Tag Archives: The Mack Charlottetown PEI

Spinning Yarns Sooner Than Later

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This summer The Charlottetown Festival is thrilled to have Spinning Yarns at The Mack this summer. Set in Newfoundland in the early ‘80s, this one-man production brings to life a world of raucous adventures, death-defying escapades, and dubious childcare.

The hilarious evening of story and song is a fictionalized biography written and performed by Festival favourite, Stephen Guy-McGrath (‘Bill’ in Mamma Mia!; ‘Sam Phillips’ in Million Dollar Quartet; ‘René in Evangeline). Sponsored by Key Murray Law/Meritas, the production runs July 20 to September 28 at Confederation Centre of the Arts. Featured are traditional Newfoundland fiddle tunes and well-loved songs such as ‘The St. John’s Waltz’ by Ron Hynes, ‘Wave over Wave’ by Jim Payne (popularized by Great Big Sea), and more.

To learn a little more about this production, which Guy-McGrath has presented in multiple other theatres, Centre staff sat down with the author and performer himself for a ‘Q &A’:

Question 1.  What is the origin story for ‘Spinning Yarns’? 

Stephen: More than 20 years ago I was getting started in the industry and there were not a lot of opportunities for me, but I had lots of enthusiasm and, frankly, pre-wife and kids time! I started trying to come up with a project for a pal and myself to work on. We threw out tons of ideas and the whole time I was telling her stories about growing up in St. John’s. One day she said, “This is the show!” She was right.

Q2. What is the show about?

It is really a love letter to my family and the world I grew up in. A lot of fun is made with it all, but it’s all done with great affection. Also, small children get stuffed in large appliances…

Q3. How did this production make its way to The Charlottetown Festival?

The festival is always looking for the ‘right’ show for The Mack. It needs to be fun, have music, and be affordable to produce for a small house. (Producers) Adam (Brazier) and Dean (Constable) knew about the show and had seen snippets that I had done in The Maud Whitmore Benefit Concert. They approached me and we talked about it as a possibility; and I think it just fit this year. Tara MacLean’s Atlantic Blue (playing at The Mack August 2 to September 27) is the perfect show to share the stage with. Atlantic Blue is “a lot of song and a little story” and Spinning Yarns is “a lot of story and a little song”. We are good companions!

Q4. What can people expect from your show?

A good time! It’s very informal. I tell these stories to you as if you were sitting at my kitchen table. The bar will be open, the tunes will be rocking, the laughs will be coming. What could go wrong?

Q5. And the final, most important question. Ahem, in the battle of the best island: Newfoundland or P.E.I.?

This is like Sophie’s Choice for East Coasters. All I can say is that I love each island in its own way. It’s like having a second child: your love is not divided between the two, as your capacity to love doubles!

Spinning Yarns opens on Saturday, July 20 at the Mack, with preview shows on July 15 and 16. The production is directed by Adam Brazier and was originally produced by Strange/Momentum Theatre Projects. Tickets can be found online at confederationcentre.com, by calling our Box Office at 1(902)566-1267 or 1(800)565-0278, or by visiting our Box Office.

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
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Setting the Spin Cycle

A ‘Q & A’ with Spinning Yarns’ Stephen Guy-McGrath From The Charlottetown Festival

Special Father’s Day promo offers $25 tickets for performances in early August

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This summer The Charlottetown Festival is thrilled to have Spinning Yarns at The Mack this summer. Set in Newfoundland in the early ‘80s, this one-man production brings to life a world of raucous adventures, death-defying escapes, and dubious childcare.

The hilarious evening of story and song is a fictionalized biography written and performed by Festival favourite, Stephen Guy-McGrath (‘Bill’ in Mamma Mia!; ‘Sam Phillips’ in Million Dollar Quartet; ‘René in Evangeline). Sponsored by Key Murray Law/Meritas, the production runs July 20 to September 28 at Confederation Centre of the Arts.Featured are traditional Newfoundland fiddle tunes and well-loved songs such as ‘The St. John’s Waltz’ by Ron Hynes, ‘Wave over Wave’ by Jim Payne (popularized by Great Big Sea), and more.

Just in time for Father’s Day, Confederation Centre is offering a special promo for Spinning Yarns. Until June 16, patrons can use promocode ‘SpinningDad’ to access $25 tickets for this energetic, thoughtful, and side-splitting production. There are limited quantities available and this applies to performances from August 5 to 17. To see a promo video starring Guy-McGrath and featuring his whole family, head to YouTube.

