Tag Archives: Homburg Theatre

Star Crossed in Dance

Decidedly Jazz Danceworks: Juliet & Romeo

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| Homburg Theatre

In this original dance piece inspired by the classic tale of the star-crossed lovers,
Kimberley Cooper has created a new world for these themes of love and violence to
wrestle and play.
In this original dance piece inspired by the classic tale of the star-crossed lovers,
Kimberley Cooper has created a new world for these themes of love and violence to
wrestle and play.

 

Adapted by Cory Bowles with original live music by Nick Fraser, this work breathes new life into one of Shakespeare’s best-known and loved works.

Says Kimberley Cooper, DJD artistic director, “It is still recognizable, but not in the traditional way. I find this story to be so seductive, and because it is so well-known, that gave us permission to dive into and invent different ideas.  My hope is that the audience will find delight in the twists and turns we took in the re-imagining of this passionate and tragic tale.”

ABOUT DJD

DJD is one of the only companies worldwide with jazz dance and music as its raison d’être. Performing both in its hometown of Calgary and on tour across Canada and beyond, DJD has produced more than 60 original works since its inception in 1984, many with live music. The company’s high-energy, unique style has caused people to describe their work as “music for the eyes.”

Please join us after the show in Studio 1 for an opportunity to hear and ask questions of DJD’s artistic director, Kimberly Cooper.

Learn more about Decidely Jazz Danceworks at: decidedlyjazz.com

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

Bhoy Ahoy

| Homburg Theatre

Just For Laughs is thrilled to announce that, fresh from his sold out tour in Australia and
New Zealand, Scottish comic superstar Danny Bhoy is bringing his new show ‘Age of
Fools’ to Canada! Don’t miss your chance to see this critically-acclaimed comic, with his
unique brand of observational storytelling, as he explores life in a new era.

 

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In a relatively short period of time, Danny has established himself as one of the biggest-selling comedians in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as his home country of Scotland. In November 2014, he did his first tour of the U.S. for his critically acclaimed show ‘Dear Epson’, and in 2016, continued building on his success with his tour ‘Please Untick This Box’ with sold out shows in Australia and New Zealand and his sold out Canadian tour ‘Commonwealth Comedian’.

The Gemini-nominated performer has made annual appearances at all the major festivals around the world including regular appearances at the Montreal Just For Laughs Festival. In early 2012, he recorded his first worldwide DVD in his home town of Edinburgh, ‘Live At The Festival Theatr’e. He has also been featured on ‘The Late Show with David Letterman’ and has recorded a one-hour Comedy Central special entitled Subject To Change.

He creates a remarkable intimacy with his audience. A must-see.” – The Age, Australia

Brilliantly original and intoxicating comedy.” – The Guardian, UK

This is a show you could see time and time again. Exceptional.” – The Sunday Mail, Australia

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

Under My Spell

Hypnotist Jason Cyrus LIVE

| Homburg Theatre

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Jason is single-handedly changing the face of stage hypnosis entertainment and fans come from everywhere to be put under his spell. With his unmatched stage presence and magnetic personality, Jason works his crowds with a practiced flair. He is comfortable with all types of audiences. Jason’s entertainment style is comedic, enthusiastic, energetic and sincere, never dull, dry or clinical. Jason and his love of entertainment, appreciation and respect for his audience and participants are apparent to all.

As Jason develops a strong connection with his volunteers, they surrender to the power of suggestion to become talented musicians, hilarious ballet dancers and rock and roll legends giving the audience a show to be remembered!

You too could become a star! Guests are engaged and encouraged to participate in a wide variety of demonstrations designed to leave spectators amazed and thoroughly entertained.

The fun, the thrills, the uncontrollable laughter, it’s the most hilarious journey into the mind you will ever take! Witness the power of hypnosis! A guaranteed unforgettable experience!

 

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

Gliding Over Troubled Waters

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| Homburg Theatre

Derek Edwards – “ So Here’s The Thing…” – A breath of fresh air, finely honed and relentlessly funny! Take a break from the world and settle in for a seamless glide over life’s troubled waters. Like the canoeist seated deftly atop his life jacket, with whiskey and pot cookies sealed in airtight containers, Derek Edwards has left little to chance in this polished comedic adventure.

