Tag Archives: Adam Brazier

Kronborg Ready to Be

Complete Casting Announced for ‘Kronborg—The Hamlet Rock Musical’

Epic rock musical telling of ‘Hamlet’ opens Friday, June 21 at Confederation Centre of the Arts

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A ghostly visitor with a secret; a son devastated by loss; a deadly sword duel – and the most famous question in all of drama (“To be or not to be…”).

These are just some of the reasons why Shakespeare’s iconic tragedy turned musical will hold you spellbound in the Homburg Theatre. Add in a thrilling rock opera score, a full orchestra, and a cast of 28 stellar Canadian actors, and you have all the makings of an intoxicating musical experience.

“This is a ghost story, a story of family, power, revenge, and sacrifice,” says Adam Brazier, artistic director of Confederation Centre. “As the great actor and director Lawrence Olivier said; it is the story of a man who cannot make up his mind.”

Opening June 21 at Confederation Centre of the Arts, the musical is sponsored by SYSCO Food Services. Playing until July 20, Kronborg returns to The Charlottetown Festival, 45 years after first mesmerizing theatre-goers in 1973-74.

The musical was a breakthrough for Confederation Centre and the country, becoming the first Canadian musical to play on Broadway in 1975. Originally written and conceived by Cliff Jones, the 2019 production promises to entrance a whole new generation of theatre-lovers. This re-envisioned production is directed by Mary Francis Moore with music direction from Craig Fair.

“Craig, Cliff, and I recognize the significance the piece plays, not only in the history of the Festival, but also in the history of new musicals in Canada,” offers Moore, who has been working with her artistic team to redevelop the musical for two years.

“This new production has been fully re-orchestrated and re-arranged musically—new life breathed into a Canadian classic,” she continues. “The inspiration for these changes all come from the beautiful lyrics and melodies Cliff wrote 45 years ago.”

Moore and Brazier are thrilled to now reveal complete casting for the epic musical. Starring Aaron Hastelow as Hamlet, the production includes:

Kimberly-Ann Truong as Ophelia, Cameron MacDuffee as Claudius,

Alanna Hibbert as Gertrude, Brendan Wall as the Ghost King,

Andrew McAllister as Marcellus, Jacob MacInnis as Horatio,

Teddy Moynihan as Rosencrantz, Nicole Norsworthy as Guildenstern,

Gray Monczka as Laertes, Michael Torontow as Polonius, and Nicola-Dawn Brook as Honeybelle.

See the complete cast and creative team listing in addendum. Confederation Centre wishes to acknowledge the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Government of P.E.I., and the City of Charlottetown for their continued support.

PEI Professional Theatre Network

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PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse
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Kronborg Hits the Homburg

Kronborg—The Hamlet Rock Musical opens June 21 at Confederation Centre

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“To be or not to be” is the most famous question in all of drama. And it is around this central question that the history of Kronborg–The Hamlet Rock Musical hangs upon.

And like Hamlet returning to Denmark, this celebrated Canadian musical is returning to The Charlottetown Festival, 45 years since it was first produced here. Sponsored by SYSCO Food Services the production runs June 28 to July 20—just 15 nights—in the Homburg Theatre at Confederation Centre of the Arts. Preview performances are slated for June 21 and June 27.

Cliff Jones, the musical’s creator, is excited to see the show take on a new life. “This talented company and this theatre will be incredible for Kronborg,” he muses, “and I’ve also gotten the chance to tweak little things that have nagged me for years.”

The electrifying rock production has been revived by Director Mary Francis Moore and Music Director Craig Fair, as well as the talented Festival cast, crew, and orchestra. But it was a winding road back to Charlottetown and the world-renowned Festival.

First commissioned as a CBC radio play in 1973, the original title was Kronborg: 1582, named for the Danish castle and year Shakespeare’s original revenge tragedy takes place.Jones’ inspiration came from when he first heard the Jesus Christ  Superstar soundtrack, which married anthemic rock music with rich storytelling. It is a curious symmetry that the Kronborg remount follows last summer’s Superstar as the next “big Festival show” here on the Centre mainstage. Both productions also star Island son, Aaron Hastelow.

