Second Show Added for ‘An Evening with Aaron Hastelow and Friends’
Beloved Islander is up close at The Mack January 11 and 12; special guests include Tara MacLean and Alicia Toner
After multiple years selling out this annual cabaret, Hastelow has planned the 2019 edition for The Mack, on Friday, January 11 at 7:30 p.m. Now, with tickets virtually sold out, Confederation Centre has added a second night for the show, Saturday January 12 at 7:30 p.m.
For the cabarets, Hastelow will welcome special guest Alicia Toner, a 2018 Music PEI Award-winner for her debut album I Learned the Hard Way, and a Charlottetown Festival veteran from Million Dollar Quartet, Spoon River, Evangeline, and more. Toner is also releasing a brand new single ‘Dangerous Home’ on January 11. Hastelow and Toner will come together to sing ‘Shallow’ from the recent Hollywood hit, A Star is Born.
Hastelow will also collaborate with special guest and fellow Islander, Tara MacLean, an award-winning singer-songwriter and star of her own show, Atlantic Blue. He will also welcome a guest band of all-star musicians, including Craig Fair (recent music director for The Charlottetown Festival), Andrew Murray, Jon Matthews, and Trevor Grant. Some of the choice musical selections on the night will include Fleetwood Mac, John Legend, Ed Sheeran, The Cranberries, Dave Matthews Band, Miley Cyrus, and more.
In 2017, Hastelow released his self-titled debut album, recorded at the Sound Mill Recording Studio, garnering three Music PEI Award nominations. After studying musical theatre at Sheridan, the Charlottetown native has appeared in theatre festivals across the country, including with Vancouver Opera, Neptune, Aquarius, and three seasons at Shaw Festival.
He also recently starred as the lead of Jesus Christ Superstar at the Centre and will star again as Hamlet in Kronborg—The Hamlet Rock Musical and as Sky in Mamma Mia! at the 2019 Festival. Other previous Festival credits include Ring of Fire and two seasons as Gilbert Blythe in Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™.
Special thanks are extended to the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Province of Prince Edward Island, and the City of Charlottetown, as well to media sponsors Ocean 100, Hot 105.5, and The Guardian. This concert is presented as part of Sobeys LIVE @ the Centre.
The story of Jesus Christ Superstar is told through the eyes of Judas Iscariot – a tragic figure who is dissatisfied with how Jesus is leading his disciples and what downfalls may come because of it. This season at The Charlottetown Festival, audiences have been raving about actor Lee Siegel’s interpretation of the role.
This week, people who come to our production of Jesus Christ Superstar will see a new interpretation, as actress Alicia Toner fills in for the iconic part.
“I’ve known since I got my contract for this year that I would be going on this week, so I started going back to the album and the movie and listening again,” says Toner about her preparation. “I also had the entire rehearsal period to watch Lee (Siegel) make Judas into a compassionate but conflicted being and had my own understudy run to get a feeling for stepping into this role.”
Toner is a well-known singer and performer on P.E.I.. Earlier this year she won the SOCAN Songwriter of the Year award with MusicPEI and has been on The Charlottetown Festival main stage for the past six seasons.
The role of Judas, itself, has always been a dream for Toner to play. Toner says, “I definitely did not think I would ever be able to say I got a chance to play Judas. It means a lot to be able to do it here in Charlottetown.”
Adam Brazier, director of Jesus Christ Superstar and artistic director of The Charlottetown Festival, is also excited to see Toner in this role.
“Alicia Toner is a powerhouse force of nature. Her incredible vocals and ability to interpret this story without gender bias or any shifting of narrative offers an amazing experience for anyone who is familiar with this highly celebrated production,” adds Brazier.
For Toner, she feels the narrative of the story doesn’t change with a woman in the role of Judas, but by simply having a different actor playing that part it will be a new experience for audience-goers.
“If you’ve already seen the show, you know that Lee is a force to be reckoned with. We are obviously two different people, genders aside, and seeing the show with a different Judas will be a different experience. That being said, the narrative remains the same. One thing I love about playing Judas as a woman is that nothing needs to change.
