Glenda’s Kitchen Opens for Business

Premiering July 13, The Charlottetown Festival is proud to present a new production of the cabaret musical which charmed Islanders and tourists alike last summer. Glenda Landry returns with new songs, stories and her talented musical kitchen party team, as Glenda’s Kitchen cooks up the best kind of seafood chowder, a bowl with a story behind it!

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Directed by Festival favourite Wade Lynch, Glenda’s Kitchen plays in Studio 1 at Confederation Centre of the Arts on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday at 1:30 p.m. until September 1.

Led by Island theatre icon, Glenda Landry, the 75-minute production offers a taste of the Island, literally and culturally, including a plated bowl of chowder for each patron. This afternoon cabaret features new tunes and tales from Glenda, her band, and a stacked cast of Festival all-stars. Landry and the ensemble explore the many bounties of P.E.I.’s people, traditions, and world-famous food.

Landry is an accomplished chef, motivational speaker, and actor, having performed in Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™for many summers, as well as memorable roles in Sound of Music and Oliver! at the Capitol Theatre, and Wizard of Oz, The Full Monty, and the world premiere of Evangeline at the Centre.

She is joined at the table by Hank Stinson, Marlane O’Brien, Julain Molnar, Cameron MacDuffee, Scott Christian andKaren Graves. Husband and wife team MacDuffee and Graves will provide the musical accompaniment alongside Christian, who serves as musical director for the production. The light-hearted musical is sponsored by the PEI Fishermen’s Association with kitchen products courtesy The Kitchen Store.

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

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Wade Lynch Tapped to Direct Glenda’s Kitchen

Opening July 13 is a cabaret matinee that offers a taste of the Island, literally and culturally! Glenda’s Kitchen returns after a successful debut at The Charlottetown Festival last summer, and will feature a beloved and familiar name in the director’s chair.

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Wade Lynch will lead a cast of Festival favourites, including Glenda Landry, Hank Stinson, Julain Molnar, Marlane O’Brien, and Cam MacDuffee. Scott Christian will strike a chord as Music Director and Karen Graves will provide accompaniment.

Since stepping down as Associate Artistic Director of the Festival in 2014, Wade has completed his Masters of Education through UPEI, which has led to opportunities at Bishop’s University in Sherbrooke, Quebec. Wade is now the Development Officer for the Senior Academy for Lifelong Living, and an instructor with Bishop’s drama department. He also directed Anne™ for the Festival from 2015 to 16, as well directing for the Drayton Festival and for the Segal Centre in Montreal. Wade’s new play, Down the Road with Dutch Mason is being workshopped at Bishop’s this spring before it returns to the Festival for its third workshop this July.

“Working on Glenda’s Kitchen feels very much like coming home,” reflects Wade. “Marlane and I started at the Festival together in 1992 with A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline at The Mack. That was the same summer we met and admired Glenda, Hank, and Julain, who were all performing their hearts out on the main stage. When Cam came along a few years later, this family was complete.”

For 25 years the group have all worked, played, and bonded together. “The common bond was Glenda and P.E.I. Glenda is the real thing; a genuine Islander who made a life in theatre possible, while keeping a happy home and family on the Island,” he explains. “She was the model for the rest of us, and made us believe that opportunities don’t have to be limited by geography, that a life in show business and a life on beautiful P.E.I. are not mutually exclusive. What a gift then, to be able to celebrate her good example in this engaging, intimate show.”

Glenda’s Kitchen runs four times weekly, from July 13 to  September 1, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. in Studio 1 at Confederation Centre of the Arts. The Charlottetown Festival is sponsored by CIBC. Special thanks are extended to the PEI Fisherman’s Association, production sponsor for Glenda’s Kitchen. Kitchen products are supplied by Kitchens Unlimited

Island Strong Anne Opens

The curtain lifted last night at 7:30 p.m. on an especially Island-strong edition of the long-running musical Anne of Green Gables. Jessica Gallant of Ten Mile House, P.E.I. stars as the world-famous orphan, with Charlottetown’s Hank Stinson and Aaron Hastelow as Matthew Cuthbert and Gilbert Blythe. This marks the first time an Islander has played Gilbert in the historic production, and thus the first time both romantic leads have been played by locals.

