Everything Anne

It’s Everything Anne time again in Ontario!

A fun Anne of Green Gables event at Bala's Museum

A fun Anne of Green Gables event at Bala's Museum

On July 24th 1:30 to 4:00 pm at Bala’s Museum we are in for a treat.

3 Legged Races & Sack Races

Egg-on-a-spoon Races

Free Popcorn & Cake

Prizes for Best Character Costumers (cosplay)

Bala’s Museum – With Memories of Lucy Maud Montgomery is home to one of, if not the most impressive historical collections of Anne of Green Gables memorabilia in the world.

Their name shows local pride and respect for the author, but don’t let that fool you into thinking they are like on our favorite heroine.

Everything the classic hardcovers, collectibles, family heirlooms and even the Lady of Shallot boat from the motion picture.

As we found out last week, it is certainly worth ride to Bala’s Museum in the Cranberry Capital of Canada.

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Amy Wallis brings Charm of Anne of Green Gables to Toronto

Amy Wallis brings charm of Anne of Green Gables to Toronto

VINCENT TALOTTA/TORONTO STAR
“Mom and dad didn’t want me to go into theatre at all,” laughs Amy Wallis. But the young actor, who has already played several lead roles, is hooked. (April 28, 2009)
Director knew she had found the right one after Wallis auditioned for musical

May 02, 2009


THEATRE CRITIC
When you’ve spent the last four years of your relatively short life alternating between playing one of Disney’s most beloved heroines and one of Canada’s most revered literary figures, you might think it could turn a young lady’s head.

But, judging from a recent conversation, Amy Wallis is doing just fine in the modesty department with none of the arrogance that both her onstage prototypes – Anne Shirley and Belle – have sometimes displayed.

Wallis, 26, is currently in Toronto rehearsing with the Charlottetown Festival Company to begin her fourth season as the title character in that best known of all Canadian musicals, Anne of Green Gables. What makes this time around even more special for her is that the show is going to begin on May 7 with a run at the Elgin Theatre, courtesy of Dancap Productions.

“I’m incredibly excited to be appearing in the city that I hope to build a career in,” says Wallis. “I really want to do well here.”

The chances are that she will. The reviews from her first three summers as Anne have all been glowing – the same kind of response in her native Vancouver, where she’s starred for the past four Christmases in the Arts Club Theatre’s production of Beauty and the Beast.

This might be the time for a bit of total disclosure. I directed Wallis’s mother, Valerie Easton (who is now a noted choreographer) and my wife, Pamela, appeared on stage with her father, Ray Wallis (who has left the business for a career in financial planning), when we were all young and foolish in Vancouver, back in the 1970s. But the Ouzounians had moved East by the time Amy was born on Sept. 16, 1982.

“Mom and dad didn’t want me to go into theatre at all,” she laughs. “They tried to get me interested in sports, but all I wanted to do was perform. I would force my parents to watch me put on these long, involved plays I had created when I was only four. I was always running around doing numbers from Cats and driving them crazy.”

By this point, Wallis’s father had quit show business “cold turkey,” in his daughter’s words, and was enjoying working in the financial sector. “Dad would try to get me interested in the things he was doing,” Wallis confesses, “and I would just stare at him with drool coming down from my mouth. I was such a Broadway baby!”

But the Wallis family still held the line, making sure Amy would have something approaching a normal existence. “I got very involved in high school drama,” shares Wallis, “and so I asked my mother if I could have an agent. She said `no.’ It was okay if went to dance classes and acted in community theatre, but she wanted me to have a real life.”

Eventually she spent a few years at York University, but dropped out, feeling that “I was ready and I knew what I wanted.”

After a year on a cruise ship (“just so I could see the world”), she wound up in her old hometown and got her first professional job as Anybodys in the Arts Club Theatre production of West Side Story.

Since then, she’s kept busy across the country in various shows, but there’s no doubt in her mind that the cherry on the sundae has been playing Anne Shirley.