If you’ve heard the musical, you also know how vocally-demanding the role of Judas can be. Toner has years of experience as a singer and performer that has allowed her to prepare, vocally, for these parts. Only in one song was the key changed and the rest remains the same. Still, even though she feels she’s ready, she’s also nervous and excited.
“Name the emotion and I am feeling it – excited to share the stage in a different context with this incredible cast and thankful to Lee for creating such a beautiful character for me to step in to.”
Alicia Toner will be taking on the role of Judas from August 15 to 19 and can be seen throughout the season in Jesus Christ Superstar as a Soul Sister and Anne of Green Gables-The Musical as Prissy Andrews until September 22.
This summer’s mega-concert musical, Million Dollar Quartet is set to open at The Charlottetown Festival at Confederation Centre next week. Sponsored by Tim Horton’s, the most anticipated Island production of the year has been on fire at the box office all year and promises to wow theatregoers when the curtain lifts on June 14.
In December 1956, a 20 yr. old Jerry Lee Lewis, 21 yr. old Elvis Presley, 24 yr. old Johnny Cash, and 24 yr. old Carl Perkins stepped into the legendary Sun Record Studios under the direction of Sam Phillips and created an evening of musicianship that, by today’s standards, would have taken months to arrange and negotiate.
“Imagine what it would have been like to be a fly on the wall and experienced that evening first-hand,” enthuses Director and Choreographer Tracey Flye. “The comradery, the competition, and the opportunity to get a private glimpse into the lives of these young men — out of the spotlight for a few precious hours and able to simply be themselves and revel in each other’s musical talents.”
That is what Million Dollar Quartet promises — a momentary glimpse into these four extraordinary lives, under ordinary circumstances. Four young musicians unaffected by their public persona for an evening, able to play for the pure joy of playing. “How lucky are we that the producer and architect of that evening, Sam Phillips, had the foresight to make it all happen!? “ exclaims Flye.
The cast includes Greg Gale (Cash), Matthew Lawrence (Elvis), Jefferson McDonald (Jerry Lee), Ed Murphy (Perkins), Alicia Toner (Dyanne), and Stephen Guy-McGrath (Sam Phillips). Additional accompaniment is provided by Trevor Grant (Fluke, the drummer) and Evan Stewart (Brother Jay Perkins, bass).
Million Dollar Quartet is musically directed by Bob Foster, with sets and costumes from Corey Sincennes, lighting by Michael Walton, and sound design by Peter McBoyle. The original concept and direction is by Floyd Mutrux, with the book by Colin Escott and Mutrux. Adam Brazier is Artistic Director for The Charlottetown Festival.
Special thanks are extended to the Government of Canada for their support of Confederation Centre; production sponsor, Tim Horton’s; and The Charlottetown Festival sponsor, CIBC. Appreciation is extended to media sponsors Ocean 100, Hot 105.5, CTV, and The Guardian.
Three leads and 40% off tickets promo announced for Million Dollar Quartet
Confederation Centre has revealed three of the leads for this summer’s mega-concert musical, Million Dollar Quartet. The Charlottetown Festival is introducing talented Centre newcomers, Greg Gale as Johnny Cash and Matthew Lawrence as Elvis Presley.
Opening June 14 in the Homburg Theatre, Million Dollar Quartet is a rock’n’roll hits musical inspired by the true story of the famed 1956 recording session where producer Sam Phillips brought together the “godfathers of rock” – Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins – for one unforgettable jam session.
The musical has brought audiences to their feet across the country. Featured are such hallmark classics as Blue Suede Shoes, Fever, Hound Dog, Great Balls Of Fire, Walk The Line, and Folsom Prison Blues. These iconic songs and many more will be brought to life by an all-star cast with Gale as Cash; Lawrence as Elvis; Festival favourite Alicia Toner as Elvis’s flame, Dyanne; and more.
Also launching this week is a special spring ticket promo, offering patrons 40% off the new musical. The 40% off promo will run from Saturday March 25 to April 8, 2017, valid for Tier 1& 2 seating during the month of June. To access this one-time offer, patrons can use the promocode ‘million’ when contacting the box office, online at confederationcentre.com, in person, or at 1.800.565.0278. Million Dollar Quartet is sponsored by Tim Horton’s.