To learn a little more about this production, which Guy-McGrath has presented in multiple other theatres, Centre staff sat down with the author and performer himself for a ‘Q &A’:

Question 1.  What is the origin story for ‘Spinning Yarns’? 

Stephen: More than 20 years ago I was getting started in the industry and there were not a lot of opportunities for me, but I had lots of enthusiasm and, frankly, pre-wife and kids time! I started trying to come up with a project for a pal and myself to work on. We threw out tons of ideas and the whole time I was telling her stories about growing up in St. John’s. One day she said, “This is the show!” She was right.

Q2. What is the show about?

It is really a love letter to my family and the world I grew up in. A lot of fun is made with it all, but it’s all done with great affection. Also, small children get stuffed in large appliances…

Q3. How did this production make its way to The Charlottetown Festival?

The festival is always looking for the ‘right’ show for The Mack. It needs to be fun, have music, and be affordable to produce for a small house. (Producers) Adam (Brazier) and Dean (Constable) knew about the show and had seen snippets that I had done in The Maud Whitmore Benefit Concert. They approached me and we talked about it as a possibility; and I think it just fit this year. Tara MacLean’s Atlantic Blue (playing atThe Mack August 2 to September 27) is the perfect show to share the stage with. Atlantic Blue is “a lot of song and a little story” and Spinning Yarns is “a lot of story and a little song”. We are good companions!

Q4. What can people expect from your show?

A good time! It’s very informal. I tell these stories to you as if you were sitting at my kitchen table. The bar will be open, the tunes will be rocking, the laughs will be coming. What could go wrong?

Q5. And the final, most important question. Ahem, in the battle of the best island: Newfoundland or P.E.I.?

This is like Sophie’s Choice for East Coasters. All I can say is that I love each island in its own way. It’s like having a second child: your love is not divided between the two, as your capacity to love doubles!

 

Spinning Yarns opens on Saturday, July 20 at the Mack, with preview shows on July 15 and 16. The production is directed by Adam Brazier and was originally produced by Strange/Momentum Theatre Projects. Tickets can be found online at confederationcentre.com, by calling our Box Office at 1(902)566-1267 or 1(800)565-0278, or by visiting our Box Office.

The Charlottetown Festival would like to extend our sincere appreciation to the production sponsor Key Murray Law/Meritas and Festival sponsor, 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

28660348_162333201093170_735205771249634989_n

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

Dance Umbrella Does Rome

dance umbrella “When in Rome”

| The Mack

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Presented by dance umbrella’s Senior Musical Theatre class.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do… slip on a toga and charge like a lion into this dazzling musical! Audiences will love the tongue-in-cheek humour Bill Francoeur delightfully weaves into the 10 songs in this side-splitting musical comedy.

The Guild, Watermark Theatre, Harbourfront Theatre, Confederation Centre for the Arts, and Victoria Theatre.

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One More Night

Second Show Added for ‘An Evening with Aaron Hastelow and Friends’

Beloved Islander is up close at The Mack January 11 and 12; special guests include Tara MacLean and Alicia Toner

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After multiple years selling out this annual cabaret, Hastelow has planned the 2019 edition for The Mack, on Friday, January 11 at 7:30 p.m. Now, with tickets virtually sold out, Confederation Centre has added a second night for the show, Saturday January 12 at 7:30 p.m.

For the cabarets, Hastelow will welcome special guest Alicia Toner, a 2018 Music PEI Award-winner for her debut album I Learned the Hard Way, and a Charlottetown Festival veteran from Million Dollar Quartet, Spoon River, Evangeline, and more. Toner is also releasing a brand new single ‘Dangerous Home’ on January 11. Hastelow and Toner will come together to sing ‘Shallow’ from the recent Hollywood hit, A Star is Born.

Hastelow will also collaborate with special guest and fellow Islander, Tara MacLean, an award-winning singer-songwriter and star of her own show, Atlantic Blue. He will also welcome a guest band of all-star musicians, including Craig Fair (recent music director for The Charlottetown Festival), Andrew Murray, Jon Matthews, and Trevor Grant. Some of the choice musical selections on the night will include Fleetwood Mac, John Legend, Ed Sheeran, The Cranberries, Dave Matthews Band, Miley Cyrus, and more.

In 2017, Hastelow released his self-titled debut album, recorded at the Sound Mill Recording Studio, garnering three Music PEI Award nominations. After studying musical theatre at Sheridan, the Charlottetown native has appeared in theatre festivals across the country, including with Vancouver Opera, Neptune, Aquarius, and three seasons at Shaw Festival.

