Rainbows in November

Rainbow Valley is a new musical with a truly PEI flavor. Based on the book of the same title by L.M. Montgomery, and adapted for the stage by Hank Stinson, Rainbow Valley brings a cast of delightful Montgomery characters to life, and is sure to delight audiences of all ages.

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Director Hank Stinson describes the story: “There are many stories in Rainbow Valley. I’ve decided to focus this play on the story of the new minister, his children, and the people they most directly encounter in a small community where the past rules the present. Life presents them with gifts of opportunity and they must decide whether these ‘gifts’ are a blessing or a curse. The children have no problem knowing which is which. The adults, on the other hand, have history which weighs them down, makes receiving these gifts much more difficult. And yet, there is a moment in time when the gift received, (whether in thought, word or action,) will bring them happiness.”

Presented by ACT (a community theatre), Rainbow Valley will be the latest in ACT’s tradition of musicals, and promises to be a strong follow-up to Charlottetown’s summer roster of L.M. Montgomery-based theatre. The show strongly features a young company comprised of Hannah McGaughey, Joe Moak, Brooklyn Riley, George Woods, Fiona Moak, James Ronahan, Jace MacPherson, and Keili Johnston. Also starring Colin Hood, Samantha Bruce, Corin McFadden, and Shelley Tamtom.

Don’t miss this exciting new show at The Guild through November 17th! Young and old will love joining these touching characters as they find happiness down in Rainbow Valley.

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Glenda’s Kitchen Opens for Business

Premiering July 13, The Charlottetown Festival is proud to present a new production of the cabaret musical which charmed Islanders and tourists alike last summer. Glenda Landry returns with new songs, stories and her talented musical kitchen party team, as Glenda’s Kitchen cooks up the best kind of seafood chowder, a bowl with a story behind it!

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Directed by Festival favourite Wade Lynch, Glenda’s Kitchen plays in Studio 1 at Confederation Centre of the Arts on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday at 1:30 p.m. until September 1.

Led by Island theatre icon, Glenda Landry, the 75-minute production offers a taste of the Island, literally and culturally, including a plated bowl of chowder for each patron. This afternoon cabaret features new tunes and tales from Glenda, her band, and a stacked cast of Festival all-stars. Landry and the ensemble explore the many bounties of P.E.I.’s people, traditions, and world-famous food.

Landry is an accomplished chef, motivational speaker, and actor, having performed in Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™for many summers, as well as memorable roles in Sound of Music and Oliver! at the Capitol Theatre, and Wizard of Oz, The Full Monty, and the world premiere of Evangeline at the Centre.

She is joined at the table by Hank Stinson, Marlane O’Brien, Julain Molnar, Cameron MacDuffee, Scott Christian andKaren Graves. Husband and wife team MacDuffee and Graves will provide the musical accompaniment alongside Christian, who serves as musical director for the production. The light-hearted musical is sponsored by the PEI Fishermen’s Association with kitchen products courtesy The Kitchen Store.

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.

Home for the Holidays at The Harbourfront

Returning to Harbourfront Theatre on Friday, December 9, 7:30 pm, is Home for the Holidays featuring all the best of popular Christmas and holiday music performed by some of PEI’s finest singers : Joey Kitson, Catherine O’Brien and Caroline Bernard backed up by a great band, The Reindeer Express, featuring Deryl Gallant, bass, Alan White, drums, Don Fraser, keyboards, and Perry Williams, guitar.

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The icing on this special Christmas cake will be the reading of well-known Island entertainer, Hank Stinson sharing Island Christmas stories. Featuring classic and contemporary Christmas music and Island stories, Home for the Holidays will be as warm and cozy as a good glass of eggnog in front of a crackling fireplace on Christmas Eve.

Prepare to have your spirits lifted just as high as that bright shining star so many years ago. This year’s edition features many new songs, as well as old favourites.

Calling All Actors

Confederation Centre has announced that three plum roles are up for grabs at The 2017 Charlottetown Festival.

Incoming director of Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™ Adam Brazier is auditioning for the title role of Anne Shirley and her Avonlea guardians, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. For the past two summers, the parts have been held respectively by Islanders Jessica Gallant and Hank Stinson, and Festival veteran, Charlotte Moore.

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Gallant says it’s been a thrill to represent the Island as ‘Anne with an e,’ “Playing Anne has literally been a dream come true, she remarks. “My childhood revolved around the idea of joining the exclusive club of red heads I’m ready to pass the braids on to the next young dreamer, and to take everything I’ve learned from my experiences at the Festival into the next phase of my career.”

“My journey as a performer has been nurtured at Confederation Centre for the past 13 years,” she continues. “The Centre has taught me how to be an artist; it is a true Island treasure that should never be taken for granted.”

Adam Brazier, the Centre’s artistic director, has completed casting for the musical’s other lead roles and the Anne™ ensemble, some of whom will perform in Million Dollar Quartet. The full company and the 18th actress to don the red braids at the Festival will be revealed in winter 2017.

“On behalf of everyone at Confederation Centre, I want to thank Jessica for her dedication to this iconic role and production,” offers Brazier. “Jess has a deep love for Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™ and a long-standing relationship with our Festival and community, and those passions shine brightly in her performances.”

He adds, “I am thrilled that Jessica is home right now preparing to star as Maid Marian in our ridiculous Christmas show Robyn Hood. I look forward to seeing more of her many talents on our stages in the years to come.”

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.

Island Strong Anne Opens

The curtain lifted last night at 7:30 p.m. on an especially Island-strong edition of the long-running musical Anne of Green Gables. Jessica Gallant of Ten Mile House, P.E.I. stars as the world-famous orphan, with Charlottetown’s Hank Stinson and Aaron Hastelow as Matthew Cuthbert and Gilbert Blythe. This marks the first time an Islander has played Gilbert in the historic production, and thus the first time both romantic leads have been played by locals.

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Festival veteran Marlane O’Brien, of Crapaud, P.E.I. plays iconic busy-body, Miss Rachel Lynde, while Dora Award-winner Charlotte Moore reprises her turn as Marilla Cuthbert. New Island home-owner Katie Kerr returns to the role that first brought her to the Festival, as Diana Barry, and another Festival favourite and ‘Islander-by-choice’, Josée Boudreau debuts as Miss Stacey.

The creative team that brought the Guinness Record-holding musical to life last season has returned in 2016, with Wade Lynch in the director’s chair alongside Musical Director Bob Foster and Choreographer Robin Calvert.

“With a history that has enjoyed success under some of the country’s greatest directors, and that has benefited from the talents of legions of actors, musicians, designers, technicians, and theatre artisans of every stripe, it is no small task to approach a new season with the responsibility of maintaining the high standards of previous productions while attempting to bring something new to the play and the story,” says Lynch, who performed in many seasons of the beloved musical himself.

“That said, we must never treat our production as an antique; Anne is new every time the curtain goes up,” he continues. “When Anne Shirley arrives at Bright River she is not only encountering the possibility of a new family, she is entering a whole new world. As theatre artists it is our challenge and our responsibility to present a musical theatre experience that is new for every performance. With the tremendous talents and abilities of our 2016 company, you can be certain that the Anne of Green Gables experience our audiences enjoy this summer is brand spanking new!”

Anne of Green Gables plays select dates until August 27. Confederation Centre wishes to recognize CIBC as the returning title sponsor of The Charlottetown Festival. The Centre also acknowledges the Department of Canadian Heritage; the Government of P.E.I., and the City of Charlottetown for continued support. Media sponsors are The Guardian, Hot 105.5, Ocean 100, and CTV.