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

United By Song

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| Homburg Theatre

Join us for a special evening of courageous Islanders and talented local songwriters that tell the transformative stories of lives changed thanks to the generosity of those who support the United Way of PEI. 
United by Song is a celebration of our community and a thank you to those who help make it a better place for everyone to live, work and play.Four individuals will share their empowering personal stories with four local artists. Each artist will write and debut an original song inspired by the strength and resiliency of the storyteller, shining a light on the critical issues, diversity, possibility and talent found right here at home.

*There will be a special reception at Memorial Hall following the show.

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

Making the Maud

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| Homburg Theatre

The 43rd Annual Maud Whitmore Benefit Concert will be a night to remember featuring actors, dancers, and musicians from Anne of Green Gables–The Musical™, Kronborg-The Hamlet Rock Musical, Mamma Mia!, Atlantic Blue and Spinning Yarns.

On Sunday, September 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the Homburg Theatre, the staff, cast, and crew will volunteer their talents to raise money from ticket sales for the Maud Whitmore Scholarship Fund. These scholarships assist selected performers, designers, musicians, crew and staff members in achieving proposed professional goals, such as new artistic training or workshops.

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

Rock the Castle

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There isn’t anything to be or not to be about “Kronborg – The Hamlet Rock Musical” as it kicks off the 55th season at The Charlottetown Festival on Prince Edward Island. It’s all about being, being in front and making it happen. There’s nothing indecisive about Hamlet. He’s got Claudius in his crosshairs nearly from the get-go.

Lawrence Olivier, who directed and starred in an acclaimed movie adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” in 1948, said it is “the story of a man who cannot make up his mind.” The Hamlet of “Kronborg” doesn’t have that problem. His world has been rocked. He has got to make up his mind.

Hamlet’s first song “That It Should Come To This” – sung by Island-born Aaron Hastelow, in a grim dazzling performance of a determined rather than irresolute prince – is performed right after the Ghost King has made himself known to Marcellus and Horatio, and Claudius and Gertrude have made themselves known to Hamlet. He soon has a good idea of the double-dealing he doesn’t know everything about, yet. From that moment on it is hands on the wheel.

The singing is brisk and strong throughout, from the leads to the ensemble. Peter McBoyle, the show’s sound designer, has worked on several musicals at the Confederation Centre, including “Jesus Christ Superstar.” The orchestra, led by Craig Fair, leading the way, gets it done down in the pit, always there as the story unfolds.

Aaron Hastelow gets it done up top up front as Hamlet.

“From seeing a ten-minute segment of the piece in a review show when I was 13-years-old, to now, it’s surreal,” said Aaron⁣. “I need to acknowledge the tireless work of Craig Fair, giving us all this chance, and Cliff Jones for writing some of the most beautiful and memorable melodies. After 45 years, it’s time to share this show with audiences once again. Let’s rock!”

The show starts off with a bang, at the end of the story, as the last of all the main characters, save Horatio, fall down dead, and a black-clad dance troupe of post-modern Greek Furies peck at the fallen, pecking out the vengeance of the Ghost King, Hamlet’s father

“To be or not to be” is never spoken. “Let it be” by The Beatles is invoked. There will be blood is what is on everybody’s lips.

Lawrence Olivier once also said, “Lead the audience by the nose to the thought.” It’s an unfortunate phrase. Who wants to be led by the nose to anything? It’s far better to smell it out for yourself.

“Kronborg” propels the audience headlong to its windswept thought on passages of brisk music and stirring song and able-bodied dance and crafty staging, the twisting plot turning high and low. There are barely two lines of dialogue strung together to transition the songs. It is in some senses like an opera, incorporating all the elements of spoken theater, but sung instead of spoken.

It’s unlike an opera, however, since every word can be understood, it never stands still for long to show off a singer, the songs being embedded in the story, and it is exciting as hell from beginning to end. It bursts with energy.

“It’s a story of family, power, revenge, and sacrifice,” said Adam Brazier, artistic director at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown, where the show was resurrected on their main stage, the Homburg Theatre, playing in repertory alongside both “Anne of Green Gables” and “Mamma Mia!”

It is by far the darker, and arguably the more galvanizing, show in town. There’s something both rockin’ and rotten in Denmark.  It’s been said about rock ‘n’ roll that the devil has all the best tunes and the devil is not going anywhere. It’s also been said that shake rattle and roll and three chords are where the truth is. Whatever the truth is, the show is masterminded, exact and sparkling, never slack, always on the go.

Only the Ghost King takes his time.