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Festival veteran Marlane O’Brien, of Crapaud, P.E.I. plays iconic busy-body, Miss Rachel Lynde, while Dora Award-winner Charlotte Moore reprises her turn as Marilla Cuthbert. New Island home-owner Katie Kerr returns to the role that first brought her to the Festival, as Diana Barry, and another Festival favourite and ‘Islander-by-choice’, Josée Boudreau debuts as Miss Stacey.

The creative team that brought the Guinness Record-holding musical to life last season has returned in 2016, with Wade Lynch in the director’s chair alongside Musical Director Bob Foster and Choreographer Robin Calvert.

“With a history that has enjoyed success under some of the country’s greatest directors, and that has benefited from the talents of legions of actors, musicians, designers, technicians, and theatre artisans of every stripe, it is no small task to approach a new season with the responsibility of maintaining the high standards of previous productions while attempting to bring something new to the play and the story,” says Lynch, who performed in many seasons of the beloved musical himself.

“That said, we must never treat our production as an antique; Anne is new every time the curtain goes up,” he continues. “When Anne Shirley arrives at Bright River she is not only encountering the possibility of a new family, she is entering a whole new world. As theatre artists it is our challenge and our responsibility to present a musical theatre experience that is new for every performance. With the tremendous talents and abilities of our 2016 company, you can be certain that the Anne of Green Gables experience our audiences enjoy this summer is brand spanking new!”

Anne of Green Gables plays select dates until August 27. 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., and the City of Charlottetown for continued support. Media sponsors are The Guardian, Hot 105.5, Ocean 100, and CTV.

Island Lad Debuts as Gilbert

For the first time in the 52 seasons Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™ has run in Charlottetown, an Islander will play Anne’s beau. The Charlottetown Festival has announced that Aaron Hastelow will debut as Gilbert this summer opposite P.E.I.’s Jessica Gallant as Anne. This also marks the first time two Island natives have held the storied production’s romantic leads.

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Hastelow is no stranger to local audiences, having essentially grown up at Confederation Centre and performed in numerous productions, including in Ring of Fire, Anne & Gilbert, two seasons with the Young Company, and as the male lead in the Christmas musical, Cinderella. He recently spent three seasons at the Shaw Festival and is currently performing in Evita for The Vancouver Opera.

“Playing Gilbert is the pinnacle of full circle moments for me,” he remarks. “Having started with the Centre as a child of Avonlea when I was eight years old, to now, finally stepping into Gilbert’s boots — it really doesn’t get much more meaningful. This is the role that inspired me to become an actor, and I can’t tell you what it means to me to be given the opportunity to play this iconic Islander.”

Gallant and Hastelow are both alums of Sheridan College and performed together in the 2010 Young Company. “I am so proud to be from here, and sharing the stage with my dear friend and fellow Islander, Jessica, just makes the moment even sweeter,” he continues. “I feel like we are in for a truly golden summer!”

The Charlottetown Festival is presented by CIBC and Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™ begins previews on June 29. Directed by Wade Lynch, Anne™ plays select dates until August 27, 2016. Hastelow will also perform in the ensemble for the ABBA-inspired mega-musical, Mamma Mia!, which begins previews on June 1.

Says the Centre’s Artistic Director Adam Brazier of the latest addition to his company, “It is always so encouraging for us to welcome Islanders back home to our festival. We take great pride in supporting and training the next generation of artists from our province. As one generation exits the stage, another must enter. It is our continued goal to help see that next generation flourish and grow.”

Confederation Centre wishes to recognize Tim Hortons as the title sponsor for Mamma Mia! and acknowledge the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Government of P.E.I., and the City of Charlottetown for their continued support. Media sponsors are The Guardian, Hot 105.5, Ocean 100, and CTV.