A new Cape Breton musical theatre production opened this week at The New Dawn Centre for Social Innovation in downtown Sydney to the delight of tourists, cruise ships passengers and locals. Portals is the brainchild of Robyn Cathcart, who helmed the very successful Savoy Theatre productions of Les Misérables, Another Opening, Another Show! and Chicago.
Cathcart has teamed up with Ross Hunter to form Enter left Productions (ELP), and Portals is their first venture. Hunter is the owner of Hunter Hospitality & Sales Resource. Working in Cape Breton’s Hospitality and Tourism sector for 25 years, his experience in the field identified opportunities in Downtown Sydney for the cruise ship market.
Portals weaves together many of the cultural elements that define Cape Breton and its people, inviting the audience to explore the history, stories, music and lives of this vibrant island. Drawing upon Celtic, Native, and Acadian traditions as anchor points, this sweeping narrative gives the perfect vantage point to peer into island life, and to get to know a people known the world over as kind, friendly, proud, strong, funny, sensitive and resilient.
Drawing heavily from The Cape Breton Songbook, many well-known East Coast treasures provide a fitting musical backdrop along the way. Cathcart says, “Whether or not you call Cape Breton home is of little importance, as you will quickly recognize parts of yourself in the characters you are about to meet. This special place, referred to by some as ‘God’s Country’, has stolen the hearts of most born of its shores. Cape Breton might just steal yours as well, making our island your island… a home away from home”.
The Portals cast features the talents of Baddeck singer/songwriter Michele Stephens, young artists Morgan Reid and Margaret MacPherson, and well-known local performer Matt Campbell. Hunter and Cathcart round out the ensemble.
Portals is scheduled for dates throughout July and August at New Dawn. Tickets are $30, and available at the Best of Cape Breton Gift Shop (154 Bentinck Street). They will also be available for purchase at the venue door one hour before show time.