Category Archives: On Stage

‘I Want It All’ Takes Center Stage

Confederation Centre is proud to present the explosive new musical Belles Soeurs: The Musical this September as the closing production of The Charlottetown Festival season. Crackling with electricity and performed by a powerhouse cast and musicians, Belles Sœurs arrives in Charlottetown following stellar reviews and sold-out crowds in Montreal and Ottawa (NAC).

This touching and heartfelt English-language musical is based on Michel Tremblay’s internationally­-celebrated play and is produced by Copa de Oro and the Segal Centre for the Performing Arts. Adapted and directed by René Richard Cyr in collaboration with the award winning duo Neil Bartram and Brian Hill, Tremblay’s tale takes on a whole new dimension in this outrageously fun and comedic musical performed by a powerhouse all-female cast.

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Working-class Montreal housewife Germaine Lauzon wins one million department store stamps and invites family and friends over to celebrate. But pride + greed = envy! The 11 women complain aggressively, overshare shamelessly, and fantasize freely while secretly coveting Germaine’s precious stamps.

“This is a story about family. About a daughter struggling to break free from her overbearing mother, and sisters learning to accept each other for who they are, and not who the other thinks they should be,” says Artistic Director Adam Brazier. “Belles Soeurs is a touching and heartfelt musical comedy straight from the heart of the Canadian spirit and we are thrilled to present it on Prince Edward Island.”

Richly textured and outrageously fun, Belles Sœurs will sweep you through joy and drama, laughs, tears, and the heights and depths of the human condition, all resonating through the medium of the modern musical. Audiences will fall in love with hits such as ‘I Want it All,’ ‘Bingo,’ and ‘Johnny,’ that will have them humming for days.

The Festival is pleased to announce that Dora-Award winning actress Lisa Horner will star as the Montreal housewife Germaine, alongside a stacked ensemble. A celebrated name in Canadian theatre, Horner has performed for Mirvish, Shaw, and Stratford, as well as TV credits on Little Mosque on the Prairie, Wind at My Back, and Road to Avonlea. She won a Dora in 2013 for her role in The Wizard of Oz and is currently in the show’s ensemble at the NAC.

“I am over the moon that I get to play this incredible woman, Germaine!” she offers, “and also to bring this beautiful piece of Canadian theatre to this beautiful Island!”

The Charlottetown Festival is presented by CIBC. Confederation Centre wishes to recognize the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Government of P.E.I., and the City of Charlottetown for their continued support. Media sponsors are The Guardian, Hot 105.5, Ocean 100, and CTV.

Irving Stars as (Post) Mistress

Continuing its Canadian theme, Victoria Playhouse is staging the award-winning Canadian Cree playwright Tomson Highway’s The (Post) Mistress, starring Martha Irving. This “little musical with big secrets”, opening August 7, has been lauded by critics and audiences alike for its upbeat, jazzy tunes and engaging story.

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Martha Irving has performed this role previously at Neptune Theatre, Ship’s Company Theatre, and The Thousand Islands Playhouse.

‘Melville Boys’ Opens 35th Victoria Season

The Victoria Playhouse opens its thirty-fifth season on June 26 with Norm Foster’s classic Canadian comedy, The Melville Boys. The Victoria Playhouse has produced dozens of works by Canadian playwrights, both emerging and established, since its first season in 1982.

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“Norm Foster is Canada’s most produced playwright,” says Pat Stunden Smith, Managing Director of the Victoria Playhouse. “He has a great instinct for dialogue and his scripts are at once funny and real.”

The Melville Boys features Jeremie Saunders and Becca Griffin, reprising the dynamic onstage rapport that made 2014’s Kiss the Moon, Kiss the Sun such an outstanding success. Newcomers to the Victoria Playhouse, Corey Turner and Helen Killorn, round out this vibrant cast.

 

Island Lad Debuts as Gilbert

For the first time in the 52 seasons Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™ has run in Charlottetown, an Islander will play Anne’s beau. The Charlottetown Festival has announced that Aaron Hastelow will debut as Gilbert this summer opposite P.E.I.’s Jessica Gallant as Anne. This also marks the first time two Island natives have held the storied production’s romantic leads.

