Char­lot­te­town Fes­ti­val main­stays add their flavours into the mix in this sea­son’s pro­duc­tion play­ing in Stu­dio 1

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

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”.

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