BWW Review: ANNE OF GREEN GABLES: THE MUSICAL at Confederation Centre Of The Arts
Anne of Green Gables: The Musical shines into it's 53rd consecutive year as the world's longest running musical at the Confederation Centre in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Based off the famous novel of the same name, the show depicts a spirited red headed orphan's journey to find love, acceptance and adventure in her first "forever home" on the beautiful Canadian island.
In order to keep the same spark that our beloved Anne Maintains, the show is continually updated; from new costumes, choreography, set design and actors to make a timely Canadian tradition new again. One of the major changes was that Anne has a new dress that resembles the portrayal in the movie franchise and books where she dons a green dress and a white collar. I couldn't help but think of the new release of the television movie of Anne of Green Gables when Anne on the stage wears a flower crown at the beginning of Act 2. The show brings their traditional Anne and combines the Anne that we've read into the pages.
Gold star for the set designers who effortlessly created a stunning backdrop of a silhouette of Anne that was displayed prior to curtain. As a loyal fan of this production, I have always enjoyed seeing the varying silhouettes of Anne and have missed the tradition through all of the changes that have been made in past years.
The two standouts of the 53rd season of Anne are A.J. Bridel and Aaron Hastelow. Bridel's Anne Shirley is one for the books; she encompasses the role with a new found lively hood to the character in an interpretation that simply stands out as a crowd pleaser. Keeping you at the edge of the bugy!
Aaron Hastelow is the first Island born actor to play Gilbert and does an incredible job as the heartthrob who is looking for the approval of the underdog. The pair provided the perfect chemistry of a rivalry turned friendship. As individuals, they reminded me of Broadway stars Ben Platt and Anna Kendrick. Aaron's face during "Wondr'in" makes you think he is going to break into "Waving Through A Window" any second where as A.J. brings the spunk of Anna Kendrick with her youthful singing that the screen star has used for her animated feature film Trolls.
All in all, the show continues to be a piece of Canadian history that is absolutely beautiful and nostalgic to theatre goers. Tickets can be purchased at the box office at the Confederation Centre, online at confederationcentre.com or by phone at (1902) 628-1864.
Katie Kerr (left) and A.J. Bridal (right) in Anne of Green Gables - The Musical™ at the 2017 Charlottetown Festival. Photo credit: Louise Vessey