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Hastelow is no stranger to local audiences, having essentially grown up at Confederation Centre and performed in numerous productions, including in Ring of Fire, Anne & Gilbert, two seasons with the Young Company, and as the male lead in the Christmas musical, Cinderella. He recently spent three seasons at the Shaw Festival and is currently performing in Evita for The Vancouver Opera.

“Playing Gilbert is the pinnacle of full circle moments for me,” he remarks. “Having started with the Centre as a child of Avonlea when I was eight years old, to now, finally stepping into Gilbert’s boots — it really doesn’t get much more meaningful. This is the role that inspired me to become an actor, and I can’t tell you what it means to me to be given the opportunity to play this iconic Islander.”

Gallant and Hastelow are both alums of Sheridan College and performed together in the 2010 Young Company. “I am so proud to be from here, and sharing the stage with my dear friend and fellow Islander, Jessica, just makes the moment even sweeter,” he continues. “I feel like we are in for a truly golden summer!”

The Charlottetown Festival is presented by CIBC and Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™ begins previews on June 29. Directed by Wade Lynch, Anne™ plays select dates until August 27, 2016. Hastelow will also perform in the ensemble for the ABBA-inspired mega-musical, Mamma Mia!, which begins previews on June 1.

Says the Centre’s Artistic Director Adam Brazier of the latest addition to his company, “It is always so encouraging for us to welcome Islanders back home to our festival. We take great pride in supporting and training the next generation of artists from our province. As one generation exits the stage, another must enter. It is our continued goal to help see that next generation flourish and grow.”

Confederation Centre wishes to recognize Tim Hortons as the title sponsor for Mamma Mia! and acknowledge the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Government of P.E.I., and the City of Charlottetown for their continued support. Media sponsors are The Guardian, Hot 105.5, Ocean 100, and CTV.

Smith Rounds Out Watermark Cast

Suzanne Roberts Smith is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada & The Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre.

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Some credits include: Soulpepper: Yours Forever, Marie-Lou. Stratford Festival: The Tempest (with Christopher Plummer)/.Two Gentlemen of Verona.Bartholomew Fair.Three Sisters. Phedre. The Empty Room. Melancholy Play. Summerworks:: Maracatu You! (Outstanding Ensemble: NOW Magazine). T.O. Fringe Festival: Offensive to Some. (Outstanding Performance & Production: NOW Magazine). Blyth Festival: The Gingko Tree. The Thirteenth One. T.O. Festival of Clowns: Sad Object Bad Object. Film and Television: Murdoch Mysteries. Tempest.

Browne Brings the Love to the Watermark

After graduating with a BFA in Acting from the University of Windsor, Joshua Browne has had the privilege of working with an array of great companies in Toronto and around the country, including IFT Theatre, Circlesnake Theatre, Theatre Gargantua, Shakespeare Bash’d, Theatre By the Bay, Hart House Theatre, and many more.

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His paternal grandmother was born and raised in Charlottetown and he’s thrilled to be headed to PEI and the Watermark Theatre for the first time to do what he loves to do.

Recent credits include: Mercutio/Laertes/Macduff/Sir Toby for The Classical Theatre Project, Tybalt for Theatre By The Bay, Dark Matter (Circlesnake Theatre), Avaricious (Theatre Gargantua), nightmareDREAM (IFT/Obsidian), and the hit world-premiere of Byhalia, Mississippi (cue6 Theatre).

Briere Joins Watermark Cast

Daniel Briere has joined the 2016 Watermark Theatre acting company. Trained at Mount Royal College in Calgary and The National Theatre School in Montreal, he has spent the last three seasons at the Stratford Festival of Canada.

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Recent credits include: Hamlet (Shakespeare Bash’d), The Diary of Anne Frank, Antony and Cleopatra, Romeo and Juliet (Stratford Festival), Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Shrew! (Storefront Theatre). TV/Film credits include: Reign, Rookie Blue, Murdoch Mysteries, The Bridge.