Chilina Kennedy will headline a special concert of a rarely produced Canadian Musical.
With music and lyrics by Leslie Arden and book by Leslie Arden and Anna T. Cascio, “The House of Martin Guerre” was first produced in 1993 by Toronto’s Theatre Plus and was subsequently produced at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre where it garnered several Jefferson awards, including Best Musical.
But due to an issue with the rights “The House of Martin Guerre” hasn’t been performed again until recently when the rights became available.
In 2015 the Queen’s University School of Drama and Music mounted a full production. In 2018 The Charlottetown Festival presented a concert version featuring Adam Brazier and Josée Boudreau, directed by Mary Francis Moore.
Richard Ouzounian is directing the Stratford Festival concert.
Ouzounian, who last worked with Kennedy in 2007 says, “I’ve wanted to work with Chilina again for years, and this shattering work by Canada’s own Leslie Arden is the perfect show to reunite us.”
Kennedy, who was a member of the Stratford company from 2009 to 2011, currently stars as Carole King in “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.”
“I am very excited to dive into one of Canada’s richest musicals, having admired Leslie Arden for many years,” says Kennedy.”
Set in 16th-century France, when the strict doctrines of the Middle Ages were finally giving way to the freer thought of the early modern period, this story, based on true events, epitomizes the personal and social costs of breaking boundaries.
The play is based on Natalie Zemon Davis’s book “The Return of Martin Guerre.”
Another book by Davis, “Trickster Travels,” caught the attention of artistic director Antoni Cimolino who commissioned an adaptation by playwright Wajdi Mouawad, “Birds of a Kind” will have its English première at the Studio Theatre this summer, with Cimolino at the helm.
Tickets for “The House of Martin Guerre” in Concert range from $35 to $100 and are available online at the StratfordFestival.ca or through the box office at 1-800-567-1600.