The world wants more Anne
Canada’s most successful and critically acclaimed new musical in recent memory is about a Prince Edward Island icon, and has a cast full of Islanders.
Anne & Gilbert is based on the novels Anne of the Island and Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery, both sequels to the classic Anne of Green Gables. Written by Nancy White, Jeff Hochhauser and Bob Johnston, the musical premiered in 2005 and has been seen by a quarter million people in Canada, and around the world.
Award-winning songs, memorable comedy and drama, and a message of enduring love, hope and friendship make Anne & Gilbert unforgettable family entertainment. The show has received rave reviews in high-circulation publications like Newsweek, Variety and the Toronto Star. It has been produced dozens of times in theatres across North America and as far away as Singapore.
"Anne & Gilbert is arguably the great Canadian love story and a brilliant application of a powerful brand name," said Campbell Webster, president of Anne & Gilbert Incorporated.
Anne & Gilbert begins in the Prince Edward Island countryside where Anne is now an independent-minded young woman about to begin her first job teaching at a one-room schoolhouse. Romantic complications unfold when childhood sweetheart Gilbert Blythe proposes marriage, but he's not her only suitor.
The show employs 41 people in from mid-May to November; PEI residents make up 80 per cent of the cast. There are more than 130 sold out performances a year, running six days a week. The financial success of Anne and Gilbert lies in the availability to license the show.
With an Anne of Green Gables movie remake taking a prime spot on PBS, an Anne of Green Gables audio book read by actress Rachel McAdam now available, and a Netflix/CBC original series beginning next spring, it seems the red-haired orphan’s popularity isn’t declining anytime soon.
“The magic of the Island and the magic of Anne have never been more connected,” Webster said. “A renaissance of Anne is great news for Island tourism."
Prince Edward Island is the Mighty Island - we may be small, but we make big things happen.
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