Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Summer Theater, Prince Edward Island, August

Given the population of PEI -- only 140k -- the summer music and theater is amazing. We passed by the old favorites of Ann of Green Gables (in its 51st season) for the 39 Steps at the Harborfront Theater in Summerside and Bittergirl The Musical at the Charlottetown Festival in Charlottetown. The 39 Steps was very innovative -- four actors playing 100+ characters ably assisted by innovative sets and equally innovative lighting. It was an homage to Hitchcock and to noir, more broadly. With some more recent references thrown in. Unfortunately, on the night we went there were less than 20 in the audience for a theater that can seat 300+. It stuck largely to the storyline of the John Buchan book (which I read when I was about 12 I think) but played completely for comedic effect. Not high art but great fun.

If Bittergirl The Musical comes to your town -- and it was the world premiere in the Festival -- rush out and see it. It is all about being dumped by crass boyfriends. The musical draws on the music of Rock and Roll and Motown  with many old favorites. The musical has been selling out each night and you can see why. Universal themes, great acting and singing, innovative staging and music wrapped around a very loose story line. The musical is based on a comedy from the mid-2000s but probably works better in this format. It deserves a wide audience beyond Canada.

Talking of high art, we also went to listen to "Music from the Sistine Chapel" featuring Studio de musique ancienne de MontrĂ©al at the Indian River Festival held in the lovely St Mary's Church in (no surprise here) Indian River. Magical church music of the renaissance sung a capella. This is obviously a fine group.


  1. Have you cycled any part of the route that allows to travel the full length of the island?

  2. I have also been meaning to ask how you are finding trailer life? Just how long could you stay on the road?