© Photo special to The Guardian by Louise Vessey
Adam Brazier and Chilina Kennedy perform as Gabriel and Evangeline in Ted Dykstra's musical, Evangeline, playing during the Charlottetown Festival at the Confederation Centre of the Arts.
Evangeline’s long journey to the stage has been rewarded with a debut season in Charlottetown that has earned strong reviews, giddy audience praise and good ticket sales.
The Globe And Mail heralded the show as one of the most ambitious musicals ever conceived in Canada with a cost of $1.5-million, a cast of more than 30, 200 costumes and a 14-piece orchestra.
This powerful Charlottetown Festival stage companion to the long-running Anne of Green Gables - The Musical took a decade from conception to reality.
The show did not disappoint, says Carol Horne, chief marketing officer with the Confederation Centre of the Arts.
“Evangeline was greeted with great support and reviews from patrons and media across the country,’’ says Horne.
“Confederation Centre looks forward to exploring touring opportunities and anticipates bringing it back to The Charlottetown Festival within a few years time, but not next year.’’
In 2014, the Charlottetown Festival hopes to celebrate the sesquicentennial of the 1864 Charlottetown Conference with a new, locally written theatrical production.
“As 2014 is a major anniversary for Canada and for Confederation Centre 50 years for the Confederation Centre and the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference the festival is celebrating with an exciting new season that includes the 50th season of our cherished Anne of Green Gables The Musical, and some great surprises,’’ says Horne.
“Stay tuned for the 2014 Festival announcement at the end of September at The Mack.’’
As for Evangeline, the curtain will close in a month.
While the show certainly wasn’t a cash cow, ticket sales exceeded targets.
The future of the musical appears promising and perhaps lucrative for the Confederation Centre.
The Centre retains the staging of Evangeline for six more years and it also owns the right to translate the musical in French and mount or tour such a version.
Horne adds the musical, which tells the story of a young Acadian woman from Nova Scotia who on her wedding day is separated from her husband, Gabriel, by British soldiers during the expulsion, has renewed interest in Acadian history.