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Charlottetown expands as Land of Musical Anne


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Campbell Webster calls it The Anne Zone.

The co-producer of Anne and Gilbert, The Musical, likes the immediate neighbourhood of the show’s new venue.

CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ABOUT ANNE AND GILBERT

The musical that has earned strong reviews in major publications including New York’s Variety magazine will hit a Charlottetown stage this summer for the first time since its launch at the Victoria Playhouse in 2005.

Within a short stroll from The Guild, where the show will have a nearly four-month run starting on June 18, is the Confederation Centre of the Arts, home to Anne of Green Gables, The Musical back  this year for its 49th season.

Between The Guild and the ‘Confed Centre’ is The Anne of Green Gables Store, a magnet for Anne fans that, Webster gushes, draws as many as 500 people in a day.

“So we actually have three major Anne attractions here all within 50 metres of each other,’’ he said.

“The number one reason people come to Prince Edward Island as a tourist for the first time is because of Anne of Green Gables…So when you do that you come to consume as many different (Anne-related) things as possible.’’

Webster predicts Anne and Gilbert, a musical based on the sequel novels to Anne of Green Gables, will complement Canada’s longest running musical that will be staged across the street.

“One thing we are happy about is our show coming here is going to sell more Anne of Green Gables (The Musical) tickets,’’ he said.

“It’s good for everybody.’’

Naturally, Confederation Centre CEO Jessie Inman hopes Webster’s prediction proves prophetic.

“We’re excited to see Anne as a cultural product in Charlottetown continue to grow,’’ said Inman.

“We would hope that we would be able to promote each other’s product…but we are acutely aware that peoples’ disposable income may limit that.’’

Webster has failed each year to convince the powers that be to stage Anne and Gilbert at the Confederation Centre of the Arts.

Inman doesn’t see Anne of Green Gables and Anne and Gilbert both playing the Confederation Centre’s Homburg Theatre during over the same period.

“I think it would be too much Anne under one roof,’’ she said.

Under The Guild’s roof, Anne and Gilbert will be performed eight times a week in a setting choreographerBrittany Banks calls intimate.

Webster says the show will seat between 150 and 170. General admission will be $37.75 and premium tickets will cost $57.75.

If the show, which has played on more than 40 different stages across North America, enjoys a successful run this year at The Guild, Webster expects to the show to return to the venue.

“Why would we leave?’’

Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee hopes the show plays in the capital city for years to come.

Lee says he has always felt that arts and culture could be a catalyst to revitalize the city’s downtown core.

The municipality and the province are contributing $25,000 each to help stage the show in the capital city.

Campbell Webster calls it The Anne Zone.

The co-producer of Anne and Gilbert, The Musical, likes the immediate neighbourhood of the show’s new venue.

CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ABOUT ANNE AND GILBERT

The musical that has earned strong reviews in major publications including New York’s Variety magazine will hit a Charlottetown stage this summer for the first time since its launch at the Victoria Playhouse in 2005.

Within a short stroll from The Guild, where the show will have a nearly four-month run starting on June 18, is the Confederation Centre of the Arts, home to Anne of Green Gables, The Musical back  this year for its 49th season.

Between The Guild and the ‘Confed Centre’ is The Anne of Green Gables Store, a magnet for Anne fans that, Webster gushes, draws as many as 500 people in a day.

“So we actually have three major Anne attractions here all within 50 metres of each other,’’ he said.

“The number one reason people come to Prince Edward Island as a tourist for the first time is because of Anne of Green Gables…So when you do that you come to consume as many different (Anne-related) things as possible.’’

Webster predicts Anne and Gilbert, a musical based on the sequel novels to Anne of Green Gables, will complement Canada’s longest running musical that will be staged across the street.

“One thing we are happy about is our show coming here is going to sell more Anne of Green Gables (The Musical) tickets,’’ he said.

“It’s good for everybody.’’

Naturally, Confederation Centre CEO Jessie Inman hopes Webster’s prediction proves prophetic.

“We’re excited to see Anne as a cultural product in Charlottetown continue to grow,’’ said Inman.

“We would hope that we would be able to promote each other’s product…but we are acutely aware that peoples’ disposable income may limit that.’’

Webster has failed each year to convince the powers that be to stage Anne and Gilbert at the Confederation Centre of the Arts.

Inman doesn’t see Anne of Green Gables and Anne and Gilbert both playing the Confederation Centre’s Homburg Theatre during over the same period.

“I think it would be too much Anne under one roof,’’ she said.

Under The Guild’s roof, Anne and Gilbert will be performed eight times a week in a setting choreographerBrittany Banks calls intimate.

Webster says the show will seat between 150 and 170. General admission will be $37.75 and premium tickets will cost $57.75.

If the show, which has played on more than 40 different stages across North America, enjoys a successful run this year at The Guild, Webster expects to the show to return to the venue.

“Why would we leave?’’

Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee hopes the show plays in the capital city for years to come.

Lee says he has always felt that arts and culture could be a catalyst to revitalize the city’s downtown core.

The municipality and the province are contributing $25,000 each to help stage the show in the capital city.

Brittany Banks, choreographer for Anne and Gilbert, The Musical, took the part of the iconic fictitious, red-haired orphan Thursday for the official announcement that the show will play in Charlottetown for the first time this summer.

About the show

• Anne and Gilbert, The Musical is based on the sequel novels to Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.

• The show, launched in 2005 at the Victoria Playhouse, has played in more than 40 different stages across North America including Toronto, Detroit and Ottawa.

• Written by Jeff Hochhauser, Bob Johnston and Charlottetown native Nancy White.

• The Anne & Gilbert cast recording became the only Canadian musical ever to receive a recording industry Album of the Year Award when it took home an East Coast Music Award.

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