The set by scenic designer Brian Smith is German Expressionist, a kind of Cabinet of Dr. Caligari castle, ramparts, a ramp and movable stairs, and arched entranceways. A forest as bleak as prison bars is lowered several times, the trees jagged and menacing, no escape. The rest of the set is minimalist, from the overhead part medieval part modernist chandelier to Gertrude’s dressing room, more suggestion and more effective because of the suggestion.

Nothing in the background gets in the way of the song and dance and narrative in the foreground.

When Honeybelle – Nicola-Dawn Brook in a red beret and man the barricades – and the players of the play within the play belt out the gospel inspired “He Got It In the Ear,” the fulcrum on which the plot rests tilts and everything becomes the gospel truth.

Hamlet, Claudius, Gertrude, Laertes, and Ophelia pour their hearts out in “I Cannot Turn to Love” at the end of Act One. It ends suddenly. The stage goes dark.

You can’t wait for intermission to be over.

The musical was conceived and written in the early 1970s by Cliff Jones, He wrote it while working on the children’s TV show “Mr. Dressup.” A Toronto composer and lyricist, his original “Hamlet: The Musical” has been reprised several times. It played on Broadway in 1976 as “Rockabye Hamlet,” starring the rock star Meat Loaf.

It came back to PEI in concert form in 2017 in at the Indian River Festival. Cliff Jones was in the audience. Following the production at St. Mary’s Church, another concert was performed at the Confederation Centre. Shortly after that the wheels were set in motion to stage the show again.

“It’s back where it began and where, in my mind, it’s always belonged,” Cliff Jones said about the production at the Charlottetown Festival.

“When people on the Island found out that Craig Fair and I were working on “Kronborg” they all had their own story,” said Mary Francis Moore, directing the show.  “Who brought them to the show in 1974? What seat they were sitting in when they heard Cliff’s score. What it was like to work on the first Canadian show to ever make it to Broadway.”

The musical is more than just a piece of the Charlottetown Festival’s history.

“We recognize the significance the piece plays. We have dusted off the pages to create a re-envisioned production that has been fully re-orchestrated and re-arranged – new life breathed into this Canadian classic.”

The composer sat in on some of the rehearsals. “I saw what they were doing with this incredible company and with Craig Fair’s new arrangement and musical direction,” said Cliff Jones. “I’m thrilled. It’s been framing my life for the last 45 years. It’s renewed me.

“The show has always carried a special combination of being a fun, entertaining experience, but also being faithful to Shakespeare’s story.”

Kronborg is a 1400s stronghold castle in Helsingor, Denmark, that became Elsinore in Shakespeare’s late 1500s tragedy in five acts. “Kronborg – The Hamlet Rock Musical” is in two acts. Not a moment is wasted, but all the key moments are there, from the Ghost King to setting the scene of Gertrude and Claudius’s marriage, Claudius getting suspicious and Hamlet’s turmoil, the king’s plotting and the play within the play, Hamlet inadvertently killing Polonius, the banishment and the tragic climax.

There is even some ribald fun along the way, especially when a freshly re-imagined Rosencrantz and Guildenstern make their appearance. They aren’t what you expect. They are nimble and treacherous, like street cats on the prowl.

Claudius is on the prowl, too, as Act Two starts, aware of the grave threat that Hamlet presents, and he conspires with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to solve the problem. Gertrude – played by Alana Hibbert – big league but tottering by then, sings the first of her two affecting prophetic solo’s, “Somebody Wrote the Wrong Words,” as fate speeds up.

Laertes and the full company sing “Eye for an Eye” and the die is cast.

It all comes down to Claudius and Hamlet.

Costume designer Jeff Chief doubles the king and his step-son, both men in black, both lean and mean, although Hamlet is largely in wool-like fabric, softening the effect, keeping him on the side of flesh and blood, while Claudius is largely in leather, making him more reptilian. Claudius is Axl Rose meets Johnny Rotten meets villainy most foul.

The costumes are severe, Edwardian mixed with some Mad Max, while the female leads are often more flowing, leaving trails streaking behind them as they cross the stage. Anachronistic pants are used to good effect, especially when the doomed Ophelia jumps into the lap of the standing Hamlet, straddling him, hanging on for dear life.

Cameron MacDuffie, a veteran of the Centre who describes himself as a man who “lives out past where the sidewalk ends,” plays Claudius as a man who doesn’t give a damn about sidewalks. He is self-aware, as most of Shakespeare’s wrongdoers are, and not beneath self-pity, but his self is more selfish and slyly arrogant than it is anything else. He is the king and the kingdom is his person. Beyond him, nothing matters.

It is an astonishing performance.

