Tag Archives: Homburg Theatre

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

Katie Kerr Stars as Sophie

Over 60 million people around the world have fallen in love with the characters, story, and undeniably catchy music that make Mamma Mia! the ultimate feel-good musical. Now Artistic Director Adam Brazier is turning to a Festival favourite of recent seasons – Katie Kerr – to play the lead role.

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Kerr, a veteran of five seasons at Confederation Centre, including two starring as Anne Shirley, will play bride-to-be Sophie in this summer’s must-see musical, directed by Brazier with musical direction from Bob Foster and choreography from Kerry Gage.

“It is always an honour to return to The Charlottetown Festival in any capacity, but I am especially thrilled to be one of the first girls in Canada to take on the role of Sophie this season,” says Kerr, from her new home in Charlottetown. “The Festival has been so integral to my career, and I am very thankful for the opportunity to star in yet another iconic show here.”

Inspired by the storytelling magic of ABBA’s songs, from ‘Dancing Queen’ and ‘S.O.S.’ to ‘Take a Chance on Me,’ Mamma Mia! is a celebration of mothers and daughters, old friends, and newfound family. The sunny tale that unfolds on a Greek island paradise where, on the eve of her wedding, Sophie’s quest to find her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago. Over 24 chaotic, magical hours, new love blooms and old romances are rekindled on this lush island full of possibilities.

For Katie Kerr, it’s exciting that the Festival is one of only two theatres in Canada credited to present the blockbuster since it closed on Broadway in 2015, and she looks forward to seeing where Brazier’s vision will take Mamma Mia!. “It’s so comforting to have an actor as intuitive as Adam on the other side of the table,” she offers. “You know that he is seeing everything, not only from a directorial position, but from the actor’s view as well. His ideas are fresh and forward thinking, which makes for a very exciting time at the Festival. I am so thankful to be a part of a company under his leadership.”

Kerr’s previous credits include Ring of Fire, Alice Through the Looking-Glass, Evangeline, and various roles in Anne of Green Gables-The Musical™, notably as the title heroine during the musical’s record-setting 50th season in 2014. “After embodying that role for two years, it becomes second nature,” she explains. “That experience continues to inspire me, in both my theatre work and my personal life. I am constantly finding fragments of Anne in everything I do.”

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., through the Department of Education, Early Learning, and Culture, and the City of Charlottetown for their continued support. Media sponsors are The Guardian, Hot 105.5, Ocean 100, and CTV.

Mamma Mia! is presented from June 1 to September 3, 2016 in the Homburg Theatre at the Centre.

Winning Hearts for the Arts

The Confederation Centre’s Find the Heart for the Arts fundraiser will launch a new and improved format beginning this Monday, February 1. Under the new format, ticket holders do not need to be in attendance at the weekly event, and can win from home.

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Tickets for the Tuesday night game will now be on sale at the Centre’s Box Office, Monday to Saturday, from 12 to 5 p.m. The weekly event remains on Tuesday nights in Studio 1 from 7-9 p.m., with the live draw at 8:45 p.m.

The Chase-the Ace jackpot currently stands at $2,424.00. Chase-the-Ace tickets are available at $2 each, with discounts based on the number of tickets purchased. Full rules and regulations as well as a full ticket price list is available at http://www.confederationcentre.com under the Chase-the-Ace icon.

For all information, rules and ticket prices, please visit the web site. Proceeds from the lottery will be go towards the $ million dollar cost of Phase Two improvements to the Homburg Theatre. The theatre closed in December for four months of essential restoration work to the back-of-stage, including rigging, hanging, fly systems, access and safety equipment, and needed infrastructure upgrades.

Aces Are High

Play has resumed for Charlottetown’s first large-scale Chase-the-Ace Lottery. The Confederation Centre’s ‘Chase-the-Ace for the Arts’ fundraiser for theatre improvements is held every Tuesday night in Studio 1, beside Mavor’s. Ticket sales run from 7 to 8:35 p.m. each night, with full bar service and board games on offer. The winning draw is held at 8:45 p.m.

Ace-of-Hearts

Chase-the-Ace is a classic card game that caught fire as a charity fundraiser in the Maritimes over the past year. The game is similar to a 50/50 draw, but has a twist — weekly ticket sales are split with 50% going to the fundraising charity, 30% being pooled into the jackpot, and 20% going to the weekly winning ticket holder, who also gets the chance to draw a card from the deck.

As weeks go on without the Ace of Hearts being drawn, the jackpot grows and the deck diminishes. The Centre has chosen an Anne of Green Gables themed deck of cards, with the hearts suit as jackpot trigger, hoping for good fortune with ‘hearts for the arts.’

Proceeds from the lottery will be put towards the $5-million cost of Phase Two improvements to the Homburg Theatre. The theatre closed in December for four months of essential restoration work to the back-of-stage, including rigging, hanging, and fly systems, access and safety equipment, and needed infrastructure upgrades.

While the public areas of the 1,100-seat theatre recently underwent significant restorations, the stage facilities and back stage areas have not seen major enhancements since the Island’s largest theatre first opened in 1964.