Tag Archives: Adam Brazier

Home for the Holidays

Adam Brazier’s holiday musical has added a local star, with the pride of Ten Mile House, Jessica Gallant joining the production as Maid Marion.

Robyn Hood: This Tale’s Even Fairlier marks the first time the Charlottetown Festival mainstay has performed in a Christmas musical comedy for Confederation Centre, and Gallant is excited for everything this hilarious adventure will hold.

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“I’m thrilled to be performing at home during my favourite time of year — Christmas!” says Gallant, who spends the fall and winter months in Toronto. “Although the Island temperatures may feel cold, the season is so warm and exciting. I’m expecting nothing but belly-laughs and wit with Adam’s take on Robyn Hood!”

Although this marks her first role in one of Brazier’s holiday farces, which include Cinderella and Aladdin, Gallant has been a Festival favourite for more than five seasons. She first debuted with the Confederation Centre Young Company in Abegweit: the Soul of the Island before making her Homburg Theatre debut as Diana Barry in Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™.

She also appeared in the world premiere of Evangeline, and productions of Mamma Mia! and Alice Through the Looking-Glass. She played Canada’s favourite redhead for the past two Festival seasons while continuing to perform in musicals and workshops in the Toronto area during the year.

Robyn Hood: This Tale’s Even Fairlier will be staged at Confederation Centre on select dates, December 9 to 17, 2016. Enjoy an alluring song list of musical theatre and pop hits – including ‘9 to 5,’ ‘Holding Out For A Hero,’ ‘Imagination,’ and ‘The Final Countdown’ – and a cast of dozens of Island school children and community performers.

Artistic Director Adam Brazier will direct and the script is by Brazier and Graham Putnam, with Festival mainstay Craig Fair as music director and Matthew MacInnis as production stage manager. Maria Campbell stars as the female Robyn Hood with Alana Bridgewater as Friar Tuck, and more principle casting to be announced next week.

Festival Announces 2017 Fare

Confederation Centre of the Arts has announced a dazzling lineup for next summer’s Charlottetown Festival, presented by CIBC. The 2017 Festival will run June 3 to September 24 and include the 53rd season of the international sensation Anne of Green Gables–The Musical™; the iconic rock ’n’ roll mega-concert Million Dollar Quartet; the return of two beloved Festival-spawned musicals, Bittergirl and Glenda’s Kitchen; and a new Young Company production that will tour the country.

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Million Dollar Quartet is a hit musical inspired by the true story of the famed 1956 recording session in which producer Sam Phillips brought together the “godfathers of rock ‘n’ roll” – Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis Presley – for one unforgettable jam session. Set in a Memphis studio, this story-and-song musical brings to light an extraordinary tale of broken promises, secrets, and a once-in-a-lifetime celebration of four friends that is both poignant and heartwarming. Featured are such hallmark hits as Blue Suede Shoes, Hound Dog, Fever, Great Balls Of Fire, Walk The Line, Folsom Prison Blues, and many more.

Presented in rep with Quartet is the Island festival’s crown jewel, Anne of Green Gables–The Musical™. For the first time, the internationally acclaimed musical will be directed by Artistic Director Adam Brazier, leading a company of 23 amazing triple threats from across the nation. Having delighted more than 2.5 million people over 3,200 times at the Centre, Anne of Green Gables–The Musical™ remains the quintessential Canadian musical, and Brazier is thrilled to put his creative stamp on the iconic piece.

“2017 is a year to celebrate Canada and being Canadian, and this storied musical rests at the very heart of our national identity,” says Brazier. “Searching for love and belonging in a time of strife and strain, Anne represents all Canadians coming to this country, or those searching for light every day in their own trials.”A Misfortune

He continues, “Million Dollar Quartet is an electrifying true story perfectly built for our Homburg Theatre and our Island audience. Presley, Cash, Lewis, and Perkins — this is one unbelievable studio session that changed rock’n’roll forever.”

Back at The Mack is the howlingly funny cabaret show on getting over getting dumped — Bittergirl: The Musical. This Canadian-made comedy virtually sold out its entire run when first premiering at the Festival in 2015. Having now played Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre and headed for Winnipeg and a tour of British Columbia, it will return in 2017 with new songs and scenes, and the same great soundtrack of doo-wop favourites, including I’m Gonna Make You Love Me, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, I Will Survive, and Too Many Fish In The Sea.

Also playing The Mack, will be the world premiere of a new Canadian musical, A Misfortune. The story follows a young lawyer and a married woman in pre-revolutionary Russia on a walk through the woods; their friendship has reached an impasse. Soon they gather with three friends for a night in the country, discussing the inanity of their lives over an evening drink—and with each drink, more sordid secrets are revealed. Adapted from a short story by Anton Chekhov, one of the world’s most celebrated and enduring writers, A Misfortune is a romantic, bittersweet musical about small moments and momentous decisions.

