Dutch Mason Pulls In

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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.

A Celebration of Rock, Blues, and Gables

The Charlottetown Festival 2018: A Celebration of Rock, Blues and Local Treasures

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The 2018 playbill features rock-opera Jesus Christ Superstar; a world premiere of Dutch Mason and Stories from the Red Dirt Road.

Confederation Centre of the Arts has announced a sensational lineup for next summer’s Charlottetown Festival. The 2018 Festival will run June 7 to September 22 and include the 54th season of the international sensation Anne of Green Gables–The Musical™; the phenomenal rock-opera Jesus Christ Superstar; two new Festival-spawned musicals, Dutch Mason and Stories from the Red Dirt Road.

Jesus Christ Superstar is a global phenomenon that has wowed audiences for over 40 years. It’s a timeless rock opera set against the backdrop of an extraordinary and universally known series of events but seen, unusually, through the eyes of Judas Iscariot.  Artistic Director, Adam Brazier is thrilled to be at the helm as director to put his creative stamp on the iconic piece.

“The themes of this timeless classic remain universal, their resonance today is palpable, as western civilization wrestles with existential questions about where power is held, where it should be held, and how fame affects the balance,” said Brazier.

Presented in tandem with Jesus Christ Superstar is the Island Festival’s crown jewel, Anne of Green GablesThe Musical™. With a company of 23 amazing triple threats from across the nation, this iconic musical has delighted more than 2.5 million people over 2,500 times at the Centre, and remains the quintessential Canadian musical.

At The Mack, Dutch Mason, inspired by the non-fictional book “On the Road with Dutch Mason” by David Bedford and Harvey Sawler, will take audiences on a fictional tour through Atlantic Canada with The Prime Minister of the Blues. When Dutch Mason’s regular harmonica player is sidelined, a political science professor and amateur harp player is recruited to join Dutch and his band on a historic road trip that will shock the professor out of his buttoned-down conformity.

Also at The Mack is Stories from the Red Dirt Road, adapted by our beloved festival regular, Marlane O’Brien, from the book “And My Name Is…Stories from The Quilt” by Margie Carmichael.  This is a funny, inspiring, heartfelt piece of four Island stories woven together through song and the red dirt road itself that joins our lives together.

 Additional announcements will be made at a later date, including a new Young Company production, so stay tuned.

The Centre wishes to 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. 

 The Pick 3 Pass is back! Pick three Charlottetown Festival shows and pay only $129. The Pick 3 Pass and Festival tickets go on sale to members of CCOA September 20 & 21 and E-news subscribers September 21. Public tickets go on sale September 22.

Jesus Christ Superstar: June 7 – September 22 (1:30/8 p.m.) – Homburg Theatre.
Anne of Green GablesThe Musical: June 18 – September 22 (1:30 p.m./7:30 p.m.) – Homburg Theatre.
Dutch Mason: June 30 – Sept 22 (8 p.m.) – The Mack.
Stories From the Red Dirt Road: August 2 – September 21 (7:30 p.m.) – The Mack.

Keynote Speaker Announced for Theatre Conference

Confederation Centre of the Arts is pleased to announce Bob Martin as the keynote speaker for The Charlottetown Festival Theatre Conference happening Sept 5-9, 2017.

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“We’re excited to have Mr. Martin, a champion of Canadian theatre, as our keynote speaker for this important event,” said Adam Brazier, Artistic Director of The Charlottetown Festival. “His experience as both an actor and a writer, will bring an invaluable wealth of knowledge and inspiration to our attendees.”

Martin has worked as an actor and writer in theatre, film and television for over 30 years. He has received many awards in both Canada and the U.S., including a Tony for his portrayal of “Man in Chair” in The Drowsy Chaperone. This original Canadian musical not only made it to Broadway and the West End, but went on to win five Tony Awards in total, including the first for Canadian writers. Martin is also well known as the co-creator of Slings & Arrows, the hit Canadian television show about running a Shakespearean theatre festival.

