Tag Archives: Rejean Cournoyer

2 Do 40

Introducing Brett and Drew: Two Actors Will Portray 40 Characters This Summer

Rejéan Cournoyer and Jeremy Legat will star in comedic play ‘Bed and Breakfast’ at The Mack

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They say it takes a village and this summer two Charlottetown Festival actors will take on the whole town.

Artistic Director Adam Brazier has announced Rejéan Cournoyer and Jeremy Legat as the two performers bringing the hilarious and poignant comedy Bed and Breakfast to life, from July 11 to September 26 at Confederation Centre. Written by Canadian Mark Crawford, the comedic play will be directed by Associate Artistic Director Mary Francis Moore.

“We are very excited to have Rejéan and Jeremy among our company,” says Brazier. “This is a hilarious show that offers two tour-de-force performances; two actors play an entire rural community, switching from character to character at break-neck speed.”

Sponsored by Honibe, Bed and Breakfast follows big city gents Brett and Drew as they endeavour to resettle in a picturesque small town. We follow them as they inherit the family home, move from Toronto, and struggle with renovation hell and their opening weekend—all leading to their big decision: do they stay or pack it all in?

Rejéan Cournoyer is a household name in Charlottetown, following turns in Evangeline, Mamma Mia!, and others, and actually made his professional debut with the 1994 Young Company. “Everything I’ve accomplished is rooted here—my career, the best friends I’ve had, and the land I’ve bought here,” he shares. “My partner is a set and costume designer and we moved to the Island permanently in 2016; this is a very important place.”

The Nova Scotia native recently performed in the critically-acclaimedPiaf/Dietrich (Mirvish) and has performed throughout Canada. He can relate to the challenge his character faces of establishing oneself in a new community. “These two men have some naiveté when they move to the small town, being fish-out-of-water. That’s where a lot of the comedy and charm of the play come from; both the comedic and serious.”

Jeremy Legat can also speak to the feeling of being ‘from away’, having recently moved to Canada from the U.K. following appearances in London’s West End (Wicked and Oliver!). “I think everyone can empathize with that from some point in their lives,” he offers.

The London native has enjoyed exploring the country, performing live theatre in Halifax, Hamilton, and Toronto as well as TV roles on Murdoch Mysteries and Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy. “It was bit of a culture shock coming to Canada, in the pursuit of new life and new adventure, but it’s been a very exciting ride so far.”

This blend of emotions is also felt by the pair as they approach Bed and Breakfast and its 40-odd characters, ranging from Torontonians Brett and Drew, to various local contractors, teenagers and nosy coffee shop baristas.

“It’s terrifying, but a good terrifying,” laughs Legat. “You’ve got to come up with all those personalities and make them different from one other and from Rejéan’s characters. Each one needs to be instantly distinct.”

Cournoyer agrees, “The writing is so good, it’s all there on the page and it’s very funny. It’s an exciting challenge.”

Both men will also appear in the Mainstage musical comedy, The Drowsy Chaperone, with Cournoyer playing the narrator and lead, ‘Man-in-Chair’, and Legat as the hilarious butler, ‘Underling’.

Experience it all, this summer at The Charlottetown Festival, sponsored by CIBC. 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.

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

On Track to Festival 2020

Select Casting and 50% Off Sale Announced for Charlottetown Festival 2020

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Confederation Centre offering half-priced tickets from now until December 3

Artistic Director Adam Brazier has revealed select casting for The 2020 Charlottetown Festival, including the leads for Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™ and The Drowsy Chaperone.

Brazier also announced details on the biggest Festival sale of the year. From now until December 3, patrons can purchase tickets for all four summer theatre productions at 50% off. Tickets can be accessed online, by phone at 1 (902) 566-1267, toll free at 1 (800) 565-0278, or at the box office. The sale is offered for select dates and is based on availability. Members of Confederation Centre were given advance access to this sale as of November 18. For show descriptions, see addendum.

Returning as the precocious orphan who changed the Island forever is Emma Rudy, who dazzled audiences last summer. The Buzz dubbed Rudy “the Festival’s best Anne in ages”, raving about her soaring voice, sharp comic sensibility, and well-timed intensity. The Stratford, Ontario native will be back starring in the Homburg Theatre as of June 3, as the 2020 festival begins previews earlier than usual.

“It is such an honour to bring this complex and vivacious redhead back to life through new eyes,” glows Rudy. “I can’t wait to come back.”

Opening June 30 is five-time Tony Award-winning musical comedy, The Drowsy Chaperone. This is the funniest musical written in the past 25 years,” states Brazier. “This show will leave our audiences happy, giddy, and sore from laughter.”

The Drowsy Chaperone will mark the return of Festival favourite Réjean Cournoyer. The Nova Scotia native had major roles here in Evangeline, A Misfortune, and Mamma Mia!, and nationally with Mirvish, Elgin, the Citadel Theatre, and Theatre Calgary. Cournoyer will star as ‘Man in Chair’, a witty theatre aficionado who mourns the end of the Golden Era, narrating the entire musical comedy while listening to its record on vinyl.

Also joining The Drowsy Chaperone in the title role is Island native Catherine O’Brien, returning to the Centre after several years with other Island theatres including in Fascinating Ladies, Young At Heart, and the Victoria Playhouse. O’Brien has performed with The Shaw Festival, Canadian Stage, and Manitoba Theatre Centre. Her previous credits with the Festival include Hairspray, Anne™, and The Ballad of Stompin’ Tom.