After the original radio production in 1973, the play moved to the stage at Confederation Centre. Its first staging at the Festival in 1974 was an absolute hit leading to an eastern Canadian tour with Brent Carver as Hamlet and Beverly D’Angelo as Ophelia. In the following years Jones and other directors would tackle this production through diverse variations. These included a month-long Broadway engagement as Rockabye Hamlet (1976), and a 14-month run in L.A. in the early ‘80s as Something’s Rockin in Denmark.

Then, the play was put to rest.

It wasn’t until years later when Jones crossed paths with Adam Brazier—the Centre’s artistic director—that Kronborg was given a new lease on life and was turned into a concert performance at the Historic St. Mary’s Church in Indian River, P.E.I. in 2017. Jones came back to Charlottetown while recovering from a serious health scare with Legionnaire’s disease. “The disease had quickly destroyed me,” he recalls, “I was delirious, could hardly recognize my daughters, was lethargic, and battling depression.”

When the Kronborg writer came in for rehearsals it gave him a new purpose. “I saw what they were doing with this incredible company and with Craig Fair’s new arrangements and musical direction. It made my life worth living again; it renewed me.”

Jones recalls the sold-out Indian River concert—with full company and an orchestra—as thrilling. Indeed, a Buzz review described the rock opera as “spectacular and electrifying…Aaron Hastelow shone brightly as Hamlet.”

For Jones, he pondered, “Can it get any better than this?” It turns out it certainly can. The new show is set to run for 15 nights this summer on the main stage.

When asked what endures about Kronborg all these years later, the writer offers “It’s always carried a special combination of being a fun, entertaining experience but also being faithful to Shakespeare’s story—to thine own self be true.”

New life for the writer and his storied musical awaits at this year’s Festival.

The full artistic team for Kronborg: The Hamlet Rock Musical is listed online. Confederation Centre wishes to acknowledge the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Government of P.E.I., and the City of Charlottetown for their continued support. The Charlottetown Festival is sponsored by CIBC.

PEI Professional Theatre Network

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PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

Lucas Gets Gilbert Role

Festival Casting: Connor Lucas To Play Gilbert Blythe

Shawn Wright & Susan Henley to reprise roles in Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™ alongside Emma Rudy & Lucas

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Artistic Director Adam Brazier has announced select casting for the 55th consecutive season ofAnne of Green Gables—The Musical™.

Connor Lucas will return to The Charlottetown Festival this summer, making his debut as Anne’s academic rival and would-be beau, ‘Gilbert Blythe’. Lucas and his ‘Anne Shirley’ counterpart, Emma Rudy will also both appear in the Festival’s productions of Kronborg—The Hamlet Rock Musical and Mamma Mia! this summer.

Hailing from Comox Valley B.C. Lucas first debuted at the Festival as part of the TD Confederation Centre Young Company. In 2017 he made the jump to the mainstage as ‘Moody’ in Anne™ as well as originating the role of ‘Ivan’ in the world premiere of A Misfortune at The Mack.

For his part, the Sheridan College grad can’t wait to return to P.E.I. “Having the opportunity to play Gilbert has been a dream of mine ever since first performing in the Young Company five years ago. I am so grateful to now have the chance to explore the role as part of such a fabulous company, in a terrific show, on a beautiful Island.”

Also returning to Avonlea under Brazier’s direction will be Shawn Wright and Susan Henley, who drew accolades last summer for their portrayals of Anne’s guardians, ‘Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert’. Wright also turned heads with the 2018 Festival staging of his award-winning one-man show Ghost Light. For her part, Henley will carry leading roles on opposite ends of the theatre spectrum, returning for her third season as Marilla, and also taking it up the octave as ‘Rosie’ in Mamma Mia!

Sponsored by CAA, Anne™ previews in the Homburg Theatre on June 24 and 25, opening June 29 and playing through September 28, 2019. With a company of 28 amazing Canadian talents and a 14-member live orchestra, this treasured Canadian musical is a humorous, touching, and truly athletic experience that will inspire and mesmerize patrons of all ages with both graceful and exhilarating song and dance.

This 2019 staging is led by Brazier, Music Director Bob Foster; Choreographer Robin Calvert; Associate Music Director David Theriault; Costume & Scenic Designer Cory Sincennes; Lighting Designer Michael Walton; Sound Designer Peter McBoyle; and Conductor Craig Fair.

