Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Thousand Islands Playhouse 'Anne & Gilbert' hits the road in the summer of '08!

The runaway hit of the Thousand Islands Playhouse 2007 season will tour Ontario this
summer, beginning with a 3-week run at Kingston’s newly renovated
Grand Theatre from August 14 to 30, 2008.

Gananoque, Ontario.
The Thousand Islands Playhouse is thrilled to announce that Anne & Gilbert will be touring the province this summer and fall. This exuberant toe-tapping Island musical from PEI was enjoyed by over 16,000 people during the Playhouse’s 2007 season, breaking all previous attendance records, and had critics and audiences singing its praises from Kingston and Ottawa to New York City. Starting with a stop at Kingston’s newly renovated Grand Theatre, the Playhouse production of Anne & Gilbert will be bringing the laughter and fun of this beautiful new show to hundreds of lucky theatre goers across Ontario.

Anne & Gilbert, co-written by Nancy White (of CBC fame), Jeff Hochhauser, and Bob Johnston, is a lively and engaging musical sequel based on the second and third books in L.M. Montgomery’s beloved series. Anne & Gilbert adds a contemporary sensibility to the now-grown Anne of Green Gables, who is still full of fiery idealistic imagination and still at temperamental odds with her more conventional companions.
Anne & Gilbert picks up where the original novel left off, and the focus is on the relationship between our heroine Anne Shirley, and Gilbert Blythe, the young man who everyone but Anne can see is destined to be the love of her life - a relationship that has been brewing ever since an 11-year-old Anne broke her slate over Gilbert's head when he called her Carrots.
Anne & Gilbert “keeps the essential tone of L.M. Montgomery’s work, without seeming like a fusty museum piece. The music has real melodic grace and invention, often veering off into unexpected harmonies and rhythms that lift it above traditional musical theatre fare. The lyrics are well crafted, serious when called for but often wryly amusing. ” (Richard Ouzounian, Toronto Star) The result? A lively and authentic island-style musical, full of laughter and romance and a brand new take on a heroine Canadians have loved for years!
The Playhouse is thrilled to announce that some of the very popular cast members of the original production will appear on this tour. Ashleigh Ireland and Adrian Marchuck will once again take up the roles at the heart of the story, the feisty Anne Shirley and dashing Gilbert Blythe. Valerie Hawkins recreates the her “solid and beautifully sung performance as Marilla Cuthbert.”(Variety Magazine)
Anne & Gilbert is directed by Playhouse Artistic Director Greg Wanless, who has directed many Playhouse musical hits; My Fair Lady, Fiddler on the Roof and both productions of Anne of Green Gables to name a few. We are pleased to welcome back Sandy Thorburn as musical director and the “inspired choreography” (Variety) of Kiri-Lyn Muir. The charm of Avonlea will once again be created on stage in a set by John Dinning and period costumes by Dennis Horn.

Music by Bob Johnston and Nancy White. Book by Jeff Hochhauser. Lyrics by Nancy White, Bob Johnston and Jeff Hochhauser. Anne of Green Gables, Anne Shirley, Gilbert Blythe and Anne & Gilbert TM AGGLA

“the delightful Anne & Gilbert...utterly charming...moments of biting with and broad comedy... director Greg Wanless and musical director Sandy Thorburn re-create a world of charm that brings out the best in the material...likely to become a standard on the Canadian musical scene...”
(Variety Magazine)


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