Over at The Mack, Islander Michele Bouey will make her Festival debut, performing in the musical love-letter to icon, Rita MacNeil, Dear Rita. Bouey will pay homage to MacNeil as member of a six person ensemble, similar in form to the Festival’s Atlantic Blue in 2019.

A Young Company alumna, Bouey has performed coast-to-coast, including with Soulpepper, Panasonic, and Drayton. She also writes and records her own music, with singles out now on Spotify and Apple Music.

As the Festival is repertory, each of the announced performers will also appear in other productions next summer, to be detailed at a later date.

The Festival’s 50% off sale also applies to the 2020 new production Bed and Breakfast, playing July 11 to September 26 at The Mack.

Special thanks are extended to Festival title sponsor, CIBC, and to Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™ sponsor CAA Atlantic. 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.

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

 

Misfortune’s World Premiere

A Misfortune makes its world premiere tonight at The Charlottetown Festival.Sponsored by Key Murray Law, the bittersweet Canadian musical is playing a short run at the Centre’s cabaret theatre, The Mack until Sept 22.

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Adapted from a short story by Anton Chekhov, the musical starts with two old friends going for a walk in the woods. Their conversation soon takes a turn, revealing hidden depths to their relationship and forcing them to question the lives they’ve chosen.

 “Despite being written over a hundred years ago, the play’s themes are timeless,” says Kevin Michael Shea, scriptwriter and musical co-creator. “We’ve all loved the wrong people, or not loved the right people enough.”

 A Misfortune promises audiences a romantic, bittersweet musical about small moments and momentous decisions. Set at a dinner party among friends, sordid secrets are revealed with every shot of vodka.

Confederation Centre will present only nine performances of A Misfortune, so get your tickets for this must-see show. Please visit: http://www.confederationcentre.com/en/show/350-A-Misfortune

The cast includes Rejean Cournoyer (Andrey), Kelsey Falconer (Sofya), Connor Lucas (Ivan), Melanie Phillipson (Masha), and Brendan Wall (Pavel).

A Misfortune is directed by Eliza-Jane Scott with music by Scott Christian and lyrics by Wade Bogert-O’Brien.

Special thanks are extended to the Government of Canada for their support of Confederation Centre and to The Charlottetown Festival title sponsor, CIBC. Appreciation is extended to media sponsors Ocean 100, Hot 105.5, CTV, and The Guardian.

Fortunate Casting Announced for Misfortune

The Charlottetown Festival is in top gear this month, and producers are already preparing for the next round of productions, including the world premiere of A Misfortune, sponsored by Key Murray Law.

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The bittersweet Canadian musical plays a short run from September 7-22 at Confederation Centre’s cabaret theatre, The Mack. With just nine performances on deck, blink and you may miss it, so this is one theatre event to circle on the calendar.

A Misfortune follows Ivan, a young lawyer (Connor Lucas) and Sofya, a married woman (Kelsey Falconer), in pre-revolutionary Russia on a walk through the woods; their friendship has reached an impasse.

Soon they gather with three friends (Réjean Cournoyer, Brendan Wall, and Melanie Phillipson) for a dinner party in the country. With each drink, more sordid secrets are revealed. Adapted from a short story by Anton Chekhov, one of the world’s most celebrated and enduring writers, A Misfortune is a romantic, darkly comedic musical about small moments and momentous decisions. We follow Sofya’s journey from innocence and youth towards knowledge and self-actualization.

A Misfortune is directed by Festival alumna Eliza-Jane Scott, who wowed audiences in Mamma Mia! last year, and recently landed a lead role in the musical phenomenon, Come From Away, playing this winter with Mirvish.

A Sheridan College graduate, Lucas is currently performing in the Adam Brazier-led revival of Anne of Green Gables–The Musical™ and also appeared in two previous Young Company productions, The Voices of Canada and We Are Canadian. Falconer is playing Josie Pye in Anne™ as well this summer and is a recent graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. The Blyth, Ontario native has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe as well as in workshops for the hit Proclaimers musical, Sunshine on Leith.

Cournoyer is a household name at the Festival, having starred in Mamma Mia! last year, as well as memorable roles in Evangeline, Alice Through the Looking-Glass, The Founding Father, and Anne™.

Wall performed here last year in the acclaimed Festival/Soulpepper musical Spoon River. He is currently appearing with Soulpepper’s Festival in New York City, in Of Human Bondage and Spoon River, which is drawing international attention and strong reviews, including from the New York Times. Wall has also performed in the award-winning War Horse (West End and Mirvish) and Once (Mirvish).

Phillipson is also presently performing in Anne™, and made her Festival debut in last year’s Belles Soeurs: The Musical. The Moose Jaw native has appeared across Canada with Mirvish, Tarragon, and seven seasons at the Shaw Festival.

Scott Christian is the musical’s composer, orchestrator, and music director with lyrics from Wade Bogert-O’Brien, and book and additional lyrics by Kevin Michael Shea.

Special thanks are extended to the Government of Canada for their support of Confederation Centre; and to The Charlottetown Festival title sponsor, CIBC. Appreciation is extended to media sponsors Ocean 100, Hot 105.5, CTV, and The Guardian.

 

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