“I flew out to Toronto to audition for it,” she remembers, “and I had no idea how I did at first. I wanted the part so badly! I had read the books as a little girl and the first song I ever sang at a concert was `Gee, I’m Glad I’m No One Else But Me.’ I had the VHS copy of the Megan Follows TV version and I’d watched it so much over the years that the tape had literally worn out. That’s how much I loved Anne of Green Gables.”

So her heart started beating just a bit faster when director Anne Allen stopped her after her audition and asked if she was planning to stay in Toronto a few more days.

“I told her `no,'” says Wallis, “that I was flying right back home. She just looked at me and said `Oh, I’d stay around.'”

Wallis was called back several times, and when she got to her final audition she remembers thinking she had blown it because she saw Allen turn to whisper to someone during her song.

“`Oh great, I thought, `She’s talking while I’m singing!'”

What she only found out later was that the person Allen was whispering to was author Don Harron, and what she was saying was “I think we’ve finally found our Anne.”

Things are busy for Wallis right now, but what about life after Anne?

“I see myself playing as many different roles as possible. I really want to do My Fair Lady. And I’ve always hoped to be in a production of Les Miserables. I’d be anyone … even the third whore from the left!”

I wonder what Marilla would have to say about that!

GETTING PERSONAL

Q: What was the first musical you ever saw?

Marilyn Dalzell, Peterborough

A: It was a Vancouver production of Peter Pan starring Cathy Rigby and Long John Baldry. Cathy Rigby threw fairy dust on me so I went home and tried to fly. I couldn’t. I didn’t get hurt, but I was very sad.

Q: How old were you when you first came across Anne of Green Gables?

Jean-Anne Moors, Whitby

A: I think I was 9 when I first started reading one of the books. Then I learned the songs from the musical and next came the TV show on tape.

Q: Why do you think Anne of Green Gables is still so popular in Charlottetown after all these years?

Eleanor Vineberg, Halifax, N.S.

A: First of all, it’s a wonderful show, but I also think people love coming to see Anne’s story near her home.


ANNES WITH AN ‘E’

Fourteen actresses have played Anne Shirley in the Charlottetown Festival production of Anne of Green Gables since it premiered in 1965. Here’s a few:

Susan Cuthbert (1979-1980): She went on to become the first alternate for Rebecca Caine’s Christine Daae in the original Toronto production of The Phantom of the Opera, playing the role at least twice a week.

Glynis Ranney (1991-1992): Known for her soulful, wide-eyed stare and crystal-clear voice, Ranney has been seen for many years at the Shaw Festival.

Tracy Michailidis (1994-1996): One of the most serious and emotional of all Annes, Michailidis has gone on to star at Shaw and Stratford as well as theatres around North America.

Chilina Kennedy (2000-2001): The feisty, sexy Kennedy went far beyond Anne Shirley, starring as Sophie in the national tour of Mamma Mia! and is currently at Stratford, in West Side Story.

Exclusive Coverage of Anne of Green Gables Open Call

by Kelly Cameron by way of Broadwayworld.com

On Tuesday April 21st, 2009 Dancap Productions held open auditions for children aged 8-12 to be in the Toronto engagement of Canada’s longest running musical Anne of Green Gables.  More than sixty children showed up at the open call, all eager for a chance to participate in this amazing piece of Canadian theatre.  BWW was on hand to witness the entire audition process, and had the opportunity to interview some of the key people behind the production.

In attendance for the process were members from Dancap Productions, as well as Artistic Director Anne Allan and Musical Director Donald Fraser.  Dance Captains and cast members Robin Calvert and Zak Kearns were also in attendance to assist in the casting process.

The studio at the Ossington Theatre was beautifully out-fitted with props from the production, and the kids started to pile in very quickly and filled the room.  Tons of bright and smiling faces prepared to learn a song and dance from the musical and show off what they had to offer.