He also recently starred as the lead of Jesus Christ Superstar at the Centre and will star again as Hamlet in Kronborg—The Hamlet Rock Musical and as Sky in Mamma Mia! at the 2019 Festival. Other previous Festival credits include Ring of Fire and two seasons as Gilbert Blythe in Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™.

Special thanks are extended to the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Province of Prince Edward Island, and the City of Charlottetown, as well to media sponsors Ocean 100, Hot 105.5, and The Guardian. This concert is presented as part of Sobeys LIVE @ the Centre.

For more details, visit confederationcentre.com. Tickets are going fast and can be purchased at the Centre box office, or online.

Sardines at the Mack

Two-time Juno-winning balladeer Chris Luedecke, a.k.a. Old Man Luedecke, is coming to The Mack on March 3 at 7:30 p.m. with a show that promises to have you craving sardines by the end of the night.

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You may know Luedecke from his 2015 hit song, “Early Days,” where he used humour and sentiment to describe his experience as a new parent. His catchy lyrics “You got to hold on, it goes so fast, these early days, they don’t last” instantly connected with his fans who frequently request the song at his shows. It’s also the number-one requested bedtime song of Luedecke’s three daughters who happen to be the song’s muses.

Luedecke says it was a challenge to write a song about the experience of raising his young children, “People kept saying to me that this time will go so fast and I found it hard to write that feeling in a song, but once I found the right steps to say it with some conviction, I finally felt good about it.”

Luedecke’s follow up to “Early Days” is a song about something else he loves… Brunswick Sardines. For people who know Luedecke’s eccentric personality, it comes as no surprise that he would write an entire song about one food and even dedicate a whole verse to the different types of sauces that sardines are packed in.

“Sardines are actually a way better food than what everybody thinks,” defends Luedecke. “When I serve guests a sardine lunch at my home they’re always surprised at how good they taste,” he says with a little chuckle.

After playing the Brunswick Sardine song while touring through the southern United States this past year, he discovered people in the audience who also loved sardines, so much so that he has received fan letters from people thanking him for writing the song.

He finds it great, but also a little strange that the two main songs his fans connect to are complete opposites on the emotional spectrum. Luedecke’s “goofy intelligence” (his words) is what he feels is the reason. He believes it’s what draws people to his music and lures them to come to his shows.

“I always try and end my shows in the same place, but I like to take a different path every time to get there,” says Luedecke. He goes on to say, “I listen to the vibe in the performance space and try to show the audience what I perceive through my banter.” He ends by saying, “It keeps the flow of the show moving and makes for a fun and engaging evening for the audience.

Don’t miss your chance to hear Old Man Luedecke’s contemporary lyrics coupled with the irresistible rhythms of the old-time banjo, guitar, mandolin, and fiddle.  Get your tickets now: https://www.confederationcentre.com/en/show/104-Songwriter-Series-Old-Man-Luedecke

Special thanks are extended to show sponsor Purity Dairy, and Sobeys, the title sponsor for LIVE @ the Centre! Media sponsors are The Guardian, Ocean 100, and Hot 105.5.

Loving the Swing

Fall in Love with the Swinging Sounds of the Valentine’s Cabaret

With love in the air, Sobeys Live @ the Centre serves up the ever popular Valentine’s Cabaret next week, sponsored by Charm Diamond Centres.

Vocalists Catherine O’Brien and Joey Kitson come together with a trio of Don Fraser on piano, Deryl Gallant on upright bass, and Alan White on drums for this must-see February 14 tradition. The musical union sets the scene for a memorable night of romance, humour, and classic love songs.

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“The Valentine’s Cabaret is a night like no other, one accented by the swinging sounds from another era that is sure to entertain, surprise, and romance,” offers Fraser, director of the Centre’s Choral Music Programme.  “February 14 is an evening out at The Mack where you will hear a varied selection of classics from the American Songbook,”

The jazz trio will back Kitson and O’Brien across two rollicking sets of ballads, blues tunes, and pop standards, including ‘My Funny Valentine’, ‘Time after Time’, ‘Skylark’, and ‘Have I told you lately that I Love you.’ Other standouts include ‘You’d be so nice to come home to’ and ‘Fly me to the Moon’

Showtime is 7:30 p.m. at The Mack and tickets are moving fast! Contact the Centre’s box office at (902) 566-1267, toll free at 1-800-565-0278, or online at confederationcentre.com.

Special thanks are extended to Sobeys, the title sponsor of Live @ the Centre, as well as media sponsors The Guardian, Hot 105.5 and Ocean 100.