Anne & Gilbert
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|Anne & Gilbert|
|Basis||Lucy Maud Montgomery's novels Anne of Avonlea and
Anne of the Island
|Productions||2005 Victoria–By-the-Sea, The Thousand Islands Playhouse (2007)|
Anne & Gilbert is a musical based on the Anne of Green Gables series of books by Lucy Maud Montgomery. The show was based on the books Anne of Avonlea and Anne of the Island, and adapted by Jeff Hochhauser, Nancy White, and Bob Johnston.
The show closely follows that of the books on which it was based, with just a handful of alterations and a number of cuts for length. The first act is entirely based on Anne of Avonlea, while the second act is based on Anne of the Island.
During the course of the first act, Gilbert Blythe gives up the position of Avonlea Schoolmaster for Anne Shirley, allowing her to stay close to home to care for her adoptive mother, Marilla Cuthbert. It is revealed that almost all of Avonlea knows that Gilbert is deeply in love with Anne, and she with him, although Anne will not admit it. In return for the kindness he has done her, Anne agrees to a wager with Gil; he will propose to her at some day of his choosing, and if she says no he will never ask again. After some time, Anne's best friend Diana Barry becomes engaged to her beau, Fred Wright and at the end of the first act, marries him. Gilbert takes advantage of his wager with Anne and proposes to her following the wedding, but she rejects him. He vows never to propose again. Through a series of fortuitous events, Anne is finally able to follow her dreams and go to Redmond University.
The second act opens with Anne of the Island, introducing several new friends for Anne. Meanwhile, Anne falls in love with a millionaire named Royal Gardner much to the dismay of Marilla and Diana back home in Avonlea. Although she toys with the idea of marrying Roy, she finally decides that she does not truly love him and rejects his proposal. Roy storms off and is not seen again. Gilbert, who is paying his way through University with odd jobs, happens to be working as a waiter at the restaurant where Anne and Roy are. He gives Anne an early birthday gift in the form of three letters her parents left behind before they died. As she reads the letters she begins to realize that she truly can love somebody, and finally finds the love she's had for Gilbert all along.
The show ends with Anne proposing to Gilbert back home in Avonlea for the summer, as the entire town and several friends from Redmond look on.
- Anne & Gilbert opened in 2005 at the Victoria Playhouse in Victoria–By-the-Sea, Prince Edward Island directed and choreographed by Duncan MacIntosh. In 2006, the production moved to Summerside, PEI to the Harbourfront Theatre maintaining much of the original cast. The show continued to run at the Harbourfront Theatre each summer season for a total of 7 years. In 2012 the show entered its seventh season with returning actors Amy Reitsma and Aaron Kyte in the title roles.
- A second professional production at The Thousand Islands Playhouse in July–August 2007 was directed by Greg Wanless, music-directed by Sandy Thorburn, and choreographed by Kiri-Lyn Muir. A tour of Ontario took place in 2008.
- Anne and Gilbert played at The Guild in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island from June 18 - October 13, 2013.
"Anne and Gilbert" played at Catholic Central High School in the Lethbridge Alberta in 2007. At the time it was stated that it was the first time it had been performed outside of Prince Edward Island, the first time it had been done by an amateur troupe, and the first time it had been performed in "theatre in the round." The cast and production staff were particularly thrilled when the writers of the original show, Bob Johnston and Nancy White, flew in from Toronto to attend the Friday night sold out performance. (http://www.holyspirit.ab.ca/cch/Academics/FineArts/Theatre/musicaltheatre.html)
"Anne and Gilbert" played at Medicine Hat High School in Medicine Hat, Alberta from December 13–19, 2013. Directed by Richard F. Grafton, Assistant Director Hannah Rud, and Musical Director Lisa Clemens. Karen Cunningham Performing Arts Centre.
In 2013, the original production moved to The Guild Theatre downtown Charlottetown. Starring Ellen Denny as Anne Shirley and Patrick Cook as Gilbert Blythe, the show was positively received for his re-imagined staging and acoustic musical re-orchestrations. The intimacy of the space and close proximity of the audience to the actors created an unforgettable "Anne Experience". The show returned for its second season at the new location, returning with its two title stars.
in December 2015, Anne and Gilbert will be performed at Canada's National Arts Centre in Ottawa.