It was a very thorough audition process.  The children learned a verse from the song “Ice Cream” and then were taught the dance that goes along with it.  Dance Captains Robin Calvert and Zak Kearns were fantastic in their direction of the young children, helping them learn the steps quickly so that they could be evaluated.  The process moved very smoothly, with the children being divided into groups according to sex and height and then performing for Anne Allan with accompaniment by Donald Fraser.

Once all the children had an opportunity to sing and dance, they had a sit-down with Ms. Allan where she demonstrated her unique ability to handle children.  Ms. Allan had a wonderful group conversation with them where she explained various aspects of the theatre business as well as the auditioning process, and encouraged the children to continue on their path regardless of whether or not they got a role in their production.  Ms. Allan was incredibly kind and approachable throughout the process, and it seemed as though all the children felt included regardless of whether or not they were called back.  She explained that they would all have the opportunity to go back to their parents, and then certain children would be called back in to perform the final call-backs.

During this time, I was able to speak with Ms. Allan for an exclusive interview for BWW readers:

Do you feel that this is a good turn-out?

Yes definitely.  The turn-out was fantastic.

How long have you been with the Charlottetown Festival Production of Anne of Green Gables – The Musical?

I’ve been with Anne for ten years.

Are you only casting the children at this time?

We are only casting the children in Toronto, although we did cast for some of the other roles prior to arriving here. We have a lot of returning cast members, but we did also need to cast some new people. It’s a great job for young dancers who are coming out of school because we need young kids or people who can look like young kids.  So very often it’s a wonderful jumping off point for performers.  Plus they get to be a part of a Canadian classic and that is a great opportunity as well.  Many of them stay with us for a long time, but then sometimes they go off and do other jobs and we need to open up the casting process again.

Will the children chosen be only performing in Toronto?

Yes, they will just be in the Toronto engagement. A lot of the reason behind that is because of their age and also their height.  Sometimes children can become too tall during a long run!

Once we are done, you will be bringing a select number of children back in for final call-backs.  What is involved from here on out?

Now we have to streamline everything and pick exactly what we need.  And even though we publish the breakdowns for height and age, many children like to come anyways so some can’t be considered because they don’t meet the basic criteria. Sometimes they might be too tall, because they have to look like a young child of Avonlea.  So basically I can tell right away which ones might be too small and need to be a bit older, or which ones are already too tall.  So height-wise I know right away which ones fit the bill, and from there it’s just a question of getting to look them over again in smaller numbers and choose exactly what we are looking for.

Approximately twenty children were brought back in for the final part of the audition process, and at this time, each had the opportunity to sing solo for Anne Allan and the rest of the casting crew.  In addition, they learned a more complicated dance routine and did some additional work with Dance Captain Zak Kearns.  At the end, Anne Allan sat down with the children and had a very informative and moving discussion about the demands that come with being in this type of production as well as general rules of the theatre.  The children were extremely enthusiastic despite being tired from a long evening of auditioning, and each were eager to answer questions and display their knowledge of the do’s and don’ts of being in a professional production.

At the end of the night all the children went home and the casting crew were left with a very hard decision to make.  All the children did a spectacular job and only four were being cast (two boys and two girls).  It was not announced at the open call who had been selected, however BWW has been given an exclusive opportunity to follow-up with the children shortly after the show opens to hear how they felt about the audition process and how they are enjoying being in Anne of Green Gables – The Musical.

Anne of Green Gables – The Musical plays the Elgin Theatre from May 7th – 24th, 2009. Tickets start as low as $25 and can be purchased online or by calling 416-644-3665.  For more information please visit http://www.dancaptickets.com

Coloring Contest for Anne of Green Gables – The Musical Tickets

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Charlottetown Festival’s perennial favourite, Anne of Green Gables – The Musical™ is Canada’s longest-running musical seen by more than 3 million people worldwide. Dancap productions is presenting the family classic from May 7 to 31 at the Elgin Theatre. For a chance to win a family pack of four tickets to the show, enter our colouring contest and mail your entry to City Parent Anne Contest, 447 Speers Rd. Suite 4 Oakville, ON L9T 3S7. Submissions must be received by Monday, April 27.