Returning to the intimate Studio 1 theatre is Glenda’s Kitchen offering curious patrons a taste of the Island, literally and culturally! Festival icon, Glenda Landry and The Charlottetown Festival Orchestra lead this charming musical, exploring the many bounties of P.E.I.’s people, deep-seated traditions, and world-famous food. This afternoon cabaret is a must-see for Islanders and travelers alike and will feature new tunes and tales from Glenda and cast.

The Centre has already announced a new national touring production for the Young CompanyDream Catcher. With support from the Canada 150 Fund, the Centre will engage youth from across the country to create a new musical inspired by their dreams for Canada’s future. Around 20 young professional artists, who reflect the country’s cultural diversity, will be cast in two Young Companies – one touring and one on P.E.I., supported by TD. Participants will meet with Indigenous artists who will speak to them about the symbolic importance of dreamcatchers in their cultures. Small dreamcatchers will be created and integrated into an immense visual that will be on display outdoors at the Centre in 2017.

“We are thrilled for the 2017 Young Company to hit the national stage to celebrate the dreams of our nation’s founders, those of our youth, and those of the Indigenous Peoples in Canada, with a Canada-wide tour and original musical theatre project,” says Jessie Inman, CEO.

“Continuing our long history of national touring, Dream Catcher will seize the momentum of Canada’s sesquicentennial and engage young people from every province and territory, channeling their bold hopes and dreams for our nation’s future.”

Casting Call For the Hood of Sherwood

Confederation Centre Conducting Auditions for ‘Robyn Hood: This Tale’s Even Fairlier’

Robyn Hood is riding to the rescue this holiday season and Confederation Centre is looking to build a company around the hero of Sherwood-Parkdale Forest.

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Artistic Director Adam Brazier – who is directing and co-writing his third musical pantomime for Confederation Centre – will be holding auditions on Saturday and Sunday October 22 and 23 at the Centre. Audition appointments can be booked by contacting Cindy Riley via email at criley@confederationcentre.com. Those with an audition time will be asked to prepare one song of choice – with sheet music for the accompanist piano player – and tell a short joke.

All are welcome for this fun and exciting adventure.

Following the tradition of 2014’s Cinderella: A Fairly Tall Tale and last year’s Aladdin: Another Fairly Tall Tale, the Centre brings you a new ridiculous musical celebration at Christmastime this year. Enjoy stunning music, dancing, and laughter, plentiful local references, and a cast of dozens of Island children and performers, including some students from the School of Performing Arts – a partnership between the Centre and Holland College.

Additional core casting announcements will be made in the weeks ahead. For more on Robyn Hood, visit this earlier announcement. Follow along on social media @confedcentre (Instagram and Twitter); via Confederation Centre of the Arts; and using #RobynConfed.

A Captivating Union

A Captivating Union of Comedy, Music, and Family

Michel Tremblay’s tale of the hilarious misfortunes of one lady’s fortune is set to make its East Coast debut this month. Belles Soeurs: The Musical, a comedic and touching English musical performed by an all-female cast, opens at Confederation Centre next week, previewing September 13 and 14, before officially launching September 15.

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Presented in partnership with Copa de Oro Productions and the Segal Centre for Performing Arts, Belles-Soeurs: The Musical comes to The Charlottetown Festival after two wildly successful runs at the National Arts Centre and in Quebec. Almost 50 years after its first publication, Tremblay’s celebrated story, following 12 wounded but willful women in 1960’s urban Montreal, continues to resonate with translations in over 20 languages and productions all over the world.

“I know I personally connect with these ladies. Even though it seems to be specifically French-Canadian, I see my grandmother and my mother in them, and they were these fascinating, complicated ladies who wanted something so much more than they had,” reflects Brian Hill, of the award-winning creative duo (Neil) Bartram & Hill, who are behind the English book and music adaptation for Belles Soeurs: The Musical.

Directed by René Richard Cyr, the central story zooms in on the life of Germaine Lauzon, a wife and mother, who feels stuck in a life of dull domesticity. Her luck finally changes when she wins 1 million trading stamps from the local grocery store – the ‘Jamie Oliver stamps’ of their day, coveted and tradeable for a treasure trove of goods. Feeling on top of the world, she invites family and friends over for a stamp-licking party to help her redeem her many prizes. The evening quickly becomes clouded by the realities of jealousy, neighbourhood gossip, and scheming between the 12 women. So distracted by what she’s won, Germaine must re-gain sight of all she stands to lose.

“This is a story about family,” reflects the Centre’s Artistic Director Adam Brazier. “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. Belles Soeurs is a hilarious and profound musical comedy straight from the heart of the Canadian spirit and we are thrilled to present it on Prince Edward Island.”

