The Buzz By Brazier

 What’s the buzz, tell me what’s happenin”… iconic rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar opens June 7 at The 2018 Charlottetown Festival.

If you are one of the thousands of long-time fans of the musical, you will be interested in hearing more about the back-story of the origins and shaping of the ground-breaking production. If you didn’t live through the 70s belting out the soundtrack, this is a wonderful opportunity to hear more about this timeless, universal story with a modern twist that explores the last week of Jesus’ life as seen through the troubled eyes of Judas Iscariot.  

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Please join The Charlottetown Festival’s Artistic Director, Adam Brazier, on April 18 at 7:00 p.m. in the Confederation Centre Library for “Director’s Cut – Jesus Christ Superstar.”

Adam will discuss the production’s history, rich themes, and the challenges he faced adapting Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s musical for the Homburg stage.

Admission is free. Please RSVP by emailing Kara Hughes at khughes@confederationcentre.com.

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Stars of Superstar

Complete casting has been announced for Jesus Christ Superstar at The 2018 Charlottetown Festival. The Adam Brazier-directed production will present his take on Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s legendary rock opera.

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The 2018 cast is anchored by Festival newcomer Lee Siegel as Judas, with PEI’s Aaron Hastelow as Jesus Christ. Joining them as Mary Magdalene is another Festival newcomer Hailey Gillis. Other leads include Greg Gale as Caiaphas, Cameron MacDuffee as King Herod, Edward Murphy as High Priest, Brendan Wall as Pontius Pilate, Jacob MacInnis as Peter, Andrew McAllister as Simon Zealotes, and Tara Jackson as Annas.

This will be Lee’s fifth time performing in a production of Jesus Christ Superstar; his past performances have included a run on Broadway where he played Simon Zealotes the 2012 revival. The Niagara Falls, ON native is excited to play Judas again, this time for The Charlottetown Festival.

Jesus Christ Superstar has been a part of my life since I was a child and I’m thrilled to have the chance to step back into the shoes of Judas,” says Siegel. He goes on to say, “I have never been to PEI, so I’m looking forward to meeting the locals, experiencing the Island, and sharing in the excitement of the Festival. It’s an honour to be a part of such a prestigious Canadian theatre company, and I hope it’s the start of many seasons to come.”

Gillis will make her debut to the Festival as Mary Magdalene. The Grimsby, ON native is no stranger to the stage, having performed in all major theatres across Canada including several seasons with Soulpepper.

A global phenomenon that has wowed audiences for over 40 years, Jesus Christ Superstar is a timeless rock opera set against the backdrop of an extraordinary and universally known series of events seen through the eyes of Judas Iscariot. Appreciation is extended to the title sponsor for The 2018 Charlottetown Festival, CIBC. Media sponsors are Ocean 100, Hot 105.5, and The Guardian. The musical is sponsored by Tim Hortons. Show opens on June 7 in the Homburg Theatre.

Celebrating World Theatre Day

Confederation Centre of the Arts will be celebrating World Theatre Day on March 27 with a free play reading of One Man, Two Guvnors by Richard Bean, happening in the Art Gallery at 7:00 p.m.

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Since 1962, World Theatre Day has been celebrated by theatre professionals, organizations, universities and theatre lovers all over the world on the 27th of March. This day is a celebration for those who can see the value and importance of the art form “theatre”.  For more information: http://www.world-theatre-day.org/

Please join Artistic Director, Adam Brazier for:

 World Theatre Day Celebration at the Centre

Free play reading: One Man, Two Guvnors by Richard Bean

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

7:00 p.m. in the ART GALLERY

A partnership with The PEI Pay-What-You-Can Theatre Festival

 The runaway West End and Broadway hit, One Man, Two Guvnors by Richard Bean is a classic ensemble slapstick farce.Join us for a romp through this hilarious and complicated world of small-potatoes gangsterism, cross-dressing, mistaken identity, and thwarted romance…

Full synopsis: http://ntlive.nationaltheatre.org.uk/productions/17222-one-man-two-guvnors

Dutch Mason Pulls In

The New Next Gilbert

J.J. Gerber is more than excited to be the next actor to play Avonlea’s beloved Gilbert Blythe in The 2018 Charlottetown Festival production of Anne of Green Gables: The Musical™.

thumbnail_image006“I grew up enjoying this story with my sister and Gilbert was always my favourite,” says Gerber. “When I heard that I would be getting a chance to play Gilbert I called her and we both couldn’t believe it.”