With her fiery temper, passion for melodrama and romance, and penchant for misadventures, Anne brings laughter, love and more than a little consternation to the village of Avonlea. Based on the novel Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery, this story is loved by millions around the world and in 2008 is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its original publication. For details about the show or for tickets call 416-644-3665 or visit www.dancaptickets.com/shows.

Click HERE and print out the colouring contest image.

The Rothesay-born mezzo soprano who lives in Toronto says she’s a fan of Anne of Green Gables. ‘She is such a feisty, strong-willed character.’

Click to Enlarge
Candace McLean/canadaeast news service
q Age?

a 23

q Provenance?

a I am from Rothesay, but I currently live in Toronto. I am finishing my masters in opera performance and performing at the University of Toronto.

q Why opera?

a I love singing, acting, learning languages and have always been at home on the stage. My voice has a classical and operatic quality, which was evident even before my voice started to develop from voice lessons. I also love musical theatre – anything with singing, acting and dancing.

q What was your breakthrough moment?

a After my first year of university, I went to Mozart’s most famous opera, Marriage of Figaro, in New York City with The Acadia Vocal Ensemble. I became very passionate about opera and vocal technique. I always loved the theatre, but opera really seemed to fit.

q What would you be if you weren’t an opera singer?

a An actor; I love impersonating a character and using my emotions to communicate to an audience. Or a yoga teacher; I may even do it in conjunction with opera singing. Or a psychologist, because I love listening to people and their stories, analyzing situations and learning about behaviours.

q What are you working on next?

a The role of the child in Ravel’s French opera L’enfant et les sortileges.

q What place on earth inspires you?

a I love Italy – Rome, Tuscanny and the Amalfi coast. There is so much beauty in that country, so much history.

q Your current obsession?

a Balancing healthy eating with my love for sweets.

q What place in New Brunswick inspires you?

a Ever since I was a little girl, I have always loved the Saint John City Market. With a ceiling shaped like the bottom of a ship, the long building is filled with artisans, fresh fruit and vegetables, fish and poultry, crafts, bustling people – both artistic and business types. In memories, it is always there; it doesn’t leave with the changing of the seasons, and it is home. There really is no place like home … and I have a pair of bright and shiny red shoes to get me there.

q Secret indulgence?

a Toffee, chocolate and caramel, pies and cookies, but I am not sure how much of a secret it is.

q Your favourite hero of fiction?

a Anne of Green Gables, because she is such a feisty, strong-willed character who knows what she wants. And she is a well-known and loved Maritime fictional character.

q What is your greatest extravagance?

a Clothes. I love to dress nicely and have a classy wardrobe.

q What is your greatest fear?

a Failure. I want to succeed in my career, my relationships and my finances, have good health and still have time, energy and money to give to society.

q Greatest joy?

a To love and be loved in return – in my personal and professional life.

q Your favourite opera?

a Carmen. It is filled with passion, tragedy, wit, humour, sensuality, dancing and high drama. The orchestration, vocal writing, libretto, language and style are an absolutely spectacular package. It is the perfect musical drama, in my mind. I would love to perform the role someday.

q Favourite paintings on Earth?

a Impressionist paintings by Monet, Degas and Renoir because they are very beautiful, but they depict nature or people in a way that is not exact or defined; the artist interprets a scene and is free to colour outside of the lines. Reproductions of paintings by Degas on notebooks and posters have been cherished gifts since I was a little ballerina.

q Favourite painting by a New Brunswick artist?

a A drawing of a circle of dancers by my uncle, Brian Perkins, who worked for Festival-by-the-Sea. The festival is no longer active, but it is a part of my fond memories of summers in Saint John.