Belles Soeurs: The Musical plays select dates until October 1. To book tickets, confederationcentre.com or contact the box office, toll-free, at 1 (800) 565.0278. The Charlottetown Festival is presented by CIBC.

The 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.

Robyn Hood and Her Fairly Merrily Men Ride to the Rescue

Holding Out For a Hero? Robyn Hood and her Fairly Merrily Men are riding to the rescue this holiday season! From the comedic minds of Adam Brazier and Graham Putnam comes Robyn Hood: This Tale’s Even Fairlier, at Confederation Centre on select dates, December 9 to 17, 2016.

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Following the tradition of 2014’s Cinderella: A Fairly Tall Tale and last year’s Aladdin: Another Fairly Tall Tale, the Centre brings you a new ridiculous musical celebration at Christmastime. Enjoy stunning music, dancing, and laughter, plentiful local references, and a cast of dozens of Island children and performers.

Artistic Director Adam Brazier will direct, with Festival mainstay Craig Fair (Ring of Fire; Canada ROCKS!, Mamma Mia!) as music director and Matthew MacInnis (Mamma Mia!; Evangeline; Alice Through the Looking-Glass) as production stage manager.

P.E.I.’s own Maria Campbell (Jasmine in 2015’s Aladdin; Stan Rogers: A Matter of Heart) stars as the female Robyn Hood in the Kingdom of Charlottetown. The Evil Prince John rules the capital city with an iron first, but just beyond the castle walls, in Sherwood-Parkdale Forest, Robyn Hood has hatched a plan to take back the Kingdom and steal from the 1% to give to middle class.

Campbell is an alumna of the Centre’s Young Company who performed at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010. The Charlottetown native also appeared in Leslie Arden’s Harvest Moon Rising (The Guild) as well as in Albert Herring while completing her Master of Music at The University of Auckland.

She’ll be joined by Charlottetown Festival veteran Alanna Bridgewater as Friar Tuck. Known for her towering voice, Bridgewater is a Gemini-nominated vocalist/performer who’s been a member of Johnny Reid’s touring band and appeared in Mirvish’s We Will Rock You, as well as Festival credits in this summer’s Spoon River and as ‘Motormouth’ in Hairspray! Belfast, P.E.I. native, Sarah MacPhee also returns in the role she is still forced to play, The Town Crier. Additional core casting will be announced in the weeks ahead.

Starting at just $25, tickets are on sale now for members of Confederation Centre, with tickets available to the general public as of Thursday, September 8.

Visit confederationcentre.com/theatre or contact the box office at (902) 566.1267.

Walk Right In, It’s Around the Back, Glenda’s Restaurant

The final production of the summer season has opened at The Charlottetown Festival — a hot new matinee show that offers a taste of the Island, literally and culturally. Starring P.E.I. actress and accomplished chef Glenda Landry, Glenda’s Kitchen is sponsored by CAA, and plays select dates in Studio 1 at Confederation Centre until August 26.

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Glenda Landry is a 45-year veteran of The Charlottetown Festival, having shone for many seasons in Avonlea as Diana and later Mrs. Pye, among others, and in Centre productions such as The Kitchen Witches and Wizard of Oz. The Island native has also moonlighted for years as a chef, having completed the apprenticeship program at the Culinary Institute and plied her second trade alongside Chef Emily Wells at The Dunes and at Sim’s in Charlottetown.

This summer she leads a talented kitchen party cast, including fellow Islanders and Festival veterans Charlotte Moore, Marlane O’Brien, and Hank Stinson, all backed by the 12-piece Charlottetown Festival Orchestra, as they cook up the best kind of seafood chowder — a bowl with a story behind it. Glenda’s Kitchen plays Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 1:30 p.m. and concludes with a steaming bowl of chowder with an Island biscuit for every audience member.

Offering a bounty of songs, stories, and soup, Glenda’s Kitchen is directed by Artistic Director Adam Brazier and co-written by Brazier and Stinson. Musical direction and arrangements are by Scott Christian, and stage management is from Al Gadowsky.

Raise Your Voice

Through lively song, stories, and dance, the 2016 Confederation Centre Young Company is proud to present The Voices of Canada until Saturday, August 20.

This high-energy celebration weaves song, dance, and legend into a stunning kaleidoscope of movement and colour, offered by donation, six days a week at Confederation Centre. The Voices of Canada is sponsored by TD Bank and this year’s musical includes song selections from Stan Rogers, Gordon Lightfoot, Serena Ryder, The Trews, Great Big Sea, The Guess Who, and more.

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The 2016 creative team for the Young Company includes Writer/Director Adam Brazier, Musical Director and Arranger Scott Christian, Choreographer Kerry Gage, Set Designer Cory Sincennes, Costume Designer Bonnie Deakin, and Company and Stage Manager Seren Lannon.