The Brampton, Ontario native is no stranger to the stage. Gerber just wrapped up Grease at the Winter Garden Theatre in Toronto where he played Sonny’s understudy. Last year Gerber played Troy in Stratford’s A Chorus Line, and was a member of La Troupe in Moliere’s The Hypochondriac.  He is currently playing Eddie in Citadel’s production of Mamma Mia!

This will be Gerber’s Charlottetown festival debut and he’ll do so opposite AJ Bridel who will reprise the role of Anne Shirley. The Kitchener, Ontario native captured the hearts of audiences last summer with her endless energy and abundance of talent. She just completed the Ross Petty pantomime A Christmas Carol-The Family Musical with a Scrooge Loose! in Toronto.

For his part, Gerber says that the story of Anne of Green Gables is the epitome of Canadian culture in theatrical form. “This story is about growing up in a land full of promise, possibility, and hope, and accepting those in need even if it isn’t the popular idea.” He ends by saying, “To think that I get to be a part of The Charlottetown Festival is truly a dream come true.”

The Adam Brazier-directed production is in year two of a major three-year refresh, and he is pleased to announce that this summer there will be a new revolving stage.

“The new stage will not only add a beautiful island texture to our production, but it will allow for better fluidity in our storytelling,” says Brazier.

Brazier goes on to explain that in the centre of the stage is an 18 foot revolve that is large enough to turn the Green Gables house 360 degrees. He says that this new perspective will inspire audiences to have the same sense of awe and wonder that Anne experiences. The stage will also become essential to scene changes, which he says, could play a pivotal role in creating the illusion of distance and travel. He ends by pointing out that although the stage is designed for Anne of Green Gables: The Musical™, there will be an additional platform that can be laid on top of it to accommodate other productions at the Centre.

 “This is an exciting summer for our production and I am so grateful for the hard work of our staff to help make this new vision a reality,” says Brazier.

Anne of Green Gables: The Musical™, sponsored by CAA, begins its Guinness Record Holding 54th consecutive season on June 18, playing the Homburg Theatre until September 22. Playing opposite in the same theatre is Jesus Christ Superstar, sponsored by Tim Hortons, which runs June 7 until September 22. Appreciation is extended to the title sponsor for The 2018 Charlottetown Festival, CIBC. Media sponsors are Ocean 100, Hot 105.5, and The Guardian.

Stay tuned for more exciting casting announcements in the coming months.

Celebrating the Super Duper Fantabulous Smorgasbord

What do 25 step dancers, two stilt walkers, and an improv troupe have in common? They are all performing in this year’s Confederation Centre of the Arts Holiday Variety Show, happening December 15 and 16 in the Homburg Theatre.

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The Holiday Variety Show presents the very best in Island artists and community players. Artistic Director, Adam Brazier (Evangeline) alongside Patty Sullivan (Kids CBC), will host a variety show where audiences can expect a smorgasbord of entertainment ranging from an all-female barbershop quartet to step dancers, and we can’t forget the return of beloved Islander Tara MacLean.

“This show is meant to celebrate our community,” says Adam Brazier, artistic director for the Centre. “By doing so, we’re creating a unified spirit of joy this holiday season.”

The show opens with Brazier directing a make-believe musical number, as he comes up with a new concept for a holiday variety show that features talent from the Island community. The audience then becomes a “fly on the wall” as Brazier adjudicates the auditions, which are hilarious and maybe a little bizzare. In the final act the actual Holiday Variety Show is performed.

With a cast of over 90 people, ranging in ages from 6 to 75, this year’s Holiday Variety Show will leave you full of joy, gratitude, and jubilation for the holiday season.

Special performances also by: The Popalopolots, Ava and Lily Rashed, Roberts Academy of Dance, The Mi’kmaq Confederacy, Maria Campbell, Justin Simard, and many more.

For tickets please visit: http://www.confederationcentre.com/en/show/384-The-Confederation-Centre-Holiday-Variety-Show

Special thanks are extended to Sobeys, the title sponsor for LIVE @ the Centre! Media sponsors are The Guardian, Ocean 100, and Hot 105.5.

Holiday Spectacular Wants You!

The Holiday Spectacular Wants Island Community and Family Groups to Audition

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The Holiday Spectacular is a powerhouse FESTIVE event where our community is the star. We’re inviting all island and family groups of performers to audition and be a part of our Island’s holiday variety show. From dancing and singing to comedy and musical groups, we’re looking for it all. The sky is the limit. 

So ring in the joy of the season by showcasing your family’s hidden talents with us.

Holiday Spectacular is happening December 14 -16 @2 p.m. / 7 p.m.

Artistic Director Adam Brazier will be holding auditions on Saturday, October 28th and Sunday, October 29th. To book an audition time please contact Cindy Riley at criley@confederationcentre.com.