Notable collaborations have included the National Ballet School and thePrince Edward Island Symphony Orchestra.

 

Registration for classes are open until September 10. To view the full list of classes or to register, please visit: confederationcentre.com/arts-education/dance-umbrella

Between a Rock and a Country Song

ELVIS ROCK & COUNTRY
SATURDAY, AUGUST 18TH, 7:30 PM at the Harbourfront Theatre
VIP tickets (Rows A-E): $50.00 (tax & fees included)
Regular tickets: $40.00 (tax & fees included)

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Born a country boy, Elvis Presley loved to sing country songs. When he sang a song it came straight from the heart. International World Champion Thane Dunn and his Cadillac Kings return with the Rock and Country Presley classics that you’ve loved for years, from Blue Suede Shoes to Always on my Mind, Suspicious Minds, Kentucky Rain, I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry and many more, performed by the man hailed by many as the best in the business.

Thane Dunn has the full Elvis package: the look, moves and magnetic personality like none other and is actually endorsed by several people who worked and performed with Elvis. Bill Baize of JD Sumner and the Stamps, who performed with Elvis from 1971 to ’76, says, “Thane Dunn is the closest thing I’ve ever seen.”

You will laugh, cry, and cheer in amazement as you are transported back in time to the good ole days.

Special opening act Melly Dunn as the Rhinestone Cowgirl with her amazing Salute to the Queens of Country Music: Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline and Tammy Wynette.