The Theatre Conference, a national gathering, kicks off on September 5 with the performance of Kronborg 1582 in the Homburg Theatre followed by four packed days of showcases of new Canadian works, breakout sessions, panel discussions and more, culminating with the world premiere of the new musical, A Misfortune at The Mack. Martin will give his keynote speech on September 7 at 11:00 a.m. in Memorial Hall.

Aligning with the dates of the 1864 Charlottetown Conference, The Charlottetown Festival Conference will celebrate industry developments and new ideas as well as showcase some of the new musical theatre content being created in Atlantic Canada. The winners of the 2017 Charlottetown Festival Commission will also be revealed, who will receive $50,000 in funding to develop new works.

Special thanks are extended to the Government of Canada for their support of Confederation Centre; and The Charlottetown Festival sponsor, CIBC. Appreciation is extended to media sponsors Ocean 100, Hot 105.5, CTV, and The Guardian.

For more information, to purchase your conference pass, and see full conference schedule

A Stacked Sobeys Season

Confederation Centre has pulled back the curtain on a dazzling lineup for the upcoming season of Sobeys LIVE @ the Centre. Centre officials are proud to present their most dynamic season of LIVE to date, including contemporary dance, chamber music, Indigenous performance, choral concerts, rock’n’roll, family fun, and live theatre.

The advance ticket sale for Members of the Centre’s Founders’ Circle is available as of noon on Monday August 14. E-news subscribers will be able to purchase tickets as of Tuesday August 15 at 9 a.m., while tickets for the general public will be available as of 9 a.m. on Wednesday August 16.

 

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The ’17-18 season kicks off on October 16 with major pop-rock icons, The Barenaked Ladies and their Canada 1-FIVE-0 TOUR, presented by the National Arts Centre. October 24 marks the return of Canadian troubadour Joel Plaskett, joining his father Bill Plaskett for a collaborative show in the Homburg Theatre to celebrate their duo album, Solidarity.

November is jam-packed month with 11 shows on deck. These include Liam Corcoran’s album release for Nevahland; the Island premiere of A Passage to Bollywood, a rollicking family musical experience; the return of Classic Albums LIVE with the prog-rock classic 2112 by Rush; and a one night only musical comedy performance of the international hit, Menopause the Musical.

The holiday season is equally busy in December with Tomato/Tomato’s A Maritime Christmas channeling old school holiday concerts with special guests Heather Rankin and Dave Gunning. From December 14-16, Adam Brazier’s Holiday Spectacular variety show brings big laughs, guest stars, stunning dance and musical numbers, and sketches to the mainstage.

Sprinkled throughout December, the Choral Music Programme – under the direction of Donald Fraser – presents three beloved annual concerts, with Handel’s Messiah, Sing Noël, and Sing Along Messiah.

The 2018 portion of the LIVE calendar is equally exciting, and more stacked than ever with the theatre renovations now complete and no more closures planned. January offers critically acclaimed Indigenous artist Susan Aglukark as well as the return of Toronto Dance Theatre (TDT). TDT has produced an exceptional body of original Canadian choreography and had a major impact on the development of national dance audiences.

Other highlights in 2017 include Island artists The East Pointers, Dennis Ellsworth and Kinley Dowling, and The Atlantic String Machine. The Songwriters Series also returns with three heavy hitting raconteurs from Canada’s East Coast: Old Man Luedecke, Hillsburn, and Fortunate Ones, each performing for one night only in the intimate listening space of The Mack. Fellow Maritimer, Classified makes a rare Charlottetown appearance on April 14, with a special acoustic performance with guest artists entitled Classified and Friends.

The Centre’s own dance umbrella program culminates their 2017-18 instructional season with four public performances — musical theatre romps The Nifty Fifties and All the World’s A Stage in March and April at The Mack, and the matinee and evening Annual Showcases, May 5 on the mainstage.

For ticket information and the entire Sobeys LIVE @ the Centre season calendar please visit confederationcentre.com/live or contact the Confederation Centre box office at (902) 566.1267 or toll free, at 1-800-565-0278. Special thanks are extended to the Government of Canada for their support of Confederation Centre; as well to Sobeys, the returning title sponsor for LIVE @ The Centre. Media sponsors are The Guardian, Hot 105.5, and Ocean 100.