Confederation Centre wishes to acknowledge the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Government of P.E.I., and the City of Charlottetown for their continued support.  The title sponsor of The Charlottetown Festival is CIBC.

PEI Professional Theatre Network

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PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

Casting Announced for Mamma Mia

The Charlottetown Festival: Complete Casting Announced for Mamma Mia!

Co-production between Charlottetown and The Grand Theatre has begun rehearsals in London, ON

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The Charlottetown Festival returns to an idyllic Greek island for Mamma Mia! this summer, and rehearsals are underway for the first leg of the show’s co-production with The Grand Theatre.

The blockbuster musical plays in London, Ontario from April 23 to May 18 and then The Charlottetown Festival company makes its homecoming to “the other island paradise” to begin work on Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™ and Kronborg—The Hamlet Rock Musical.

Mamma Mia! will play in Charlottetown from August 9 to September 28. Artistic Director of Confederation Centre of the Arts, Adam Brazier is directing the ABBA-driven phenomenon, and has announced complete casting. This week marks 20 years since the world-wide smash hit first premiered in London’s West End.

As previously revealed, the production stars Katie Kerr, as bride-to-be ‘Sophie’ and Rebecca Poff as her single-mother ‘Donna’. Aaron Hastelow plays Sophie’s beau, ‘Sky’, while her two best friends ’Ali’ and ‘Lisa’ are anchored by Hailey Lewis and Kim Truong.

Sophie is to be married but wants to first find her father so he can walk her down the aisle. She invites three possible men from Donna’s past to the wedding—Cam MacDuffee (the Festival’s On the Road with Dutch Mason) as ‘Harry’; Stephen Guy-McGrath (Million Dollar Quartet) as ‘Bill’, and Festival newcomer, Michael Torontow as ‘Sam’.

Rounding out the principal cast are Festival favourites Nicole Dawn Brook (Bittergirl—The Musical) and Susan Henley (Anne™) as the Super Troupers, ‘Rosie’ and ‘Tanya’; as well as Connor Lucasand Anthony MacPherson as party boys, ‘Eddie’ and ‘Pepper’. See complete casting in addendum.

Mamma Mia! is sponsored by Tim Hortons and plays the Homburg Theatre at Confederation Centre of the Arts. Musical direction is from Craig Fair, choreography by Lisa Stevens, set and costumes by Cory Sincennes, lighting design from Renée Brode, and sound design from Peter McBoyle.

Confederation Centre wishes to acknowledge the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Government of P.E.I., and the City of Charlottetown for their continued support.

PEI Professional Theatre Network

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PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

Sing Along With the Show

Celebrate World Theatre Day with a Sing-along Choir at Confederation Centre

Adam Brazier and Jenn Cullen to lead group singalong of Kronborg musical tune, Wednesday, March 27

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In celebration of World Theatre Day, Artistic Director Adam Brazier is inviting anyone and everyone onto the Homburg Theatre stage for a pop-up choir event, this Wednesday, March 27. The group will learn a song from this summer’s much anticipated production, Kronborg—The Hamlet Rock Musical.

This special event for World Theatre Day will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Homburg Theatre. World Theatre Day was initiated in 1961 and is celebrated each year by the theatre community across the globe to share the joy of theatre and its impact in the arts community with others.

Performing Arts instructor, Jennifer Cullen, participants will be handed lyrics and sheet music for ‘Something’s Rockin’ in Denmark’, a spirited anthem from Kronborg, written and composed by Cliff Jones. Equal parts singing and community-engagement, the night will unfold in a fun and easy-going setting, in the spirit of other drop-in groups like Treble with Choir and Choir! Choir! Choir!

Arriving in the theatre lobby, guests will be escorted backstage to the renowned Homburg Theatre stage where singers will be divided into sections based on range. After learning the arrangements, the groups will reunite to sing through this energetic number on the professional stage, looking out at the sea of 1,100 red seats, just like The Charlottetown Festival company! Everyone will have a blast and go home with a catchy ‘ear-worm’ they can sing from the musical.

No previous choir or singing experience is necessary but interested parties should RSVP. Sheet music is available ahead of time, upon registration. Singers and others can register or send any send questions to Ellen Theuerkauf,development and events coordinator, at etheuerkauf@confederationcentre.com or (902) 629-1159.

