The scripts are in! And the cast has had their very first rehearsal for this year’s sure-to-be hilarious Cape Breton Summertime Revue: The Next Generation performance, set to open at the Savoy Theatre August 1st. Head writer Ed MacDonald has once again put his pen to paper, and the cast says audiences can expect the same great formula of comical, topical, local content, mixed with a light-hearted Cape Breton perspective, and as always, a ton of great music.
Director Maynard Morrison will once again guide the able cast in their quest to liven up your summer, consisting of returning members: Stephanie Hennessey, Peter McInnis, Jordan Musycsyn and Margaret MacPherson, along with newly recruited, longtime local performer Jenn Sheppard. Also new to the mix, the Summertime Revue is happy to announce the inclusion of Rachel Davis and Darren McMullen, from the band Còig – one of Atlantic Canada’s premiere traditional groups.
Stephen Muise shares the duties of music direction with Fred Lavery and is enthusiastic about the possibilities with such a diverse cast.
“The additions this year mean we can make a great thing even better,” says Muise. “We have a full range of strong, unique voices and unbelievably talented musicians. That makes Fred and I very happy because there’s no limit to what we can offer.” The cast has already been to Lakewind Sound Studio to start putting together the musical pieces for the show.
Audiences enjoyed a parade of new and returning characters during last year’s performances and the cast says that will be the case again this year. As for exactly what characters might return, that will remain a secret until showtime, but cast member Stephanie Hennessey recalls last year’s nurses scene, that had show goers crying with laughter. “Well, I don’t want to give anything away,” she says, “but the nurse characters were some of our favourites, so I’m pretty sure we haven’t seen the last of them.”
The Cape Breton Summertime Revue helped to launch and sustain the careers of Bette MacDonald, Maynard Morrison, Rita MacNeil and Allister MacGillivray, among many others. The Revue could not be contained on the island alone and also toured throughout Canada to large and receptive audiences. The show was a part of the fabric of Cape Breton, demonstrating and celebrating our ability to laugh at ourselves and with each other.
[READ AN INCOMPLETE, SUBJECTIVE HISTORY OF THE REVUE HERE.]
The Next Generation is proud to carry this tradition forward. The songs and stories continue to reflect the essence of Cape Breton culture. The music, both traditional and original, speaks to our love of home and the comedy is as side-splitting as ever.