RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
Charlottetown Festival mainstays add their flavours into the mix in this season’s production playing in Studio 1
Charlottetown Festival mainstays add flavours to the mix in 2017 production of “Glenda’s Kitchen”
Last year, after whipping up a successful musical featuring the triple threat and culinary talents of Glenda Landry, the creators wanted to add a few more ingredients to expand the recipe for “Glenda’s Kitchen”.
So director Wade Lynch invited some Charlottetown Festival mainstays to join Landry, the effervescent lead in this season’s show that celebrates Prince Edward Island in stories and songs and ends with audience members enjoying a steaming bowl of seafood chowder.
But unlike Landry, who is from Prince Edward Island, Hank Stinson, Marlane O’Brien, Julain Molnar and Cameron MacDuffee are CFAs (come from aways) who are happy to share stories about how they came to make P.E.I. their home. They are joined on stage by Karen Graves on violin and Scott Christian as music director.
For instance, Stinson came to P.E.I. in 1980 to perform “Flash in the Pan”, a show he wrote at the Charlottetown Festival. He only planned to enjoy the gig. But within a month he had fallen in love with three women – Abegweit, L.M. Montgomery and Rowena Hickox, “an Island girl who captured my heart and brought me home.”
Besides sharing his stories he has written five tasteful songs for the show.
“I felt like my contribution, of being a co-creator and a performer, as well as a person who
loves the Island, who has come here from away was perfect for the recipe,” says Stinson who has penned “Fishers Song”, a tribute to people who work on the water, “Moonshine Saturday Night” about brothers Clovie and Andy Perry, “Down In Glenda’s Kitchen”, the theme song, “Prince Edward Island Stew” and “Dill Pickle Rag”.
Similarly, Molnar fell in love with P.E.I. after making her Charlottetown Festival debut in 1992.
“I always thought I’d live here one day. I loved the pace of life, the beauty of the Island as well as the culture and the community.”
So, when she met David Holman, her future husband, “everything came together.”
“I didn’t want to live in Toronto any more. I really wanted a home and this made the most sense to me,” says Molnar.
It also made sense to sprinkle a few personal ingredients into the recipe.
“It’s wonderful. It’s like adding potatoes,” says Molnar, of the show that plays in Studio 1 at the Confederation Centre of the Arts on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 1:30 p.m. until Sept. 1.
With her clear soprano voice, there’s also a certain emotional level that she brings to the show.
“That’s a big part of what I do. And it’s not unique to me; in the show, everyone has their moment,” says Molnar who sings her own composition, “Brighton Lullaby”.
After seeing “Glenda’s Kitchen” last year, audience member Duncan Conrad likes the new flavours that have been whisked in.
“It’s a must-see, a professional show that really tells the Island story, complete with the history and background of the way of life on the Island,” says Conrad, who attended the show this past Monday.
So does MacDuffee, whose story and song, “Welcome to the Island”, has been added to the mix.
“This year’s show is more like a kitchen party with the fiddle, guitar and piano.
“So it lends itself to a different feeling that evokes the East Coast.”
Glenda Landry appears in a scene from “Glenda’s Kitchen”. Described as an East Coast kitchen party, the new-and-improved show plays in Studio 1 at the Confederation Centre of the Arts on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 1:30 p.m. until Sept. 1.
In left photo Cameron MacDuffee, left and Hank Stinson are two of the new ingredients in this year’s production of “Glenda’s Kitchen”. At right is Julain Molnar singing her song “Brighton Lullaby” during “Glenda’s Kitchen”.