CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —
Confederation Centre of the Arts welcomes Tara MacLean’s ode to Canada’s East Coast to the Charlottetown Festival as “Atlantic Blue” open today at 7:30 p.m. and plays Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights through Sept. 27 at The Mack.
In this musical celebration of songwriters, MacLean explores the places and people behind iconic anthems like “Sonny’s Dream”, “Put Your Hand in the Hand”, “Fare Thee Well Love” and many more. The Juno-nominated performer and an all-star cast and band pay homage to those fellow musicians who found a way to create beauty from the challenging experiences in their own lives.
After two years on offer at The Guild, some changes for the 2019 festival version of this show include direction from Mary-Francis Moore, major visual design and structural changes, new musical orchestrations and arrangements and the addition of four orchestra members and five back-up singers, who also provide narration.
These performers are all festival favourites and include Josée Boudreau (2015’s “Evangeline”), Alana Hibbert (Gertrude in this season’s “Kronborg”), Jacob MacInnis (“Kronborg”, “Jesus Christ Superstar”), Andrew McAllister (eighth season, Marcellus in “Kronborg”) and Brendan Wall (“Spoon River”, “On the Road with Dutch Mason”). Each is known for powerful and signature vocal talents, presenting a stronghold of talent for MacLean and all the musicians to collaborate with.
Like these supporting voices, four members of the Charlottetown Festival Orchestra will cross the street from regular performances with “Anne of Green Gables-The Musical” and “Kronborg” this summer. Joining in at The Mack are: Norman Adams (cello), Isabelle Fournier (violin), Karen Langilee (violin) and Susan Sayle (viola). Craig Fair is music director as well as the arranger and orchestrator for Atlantic Blue.
Returning is MacLean’s ace band of Island musicians, known across the region for their individual careers spanning multiple genres and numerous accolades. The group includes band leader Deryl Gallant (bass), Todd MacLean (guitar, sax, piano), Cynthia MacLeod (fiddle, accordion) and Jon Matthews (guitar/percussion).
The creative team for “Atlantic Blue” includes Fair, scenic designer Ken MacDonald; lighting designer Jason Hand, projection designer Aaron Collier, costumes from Bonnie Deakin and choreography from Brittany Banks.