q What are you reading?

a Eat, Love, Pray by Elizabeth Gilbert

q What’s on your iPod?

a Dance and pop music, a bit of R&B, several opera albums and some rehearsal recordings of myself.

q What is the greatest public misconception about opera?

a That is is stuffy and boring and only for old people. It is entertaining, sexy and high drama!

q Your most treasured possession?

a A beautiful diamond ring from my great, great aunt Jennie Fitzgerald who was 111 years old when she died. She was a vibrant and cheerful lady, and I enjoyed visiting her at the Loch Lomond Villa, where she lived for 25 years.

q What is your favourite performance venue?

a In Rome, Italy, there is a magnificent courtyard near Piazza Navona, where I performed with Operafestival di Roma, called the Palazzo della Sapienza. The façade of the church provides an ideal scenic background for the opera, and the four-sided courtyard is a vibrant acoustical space.

Built in the 15th century and for nearly 500 years the seat of the original University of Rome, the Palazzo now houses the library of the Senate of the Roman Republic. The famous church, S. Ivo alla Sapienza, built inside the courtyard, is considered one of the architectural masterpieces of Rome.

q What is your motto?

a Life is a daring and bold adventure. Cherish yesterday, live today and dream tomorrow.

q What opera singer would you like to hear in person before you die?

a More like, who would I like to hear before they die?! lol or stop singing … Frederica von Stade. She is a beautiful mezzo soprano that has achieved abundant international acclaim and has made many recordings. I think my voice is a lot like hers and she is definately one of my role models.

Source: The Telegraph Jounral

Published in: Uncategorized on March 15, 2009 at 2:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Rosemary Dunsmore Wins Actra Award

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Canadian film and TV actors feted TheStar.com – Entertainment – Canadian film and TV actors feted

February 21, 2009

Rosemary Dunsmore, Nicholas Campbell and Jamie Watson won ACTRA Awards last night at the annual gala honouring outstanding performances, hosted by the Toronto chapter of the Canadian actors’ union.

Dunsmore, known for her roles as Katherine Brooke in Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel, Aunt Abigail in Road to Avonlea and the title role in CBC series Mom P.I., won for her performance as the mother of a lesbian trying to have a baby with her partner in the low-budget festival-circuit movie The Baby Formula.

Campbell, who played the title role in Da Vinci’s Inquest and has more than 40 starring film and television credits, including The Insiders, Street Legal, Flashpoint and The Border, won for playing Shorty McAdoo in TV miniseries The Englishman’s Boy.

Watson, an accomplished comic, is a veteran voice-over actor. He won for his performance in the children’s animated TV series Peep and the Big Wide World.

Peter Keleghan was presented with ACTRA Toronto’s Award of Excellence by Leah and Gordon Pinsent for his body of work.

A strong advocate of Canadian arts, Keleghan is a familiar face for his work on The Newsroom, Made in Canada, The Red Green Show, Billable Hours, Murdoch Mysteries and Slings and Arrows. He had three feature films released in 2008: Eating Buccaneers, The Bend and Coopers’ Camera. He also recently finished shooting the pilot Eighteen to Life for CBC.

The gala, hosted by Teresa Pavlinek and featuring a performance by Stephanie Martin, was scheduled to be held last night at the Carlu events theatre.

“Receiving an ACTRA Award from one’s peers is a significant feat and well worth both recognition and accolades,” said Heather Allin, president of ACTRA Toronto.

“Our performers are some of the best in the world. Each and every one of our 15 nominees worked hard, created expansively and gave their all, and it shows.”

Star staff

Megan Fallows stars in new movie with Husband Stuart Hughes

Megan Follows with Husband Stuart Hughes in Booky's Crush

Megan Follows with Husband Stuart Hughes in Booky's Crush

In this article with Town Crier the couple talk about the movie, the biz and life in Toronto and Los Angeles.

