New Season Opens with “A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline”

 

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by Lorraine Payette, written May 24, 2016

(Gananoque, ON)  It’s time to go out walking after midnight with a brilliant two-person musical based on the life and career of superstar Patsy Cline.  As the opening show at the Thousand Islands Playhouse, it promises to be everything her fans could want and more.

Returning to the Playhouse for this production are actress Alison MacDonald as Patsy Cline, musicians David Archibald and Bob Arlidge, costume designer Jayne Christopher, assistant stage manager Michael Barrs, set designer Ross Nichol, and director Daryl Cloran.  New to the Springer Theatre stage are actor Tyler Murree as Little Big Man, musicians Dan Charbonneau and Duncan Holt, stage manager Lisa Russell, lighting designer Davida Tkach and sound designer Ben Malone. Continue reading

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2016 Season at the Thousand Islands Playhouse Destined to Fill Summer with Magic

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A handful of the faces both new and familiar who will be gracing the stages at the Thousand Islands Playhouse this season.

By Lorraine Payette, Written May 10, 2016

(Gananoque, ON)  After a winter of roller coaster weather, it’s hard to wait for the start of what could be the hottest and coolest season yet at the Thousand Islands Playhouse.

“Our 2016 season is right around the corner, and I’m so excited to be welcoming our incredible creative teams and cast members from across Canada,” said Ashlie Corcoran, Artistic Director.  Continue reading

Dear Johnny Deere Brings Fred Eaglesmith’s Music to Gananoque

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by Lorraine Payette, written September 30, 2015

“The kind of bar where there’s only two types of music on the jukebox – one is country, the other is western…”
– McAllister, Dear Johnny Deere

Don’t make a mistake about it – this is definitely a musical, but there’s nothing light, fluffy or comedic going on here. A Juno Award winner, Dear Johnny Deere is serious drama, carefully crafted around the music of Fred Eaglesmith, a play that takes a hard look at love, the land and surviving the trials of running a small family farm in Canada.

Ken Cameron had wanted to write something around Eaglesmith’s work, and found himself up against a major challenge. He sat down and listened, then sorted and listened again before finally finding the thread he was looking for.<!–more– to read more>

“Because Ken researched Fred Eaglesmith’s songbook extensively, he was able to draw the characters and plotline from the many stories embedded within Fred’s songs,” said The Talent House in their summary and review. “The result is a musical where Fred’s hit songs seem tailor-made to the musical, not the other way around.”

The story is a tale of love and loss, of heartache and despair, the fear of losing a marriage and of losing the land that has been there ever since he can remember. It is a close look at the experience of so many farmers – the fear of losing the one you love to someone more exciting, rumours of government bringing a highway through to destroy the town, the temptation of someone with big money who could buy you out and give you a fresh start, crops dying in the field due to unpredictable weather, never, ever knowing whether you’ll wake up to a day of peace or one of turmoil. Tragedy and triumph, underscored with that constant, driving beat and the music that tells the tale so well.

With the music, you have to have musicians who are up to the task. Six have been brought together to make this story work, and make it work they do. From the four who play the principal characters as well as several musical instruments, to those who fill in the remainder of the sound so necessary to flesh it all out, they bring the story to life. The Playhouse has found these six in Greg Gale (Johnny), Shannon Currie (Caroline), Bruce Horak (Mike, Hendrick, the Collector), Jeff Culbert (McAllister), Capucine Onn (the fiddler) and music director David Archibald. Whether vocals or instrumentals, they work together as a team, bringing every song vibrantly to life and making you forget, every now and then, that this is a musical and not a glimpse into the hard but determined life of a small town Canadian farmer.

Going from “White Trash” to “I Wanna Buy Your Truck” to “Time to Get a Gun”, the music is strong and smart, a toe tapping, head jiving experience that keeps you humming along as you leave the theatre and return to your regular life. And maybe, just maybe, that regular life doesn’t seem so bad by comparison, or maybe it all feels just a little bit too familiar. Either way, you leave the theatre ready to go back once more to see and hear it all again.

Dear Johnny Deere runs from September 25 – October 18, 2014, at the Springer Theatre, 690 Charles Street South in Gananoque, Ontario. Running time for the play is 2 hours including intermission. Show times are Tuesday through Saturday 8:00 pm, with matinees on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 pm (starting the Wednesday after opening night). Deck chats are Wednesdays at 1:30 pm and Thursdays at 7:00. Tickets are $32 for adults, $30 for seniors age 65+, $16 for students, with a half price preview on July 24. HST is applicable to all ticket prices. Group tickets are available at $26 – $28 each. This show is recommended for people of all ages, but may not appeal to younger children. For more information, please go to http://www.1000islandsplayhouse.com or contact the box office at 613-382-7020.

