HOME FOR THE SUM­MER

After decades of be­ing away, singer-song­writer Tara MacLean re­turns to P.E.I. this sum­mer with ‘At­lantic Blue’ at The Guild in Char­lot­te­town

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY SALLY COLE

After two decades of liv­ing on the west coast, P.E.I. singer­song­writer Tara MacLean longed to re­turn home for the sum­mer.

Her yearn­ing was due, in part, to the mag­netic pull of Canada’s small­est prov­ince and her close ties to her mother and grand­mother, who live there, as well as her fam­ily and friends who visit each year.

“P.E.I. is a spe­cial place. And I wanted to im­merse my kids in a true Is­land sum­mer,” says MacLean, who is fi­nally re­al­iz­ing her dream.

“I was just pray­ing that I would get a sum­mer run for 2017 and now it’s hap­pen­ing,” says MacLean, whose show “At­lantic Blue: A Cel­e­bra­tion of East Coast Song­writ­ers” opened July 4 at The Guild in Char­lot­te­town. The show con­tin­ues Satur­days, Tues­days and Wed­nes­days un­til Sept. 13 at 7 p.m.

“And what’s so amaz­ing about it is ev­ery­one has been so in­cred­i­bly help­ful.”

In fact, when MacLean ar­rived in early June to be­gin the leg­work for the show, doors im­me­di­ately be­gan to open for the Char­lot­te­town na­tive.

“All I did was ask and these amaz­ing people at these com­pa­nies gave me es­sen­tial spon­sor­ships for the show. I’ve never felt so sup­ported. Ev­ery­where I turned I re­ceived a big ‘yes’ from the com­mu­nity.”

The sup­port she has re­ceived has al­lowed her to di­rect her full en­er­gies into the project.

“Re­hearsals are com­pletely blow­ing my mind,” says MacLean of the show that will fea­ture her singing songs by her favourite East Coast artists backed up by Todd MacLean, sax­o­phone, Cyn­thia MacLeod, fid­dle, Caro­line Bernard, vo­cals/gui­tar and Mark Ged­des, bass and per­cus­sion.

“I’ve cho­sen the ex­act/right mu­si­cians for this. They have been won­der­ful. Ev­ery­one is putting his or her whole heart into it.”

The show will also tell sto­ries about the lives of these East Coast artists through short film vi­gnettes, com­pleted by Ja­son Roger­son. The open­ing film is di­rected by MacLean and Jen­nifer Ab­bott, an award-win­ning Cana­dian film­maker, known for her film, “The Cor­po­ra­tion”.

“I think people are go­ing to re­ally like the show. There are some sur­prises in it. And it’s go­ing to be re­ally fun. People are go­ing to feel re­ally con­nected to the East Coast.”

And what’s spe­cial about this show is that MacLean will have her days off to spend time with her chil­dren, Sophia, 15, Stella, 11 and Flora, 9.

“When I was ask­ing Len­nie Gal­lant what it was like to come home and play for the sum­mer (last year), he said, the bonus is you get to play mu­sic at night and you can go to the beach dur­ing the day,” says MacLean, with a laugh.

“So that’s pretty much where you’ll find me.”

Singer-song­writer Tara MacLean re­turns to P.E.I. for shows at The Guild.

SUBMITTED PHOTO

Tara MacLean ap­pears in a hand­out photo. The P.E.I. na­tive has re­turned home for the sum­mer with her show, “At­lantic Blue: A Cel­e­bra­tion of East Coast Song­writ­ers”. The show opened July 4.

SALLY COLE/THE GUARDIAN

Singer-song­writer Tara MacLean, left, meets with The Guild’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, Alanna Jankov, dur­ing a break from re­hearsals for her show. Jankov in­vited MacLean to bring At­lantic Blue to The Guild after catch­ing her show­case at Har­mony House Theatre in Hunter River last sum­mer.

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