Set in Kronborg Castle in Denmark, Kronborg–The Hamlet Rock Musical revolves around the revenge Prince Hamlet is called to wreak upon his uncle by the ghost of his father, King Hamlet. P.E.I. favourite son Aaron Hastelow will star in the powerhouse rock show, sponsored by SYSCO Food Services. Playing June 28 to July 20, 2019, this summer’s electrifying production features a thrilling rock opera score, a cast of 28 stellar Canadian actors, and a full orchestra.

PEI Professional Theatre Network

28660348_162333201093170_735205771249634989_n

PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

7th Story Window Ledge Story

March 8, 2019 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm at The Guild
Fast-paced and full of energy, this sophisticated satire takes place on the window ledge of a seven-storey apartment building where a man is contemplating suicide.

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Endlessly interrupted by a variety of quirky, self-absorbed tenants, he becomes drawn into the absurdity of their daily lives.

7 STORIES is a meta-theatrical gem of a black comedy, full of eccentric characters with a wistfully existential conclusion.

This is the Festival’s first full-length production, and first Canadian work. 2019 marks 30 years since the premiere of this Canadian classic by multi-award winning Canadian playwright Morris Panych.


7 STORIES
by Morris Panych
Directed by Donnie Macphee

The Man – Mark Fraser
Charlotte / Rachel – Melissa Kramer
Rodney / Percy – Adam Brazier
Jennifer / Lillian – Rosie Shaw
Leonard / Michael – Graham Putnam
Marshall / Al – Fraser McCallum
Joan / Nurse Wilson – Becca Griffin

The Guild, Watermark Theatre, Harbourfront Theatre, Confederation Centre for the Arts, and Victoria Playhouse

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Rudy the New Shirley

Introducing Emma Rudy: The Charlottetown Festival Announces new Anne Shirley for Flagship Musical

Stratford, ON native will star in Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™, June 24-Sept 28

 

It’s official, there’s a new Anne in town. Artistic Director of Confederation Centre of the Arts, Adam Brazierannounced today that Emma Rudy will take centre stage in the treasured Island musical this summer. Following an exhaustive casting search, Miss Rudy will become the 19th actor to play Anne Shirley in the celebrated history of Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™ at The Charlottetown Festival.

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Confederation Centre’s crown jewel musical returns for its 55th consecutive summer–a testament to the global appeal of “a classic inspired by a classic”. Following Anne’s search for love and belonging in her adopted home of P.E.I., the musical has been redesigned by Brazier and his team, with thrilling new choreography, all new sets and costumes, and a must-see revolving stage, showcasing the Green Gables house like never before.

“Emma Rudy is an extraordinary talent with a stunning soprano and is a very strong actress,” offers Brazier, who will again direct the storied musical. “Her approach to the material showed a maturity of thought without losing the youthful joy and optimism that carries Anne through her life.”

He continues, “What set Emma apart from the many wonderful actors that auditioned was the reverence with which she approached the role and audition. Emma understands the significance of playing Anne at The Charlottetown Festival.”

Born and raised in Stratford, Ontario, Miss Rudy is a Toronto-based performer and recent Sheridan College graduate. Currently, she is starring in nearby Moncton, New Brunswick as ‘Belle’ in Beauty and the Beast at the Capitol Theatre. Other credits include ‘Marty’ in Grease (Wintergarden); Honour (Stratford Masonic Hall); and Rumspringa Break! (Theatre Passe Muraille).

For her part, Miss Rudy is delighted to be making her Festival debut. “I can’t wait to fall in love with Prince Edward Island the same way Anne did, and to discover the beauty the world has to offer through her eyes,” she offers. “Having the opportunity to play the imaginative, adventurous, stubborn, intelligent, and passionate Anne is truly a childhood dream manifesting itself into reality,” she beams. “I have held her story dear to my heart for my entire life, and I am overwhelmed with excitement and gratitude.”

The Charlottetown Festival’s crown jewel musical, sponsored by CAA, returns June 24 to September 28 in the Homburg Theatreat Confederation Centre. Choreography is from Robin Calvert, music direction from Craig Fair, sound design by Peter McBoyle, costume and scenic design from Cory Sincennes, and lighting design by Michel Walton.

The title sponsor of The Charlottetown Festival is CIBC. Stay tuned for more Charlottetown Festival lead casting announcements in the coming months.