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.”