First established at the Centre in 1993, the Young Company is theatre training program for emerging performers from across Canada. The summer program includes vocal, dance, and acting training as well professional development towards auditioning, best practices, workshopping new theatre, and much more.

On Your Mark, Get Set, Mamma Mia!

23 Canadian triple-threats, a world-class theatre, a mesmerizing pop-rock soundtrack, and a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget. It all culminates Saturday night when The Charlottetown Festival launches the Atlantic Canadian premiere of Mamma Mia!

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Over 60 million people have fallen in love with the characters, story, and absorbing music that make Mamma Mia! the ultimate feel-good musical. This sunny tale unfolds on a Greek island paradise where on the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to find her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island.

Inspired by the mega-hits of Swedish superstars, ABBA, Mamma Mia! stars Katie Kerr and Eliza-Jane Scott, with David Cotton, Jan Alexandra Smith, Nicola Dawn Brook, Réjean Cournoyer, Stephen Guy-McGrath, Cam MacDuffee, and many more. For a complete cast list, visit Confederation Centre online.

Mamma Mia! plays select dates from June 1 to September 3 in the Homburg Theatre. For show times and tickets, contact the box office or visit http://www.confederationcentre.com. Adam Brazier is directing, with Bob Foster and Kerry Gage respectively leading music direction and choreography. Cory Sincennes is set, costume, and props designer, Michael Walton is lighting designer, and Peter McBoyle is sound designer. Craig Fair is associate music director and Production Stage Manager is Matt MacInnis.

The Charlottetown Festival is presented by CIBC. The 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.

Festival Completes Casting of Mamma Mia!

It’s an early start to the season for the cast and crew of The Charlottetown Festival. Rehearsals kicked off last week for the P.E.I. theatre event of the year — Mamma Mia!, opening June 1 in the Homburg Theatre.

Complete casting has been announced for the mega-musical, which stars Eliza-Jane Scott and Katie Kerr as a mother and daughter on the eve of Sophie’s wedding. Sophie (Kerr) wants her father to give her away, and having read her mother Donna’s diary, secretly invites three guests to the wedding, bringing back three men from Donna’s past to the paradise they last visited 20 years ago. The three gents are: Irish-American architect Sam Carmichael (Réjean Cournoyer), Australian adventurer Bill Anderson (Stephen Guy-
McGrath), and British banker Harry Bright (Cam MacDuffee).

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Local audiences are acquainted with all three, with Guy-McGrath appearing as the fiddle-playing René in last fall’s Evangeline and Cournoyer playing the villainous Hampson in that show as well as the White King in Alice Through the Looking-Glass. MacDuffee starred in Ring of Fire and Dear Johnny Deere, and toured with Cournoyer for the Centre’s 2015 production, The Founding Father.

Sophie’s husband-to-be, the loyal and handsome Sky, played by David Cotton (Baptiste in the world premiere of Evangeline), while Donna’s two best friends are brought to life by Jan Alexandra Smith and Nicola Dawn Brook. For the full Mamma Mia! cast list, see addendum.

For a limited time only, the Festival is offering 20% off performances in the month of June. Use promo code ABBA when contacting the box office online, in person, or via phone. This offer runs from May 21 to 28, applies to Tier-1 and 2 seating only, and is not valid with any other promotion.

“I have seen a lot of theatre in my short 41 years,” says Artistic Director, Adam Brazier. “Never have I seen a party and celebration the likes of Mamma Mia! This show redefined the modern musical and set in motion the success of other jukebox hits like Jersey Boys, We Will Rock You, and Ring of Fire. This pop fable leaves the audience laughing and dancing in the aisles. Somewhere in the crowd there’s you. Join us on a nostalgic journey through the guiltiest pleasure of the summer.” Brazier is joined by Bob Foster, musical director, and Kerry Gage, choreographer.

Mamma Mia! opens June 1 and plays until September 3.

The complete cast in alphabetical order is:

Jak Baradell – Ensemble
Josée Boudreau – Ensemble
Nicola Dawn Brook – Rosie
David Cotton – Sky
Réjean Cournoyer – Sam
Josh Doig – Male Swing
Jessica Gallant – Ensemble
Troy Goldthorp – Pepper
Robbie Graham-Kuntz – Ensemble
Stephen Guy-McGrath – Bill
Aaron Hastelow – Ensemble
Kayla James – Ensemble (U/S Sophie)
Aisha Jarvis – Lisa
Katie Kerr – Sophie
Melissa Kramer – The Priest
Cameron MacDuffee – Harry
Jamie Murray – Ensemble
Sarah O’Brecht – Ali
Jade Percival – Female Swing
Eliza-Jane Scott – Donna
Adam Sergison – Eddie
Jan Alexandra Smith – Tanya
Sarah Vance – Ensemble

‘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.