Wednesday, September 17, 2008

ETC: Anne and Gilbert: The Musical

You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.-- Dr. Seuss

For the literary feline, wendy's anniversary, she had a contest and asked people to pick their most romantic literary couple. I can't believe I dickered about this, and tried to think of any other couple. Anne and Gilbert are the most romantic couple ever. Their love story is my most favorite of all time, and if I ever forget this again, or get swayed by Bridget and Mark, or Catherine and Henry Tilney, send me back to this post.

I know there are a lot of Anne of Green Gables fans out there, and even many readers new to her in this, the centennial anniversary of the publication. But there is much more to the story than just Green Gables. The first three books, including Anne of Avonlea, and Anne of the Island, make a lovely trilogy and if you haven't read them all and are planning to, I will be giving away plot information in the rest of this post. But when a book is one hundred years old, can you really spoil the ending?

There is the musical, Anne of Green Gables, which has played at Confederation Center in Charlottetown for nearly forty years. If you ever get a chance to see the musical, like booklogged and candleman did last year, I highly recommend it. Even people who don't know the story enjoy it. Sometimes the show goes on tour, so if you get a chance, go see it, and bring your tissues.

So what has got me all excited, when I've seen that musical every couple of years? Four years ago, a new musical, based on the second and third books was produced in a small local theatre, the Victorian Playhouse, Anne and Gilbert: the Musical. It played to all sell-outs its first year. When the Islanders come out and support a play, you know it is a hit. I've been meaning to go every year, but didn't get around to it until this year. Yes, it has continued playing every year since it began. It even had a little run in Ontario. Eight year old daughter and I headed up to Summerside Sunday afternoon for a little theatre.

It was perfect. The actors, most of whom are from PEI, the singing, the music, the story. Everything was what you would want. It's not easy to condense two full books into one musical, but the authors ( B Johnson, L Hochhauser, N White) did a terrific job. Lisa Parent, who plays Anne, is just ideal. Remember how perfect Megan Fellows was in the Sullivan movie 'Anne of Green Gables'? Well, this Anne was just as good. Her singing was amazing, and she nailed that combination of spunk and emotion that defines Anne. Gil was the perfect Gil. Marilla and Rachel Lynde had me in tears, sobbing, as they agreed to move in together. And then, in the end, when Gilbert watched Roy propose, and gave Anne the letters from her parents, and then she realized? I fell apart. (That was an example of adaption for the musical, but if they had written it like the book, with Gil nearly ... I can't even say it, I would have completely lost it. I liked how they wrote it. ) I could go on and on and on about the things I loved in the play.

If you get a chance to see this play, if you love Anne, you must see these musicals. We bought the CD to play on the ride home, and daughter and I have been listening to it nonstop.


  1. I would love love LOVE to see these some day!

  2. wow! i would love to see it someday.. i loved the anne series and am planning to read it again sometime.. just to reminisce..:)

  3. suey - I hope you get to see them sometime. There has also been a wonderful production of The Blue Castle put on occassionally. It's probably the best production of them all. My library has a DVD of the Blue Castle production that I keep meaning to borrow.

    ramya - That's how I felt after the play was over, like I had been reminiscing with old friends.

  4. The next time I make it to PEI I am seeing this for sure.

  5. This post brought back some happy memories. I was maybe 11 or 12 when we took a family summer vacation to the Maritimes, and of course on P.E.I. we had to visit Green Gables and watch the play. I don't really remember any details but I do remember that the play helped cement my crush on Gilbert! ;)

  6. Meeting you and seeing Anne of Green Gables was one of the highlights of our trip last year. I can't believe it's already been more than a year. I don't think a day goes by that I'm not reminded of that trip in some pleasant way.

    I totally agree, you must see the musical if you get a chance. Candleman and I are going to have to come back to see Anne & Gilbert.

  7. kaliana - I imagine this will play again. It's at the Harborfront Theater in Summerside, a nice little theater, very intimate.

    tanabata - Do you remember going to Rainbow Valley? It was the best amusement park, but it's closed now. I'm glad I reminded you of a long ago vacation.

    booklogged - just let me know when you are arriving!

  8. I don't remember Rainbow Valley, but I don't think we went to an amusement parks on that trip so perhaps we didn't go. It was a good trip though and it was fun to think about it again. :)


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