Evangeline is playing until September 28 at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown and I suggest you run, not walk, to see this show. My sister-in-law and I decided to get all dressed up and have a night out at the theatre. We both have active toddlers and relish the opportunity to go out for an adult evening with some culture (leaving behind the sounds of “The Wheels on the Bus” on repeat). I heard great reviews about the musical so we decided to go see what all the hype was about. Going to the theatre always leaves me feeling inspired. I originally went to the University of Toronto to study theatre, but ended up graduating with an International Relations degree – even though theatre will never be my bread and butter, it’s a passion of mine and getting to live vicariously through actors for an evening brings out my creative side.
Evangeline is a piece of history brought to life through music and dance. The Confederation Centre was avant garde to be the first to take on this new show by Ted Dykstra and I believe this musical will be propelled into international stardom before long. It is just that good.
The plot is universally appealing and powerful – Evangeline becomes separated from her love during the Expulsion of the Acadians and goes on an epic journey to find him. The story takes viewers along for the journey evoking themes of love, loss, faith, perseverance, and identity.
Growing up on the East Coast I was taught in my early years about the trials and tribulations that the Acadians faced. For me being a first generation Canadian, I always felt a certain indignity about this lurid piece of our history. Learning about the expulsion of the Acadians through history books; however, does not hold a candle to seeing it expertly and forever immortalized through singing, dancing, and fiddling.
Chilina Kennedy originally of Oromocto, New Brunswick is flawless as the character Evangeline. She emanates beauty and warmth and her voice transports you to another time and place. In fact, the entire cast is amazing. At the end of the performance, I found myself immediately and instinctively rising to my feet, wiping tears from my eyes, to meet the whole room for a standing ovation.
Evangeline is theatrical perfection. It is a must see! If you are feeling electrified after the performance and can’t stop singing (like I was), keep the night going in the great atmosphere at Mavor’s, hard to go wrong with their ½ price appetizers. As much as I am fiercely loyal to my Italian roots when it comes to food, I grew up in North America and have a special place in my heart for good ole pub food! The In the Wings on the Mavor’s Late-Nite Cabaret Menu are perfectly breaded with just enough seasoning and heat and the Front of The House Onion Rings are crispy and light. All of this washed down with one of their famous cocktails is the perfect end to an idyllic evening. The next morning I awoke at 5am to find I was no longer accompanied by Evangeline’s melodic score, but the “Wheels on the Bus” once again.