Last summer, after a hiatus of ten years, the cast of The Cape Breton Summertime Revue reunited for a series of benefit performances for the Savoy Theatre.
The first handful of shows sold out, and the Revue extended its run over the rest of the summer.
And while last year’s show was a welcome re-visit to favourite Revue tunes and characters, this year’s production is more ambitious introducing new cast, new comedy and music, and new production values.
Along with Revue veterans like Bette MacDonald, Maynard Morrison, and Max MacDonald, the new show introduces fiddlers Colin Grant and Chrissy Crowley as well as Cape Breton rock legend, Sam Moon.
To give the Revue a new look, Christian Murray, of the Halifax theatre troupe Jest In Time is directing the show, with Stephen Osler designing a colourful new set. Osler has designed for Stratford, Neptune, and Mulgrave Road Theatre companies and has several Gemini nominations and DGC awards for his work on Made in Canada and This Hour has 22 Minutes. Ingrid Risk, who has worked with Murray and Olser on many of their productions, is designing the lighting.
This year’s Revue sees audience comedic favourites like Mary Morrison and Martin and new material like Max MacDonald interviewing the last teacher in Cape Breton. The musical line-up includes the usual medleys of Revue classics like Moon’s “Girls of Neils Harbour”, traditional Celtic tunes, an off-island cover or two, and new material from the show’s youngest members.
Returning from the 2010 production are Fiona and Ciarán MacGillivray (The Cottars), Fred Lavery, Stephen Muise, Allie Bennett, Dave McKeough, and Brian Talbot.
Although it has been a Revue tradition to add shows as the run progresses, with so many of this year’s cast committed to their own projects outside of the Revue, the number of performances for this year’s show are expected to be fewer than last year’s.
The 2011 Cape Breton Summertime Revue opens Tuesday, May 24, 8 pm at the Savoy Theatre in Glace Bay. It has four more performances from Wednesday, May 24 to Saturday, May 28.
Tickets are available online at www.savoytheatre.com/tickets.htm; by phone at 902-842-1577, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday and performance night, and in person at the Savoy Box Office, 116 Commercial Street, Glace Bay, during the same hours for phone ticket inquiries.