Love Conquers All in “Tuesdays With Morrie”

Geoffrey Pounsett as Mitch and Ian D. Clark as Morrie - photo by Jay Bridges

Geoffrey Pounsett as Mitch and Ian D. Clark as Morrie – photo by Jay Bridges

by Lorraine Payette, written August 30, 2015

“There is no point to love – loving is the point.”
– Morrie Schwartz, “Tuesdays With Morrie”

There is an unexpected power and poignancy to “Tuesdays With Morrie”. While the play is about death and dying, at the same time it is filled with warmth and humour, daring us to look the spectre in the face and readying us to greet it not just as a natural process when it comes, but as an old friend reaching out to give us one final embrace. – to read more>

Welcome Home to “Bed and Breakfast” At the Firehall Theatre

by Lorraine Payette, written August 17, 2015

Brett (Andrew Kushnir) and Drew (Paul Dunn) enjoy the moment in “Bed and Breakfast” – photo by Jay Kopinski for the Thousand Islands Playhouse

Brett (Andrew Kushnir) and Drew (Paul Dunn) enjoy the moment in “Bed and Breakfast” – photo by Jay Kopinski for the Thousand Islands Playhouse

(Gananoque, ON) Hello, World, and welcome home to Gananoque! In this world premiere production, playwright Mark Crawford is well on his way to proving himself an absolute genius in his creation of “Bed and Breakfast”, a romantic dramady about two boys from the big city of Toronto who end up moving to small town Ontario and opening a bed and breakfast.

Ashlie Corcoran picked another winner when she chose to produce this play written under last year’s Playwrights’ Unit. – to read more>

A Rollicking Romp at the TI Playhouse with “Don’t Dress for Dinner”

by Lorraine Payette, written July 26, 2015

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Show Pictures by the Thousand Islands Playhouse

(Gananoque, ON) The Thousand Islands Playhouse has a new hit on its hands in the three theatre cooperative production of “Don’t Dress for Dinner” by Marc Camoletti. The Playhouse’s own little three-way in cooperation with the Gateway Theatre of Richmond, BC, and Western Canada Theatre in Kamloops had audiences laughing out loud as our favourite philanderers were up and at it once again.

More of a sequel than a spin-off, our friend Bernard (Todd Thomson) is now married to the glamorous Jacqueline (Alison Deon), but this doesn’t mean he’s given anything up. When his wife plans to visit her mother for the weekend, he decides to bring his best friend Robert (Kirk Smith) to act as a live-in smoke screen while he romances his sexy Parisian mistress, Suzanne (Krista Colosimo). But, Jacqueline discovers that Robert will be there, so she postpones her weekend away in order to spend some hot and heavy time with HER lover… – to read more>

“Don’t Dress for Dinner” Spicing Up the Season at the Springer Theatre

by Lorraine Payette, written July 20, 2015

Rehearsal shots provided by Thousand Islands Playhouse

(Gananoque, ON) Get ready for a spicy evening filled with nuance, double entendres and all your favourite tiddly bits as the Thousand Islands Playhouse happily brings you “Don’t Dress for Dinner”, a tasty little French farce with just the right amount of sauce.

Fans of 2013’s “Boeing Boeing” will fall in love with Marc Camoletti’s spin off. There are some familiar names and several familiar faces as the Playhouse once again works in cooperation with the Gateway Theatre of Richmond, BC, and Western Canada Theatre in Kamloops. – to read more>

Pirates of Penzance Stealing Hearts at TI Playhouse

by Lorraine Payette, written June 30, 2015

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Show shots by Jay Kopinski

“Take any heart – take mine!”
– Mabel, “The Pirates of Penzance”

(Gananoque, ON) A gang of ruthless pirates/rum runners have landed in Gananoque and are out to steal your hearts at the Springer Theatre from June 19 until July 18. Well, not exactly Ruth-less, for without their dear, slightly addled Ruth (Shelley Simester) there would be no story.

As we enter the tale, we are about to celebrate Frederic’s (Adam Charles) 21st and it is she who tells us how it all began. A loyal, loving nurse, she only tried to follow her employer’s wishes and apprentice young Frederic as a pilot. But, being hard of hearing, she apprenticed him instead as a pirate, and so began his life of crime, running rum with the most tender-hearted pirates in the world as they go up against the American prohibition and the zaniest Coast Guard around. – to read more>

Pirates of Penzance – Swashbuckling in the Thousand Islands

by Lorraine Payette, written June 20, 2015

“I know the kings of England, and I quote the facts historical…”
– Major General, “The Pirates of Penzance,”, Gilbert and Sullivan

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Rehearsal photos – The Very Model of a Modern Major General

(Gananoque, ON) Maybe that should be “facts hysterical” as the Thousand Islands Playhouse tackles that great piratical masterpiece, Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance”.

Poor Frederic (Adam Charles) finds himself in a mess entirely thrust upon him by fate, something definitely not of his own doing but which may very well become his undoing. Fate first came upon him in the form of Ruth (Shelley Simester), a well intentioned but hard-of-hearing, ditsy nursemaid who only had his father’s best wishes and Frederic’s welfare at heart. Asked to apprentice him as a “pilot”, she mistakenly signed him up with pirates, to be indentured until his 21st birthday. But unbeknownst to Frederic, this doesn’t mean that when he becomes 21-years-old he will be free to pursue his own life – no, no, no! For Frederic was born on February 29, and that means his 21st birthday won’t come for decades… – to read more>

Summer “Closer Than Ever” at Thousand Islands Playhouse

by Lorraine Payette, written May 25

(Gananoque, ON) “Well what do you know?
In front of me now is an open door…
One day the doors are locked and you’re sick of them.
Next day they’re yours and you have your pick of them.
Finding the proper key that’s the trick of them.
Every where another door…”
– “Doors”, Closer Than Ever, Richard Maltby, David Shire and Steven Scott Smith

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Show Shots by Jay Kopinski for TIP

The Thousand Islands Playhouse (TIP) started the 2015 season in high gear as “Closer Than Ever” exploded onto the stage on May 15.

“I’m thrilled to present this captivating musical to open our 2015 season,” said Ashlie Corcoran, artistic director for TIP. – to read more>