When Gertrude sings “No Use Pretending,” which might be one of the best songs of the musical, and is certainly the most moving, near the end of Act Two, she is singing for herself, but for everyone else, too. Polonius and Ophelia are dead. The roof is about to cave in on everyone’s heads.

Fight director Anita Nittoly stages the penultimate sword fight between Hamlet and Laertes Robin Hood-style, lithe and desperate. It is thrilling and horrible, knowing there is poison. When the end comes only Horatio is left standing, and joined by the Ghost King in the ramparts, bears witness to what becomes of treachery and revenge.

“Kronborg – The Hamlet Rock Musical” breathes new life into a play more than four hundred years old, and dirty work as old as time. It resonates because it speaks to our own times.

“A nefarious transition of power has taken place in Denmark and the future is uncertain,” says Adam Brazier. “It is a story that is eerily familiar to the current landscape of the world at large.”

Early in Shakespeare’s play, in Act One, Scene 4, Marcellus says, “Something is rotten in Denmark.” The Hamlet of “Kronborg” doesn’t worry about to be or not to be. Something has got to be done. He rocks the castle to get the rot out. He gets it done.

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

Mamma Mia is Back!

A mother, a daughter, three possible dads; and a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget! Back to the Festival by popular demand, it’s Mamma Mia!

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This sunny ABBA-driven tale follows Donna, an independent, single mother who owns a small hotel on a Greek island. She is about to let go of Sophie, the spirited daughter she has raised alone. For Sophie’s wedding, Donna has invited her two lifelong best friends – practical and no-nonsense Rosie, and wealthy, multi-divorcée Tanya – from her one-time backing band, Donna and the Dynamos; however, after reading her mother’s diary, Sophie secretly invites three guests of her own. On a quest to find the identity of her father to walk her down the aisle, she brings back three men from Donna’s past to the Greek paradise they last visited two decades ago. Over 24 chaotic, magical hours, new love will bloom and old romances will be rekindled on this lush island full of possibilities!

Presented as a co-production with the Grand Theatre in London, Ontario.

Sensitivity Warning: Strobe lighting, haze and fog effects are used in this production


ARTISTIC TEAM
Director, Adam Brazier; Music Director, Craig Fair; Choreographer, Lisa Stevens; Associate Music Director, David Theriault; Costume & Scenic Designer, Cory Sincennes; Lighting Designer, Michael Walton; Sound Designer, Peter McBoyle; Production Stage Manager, Matt MacInnis.

MUSIC & LYRICS BY Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, and some songs with Stig Anderson; BOOK BY Catherine Johnson; Mamma Mia! was originally produced in London by Judy Craymer, Richard East, and Bjorn Ulvaeus for Littlestar in association with Universal; Additional materials and arrangements Martin Koch; Music published by Universal Music Publishing Group, EMI Grove Park Music Inc., EMI Waterford Music.

Mamma Mia! is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. www.MTIShows.com.

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

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

28660348_162333201093170_735205771249634989_n

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

Showcasing Steps in Time

dance umbrella Set To Showcase A Year’s Work With ‘Steps in Time: The Sequel’

Annual showcases take place Saturday, May 4 at 2:30 & 7:30 p.m. in the Homburg Theatre

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A cherished spring tradition returns next week: dance umbrella’s end-of-year showcases at Confederation Centre of the Arts. These spirited presentations present the amazing results of a year’s worth of training for beginning and emerging dance and musical theatre talent. The matinee showcases P.E.I.’s junior and elementary classes while the evening features the intermediate, teen, senior and adult students.

This year, Confederation Centre celebrate 30 years of dance umbrella, founded by Peggy Reddin and Julia Sauvé. dance umbrella’s first ever year-end performance showcase was entitled Steps in Time, held back in 1989 at the Mack, and this year students will perform Steps in Time: The Sequel. As the company grew, it became an official part of Confederation Centre’s suite of arts education programs, joining in 2005.

The public is invited to come out and celebrate this outstanding dance program that has helped build dance and movement skills, self-confidence, and creativity in thousands of young Islanders for three decades.

“It has been a joy to work with such talented and dedicated students and instructors over the years,” offers Reddin, now the director of Arts Education at the Centre. “As we look back, we feel a great sense of pride in the positive impact we have had on so many lives and we look forward to continuing to instill a love for dance in the young and not-so-young!”

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.  dance umbrella is a proud part of the Arts Education Portfolio at Confederation Centre. For more information, please visitconfederationcentre.com/artseducation

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