Set in a Memphis studio, this story-and-song production 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. The ensemble is rounded out by “First Wildman of Rock,” Jerry Lee Lewis; rock guitar pioneer and scribe behind ‘Blue Suede Shoes,’ Carl Perkins; lead character and record executive, Sam Philips; and others. Casting for these roles and additional leads in Anne of Green Gables–The Musical™ will be announced in the weeks ahead.
Gale is reprising two celebrated turns as Cash in Million Dollar Quartet (the Royal Manitoba Theatre and Citadel Theatre) and has made appearances in Kiss (CanStage), and with the Thousand Islands Playhouse and Factory Theatre. Also making his Charlottetown debut is Collingwood, Ontario’s Lawrence, who has performed as Elvis in Legends of Rock N Roll (StageWest); along with The Things We Do For Love (Odyssey Theatre); Romeo and Juliet (Humber River); and on TV’s The Story of Us (CBC).
Toner is a five year veteran of #ChFest, having wowed audiences in Spoon River, Evangeline, Canada ROCKS!, and Ring of Fire, as well as performing in the Dora-winning smash, Once (Mirvish).
Million Dollar Quartet launches previews June 14, playing the Homburg Theatre until September 23. Appreciation is extended to the title sponsor for The 2017 Charlottetown Festival, CIBC and to production sponsor Tim Horton’s. Media sponsors are Ocean 100, Hot 105.5, and The Guardian.
Confederation Centre will play host to one of the most celebrated new musicals in Canada this summer. Today, the Centre announced an impressive 11-member ensemble for Spoon River, a mystical, musical celebration of life, co-produced by Soulpepper Theatre Company and The Charlottetown Festival.
Playing The Mack cabaret theatre from July 6 to August 20, this uplifting hootenanny is composed and adapted by Charlottetown’s own Mike Ross and directed by Albert Schultz. The cast features a who’s who of Canadian musical theatre, including eight Charlottetown Festival veterans. They are:
Alana Bridgewater – Hairspray, Mirvish’s We Will Rock You, Gemini-nominated vocalist
Matt Campbell – lead in The Full Monty and Hockey Mom, Hockey Dad, Canada ROCKS!
Jonathan Ellul – Forever Plaid, King Lear and Oklahoma! at Stratford Festival
Susan Henley – ‘Rachel Lynde’ in Anne of Green Gables—The Musical, Evangeline, Hairspray! 1st U.S. National tour
Amanda LeBlanc – lead in Dear Johnny Deere, 2016 National Arts Centre Ensemble
Mary Francis Moore – co-writer of Bittergirl and Bittergirl-The Musical, lead in TPM’s The Thing Between Us
Alicia Toner – Evangeline, lead in the Centre’s Cinderella, Mirvish’s Once
Sandy Winsby – four seasons as ‘Matthew’ in Anne, Jesus Christ Superstar on Broadway, Mirvish’s Kinky Boots
The ensemble also features three Soulpepper Theatre Company regulars marking their first performances with Charlottetown:
Richard Lam – Spoon River world premiere, The Crucible and Of Human Bondage
Brendan Wall – Spoon River world premiere, War Horse for Mirvish and London’s West End, Mirvish’s Once
Daniel Williston – Soulpepper’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and Death of a Salesman, Mirvish’s Kinky Boots
Based on the seminal Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters, townsfolk of long ago are brought to life in this dream-like production whose soundtrack calls to mind the music of O Brother, Where Art Thou?. Spoon River’s residents raise their voices in song in an immersive portrait of early 20th-century rural life. The production won the 2015 Dora Award for Outstanding New Musical as well as the 2015 Toronto Theatre Critics’ Association Award for Best Musical.
Mike Ross is thrilled to bring this production to his home province. “Spoon River is a show dear to my heart, and I think that Charlottetown is the perfect place to tell these incredible stories about small town living, and love and loss,” he said. “I know this very talented cast will make the show an unforgettable musical and theatrical experience this summer.”