Published in: on February 18, 2009 at 5:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Anne of Green Gables Musical Coming to Toronto

The Anne of Green Gables Musical is Coming to Toronto

Canada’s longest running musical, seen by over three million worldwide is coming to Toronto.   The original production from The Confederation Centre of The Arts in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island is coming to Toronto thanks to DanCap Productions.

The musical will run May 7th, to May 31st, 2009.

Seating Charts are available here

  • Saturday Evening – $155 -$260
  • Sunday and Saturday Matinee $135-$230
  • Thursday and Friday Evening $115-$220
  • Wednesday Evening – $105-$205
  • Wednesday Matinee $100- $190

Directions

By TTC: Subway to Queen Station. Exit to street. The theatre is on the east side of Yonge Street at Queen St.

By Car: QEW or 401 to Yonge St. Proceed north or south on Yonge to Queen.

“Anne of Green Gables – The Musical, is a must see. This spunky, entertaining and delightful production has proven why it is Canada’s longest running musical.”
– Lisa Vlooswyk, The Calgary Herald

Elgin Theatre 189 Yonge Street

ACT 1
Anne of Green Gables – Full Company
Great Workers for the Cause – Rachel Lynde and the Ladies
Where is Matthew Going? – The Townspeople
Gee I’m Glad I’m No One Else But Me – Anne
We Clearly Requested a Boy – Marilla, Anne and Matthew
The Facts – Anne, Mrs. Spencer, Mrs. Blewett and Marilla
Where’d Marilla Come From? – The Townspeople
Humble Pie – Matthew and Anne
The Apology – Anne
Back to School Ballet – The Pupils
Avonlea We Love Thee – Mr. Phillips and the Pupils
Wondrin’ – Gilbert
Did You Hear? – Josie and the Townspeople
Ice Cream – Diana and Company
The Picnic – The Company

ACT 2
Where Did the Summer Go To? – Gilbert and the Pupils
Kindred Spirits – Anne and Diana
Open the Window – Miss Stacy and the Pupils
The Words – Matthew
Open the Window (reprise) – Miss Stacy and the Pupils
Nature Hunt Ballet – The Pupils
I’ll Show Him – Anne and Gilbert
General Store – Lucilla, Matthew and the Townspeople
Pageant Song – The Pupils
If It Hadn’t Been for Me – The Company
There is a Golden Summer – Gilbert and the Pupils
Anne of Green Gables – Matthew
The Words (reprise) – Marilla
Wondrin’ (reprise) – Anne and Gilbert

Confed Center Pictures

Don Harron, Writer and Co-Lyricist
Writer Don Harron hatched the idea of creating a musical of Anne of Green Gables while reading the book to his daughter. In penning the musical-first for television, then for the stage-he “ tried to be as faithful as possible to L. M. Montgomery’s story.”

Norman Campbell, Composer and Co-Lyricist
The lilting melodies of Anne of Green Gables were composed by Norman Campbell. He worked closely with Mr. Harron to create the musical, but distance was an obstacle. Recalls Mr. Campbell: “We were in different cities, so we mostly composed over the phone”.

Elaine Campbell, Co-Lyricist
Songwriter Elaine Campbell was in hospital, about to give birth, when she penned the words to “Gee, I’m Glad”. At the time, she says: “I never imagined that one day I would see the show performed in New York, London, or Osaka.”

Mavor Moore, Artistic Director and Co-Lyricist
It was artistic director Mavor Moore who brought Anne of Green Gables, the Musical to Charlottetown. He commissioned the stage version, negotiated the rights and headed the production team. On top of that, he wrote the lyrics to three songs.

Alan Lund, Stage Director and Choreographer
The dance and staging that bring Anne of Green Gables, the Musical to life were created by Alan Lund. Although Mr. Lund was a seasoned choreographer, he had never directed a play before. Nevertheless, the original 1965 Anne staging is still in use today.

Source – Confederation Centre of the Arts