The House of Martin Guerre, the epic Canadian musical by Leslie Arden (music, lyrics & co-book) and Anna Theresa Cascio (co-book) will be staged in concert in Toronto for the first time since 1997.
Leslie Arden – widely regarded as one of Canada’s foremost musical theatre composers, was chosen by British theatrical producer, Sir Cameron Mackintosh (along with 12 other international participants) to study with the legendary musical theatre composer and lyricist, Stephen Sondheim at Oxford University (1990). Arden cites Sondheim as both her mentor and one of her biggest musical influences.
Inspired by the emotional true story of 16th century French peasant, Martin Guerre, Arden first developed this production in 1991. It was first produced by Theatre Plus (1993) in Toronto and was the recipient of three Dora Mavor Moore Awards (including Best New Musical). The production was further developed by the Canadian theatrical producer, Livent (Garth Dabrinsky) and went on to be produced by Chicago’s Goodman Theatre (1996) receiving six Joseph Jefferson Awards (including Best New Musical).
New York Variety described the show as “so fresh, so resoundingly complete and rewarding”. It was once again produced in Toronto by the Canadian Stage Company (1997) and was nominated for a Chalmers Award. Arden’s musical drama possesses emotionally expressive tones, elegantly shaped lyrics, and detailed storytelling that capture the complex and mysterious beauty of a world on the brink of enlightenment.
16th century France – a new consciousness emerges while Protestantism takes a firm hold in the heart of Europe. Bertrande, a young Catholic peasant girl, suffers eight years of abusive arranged marriage to Martin Guerre, only to be abandoned with their infant son. Years later, a stranger arrives, claiming to be Martin – but completely transformed.
Though Bertrande accepts her new loving husband, their happiness is threatened by the jealousy and greed of others. She is ultimately forced to denounce him as an imposter, and he is jailed and sent to trial. The House of Martin Guerre centres on the poignant love story of Bertrande, an individual striving to find truth and dignity despite the collective forces working against her.
(pending further evaluation)
Friday, April 17 | Saturday, April 18
7:30 PM - 10:30 PM
Al Green Theatre (Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre)
750 Spadina Avenue, Toronto
Tickets: $30 (General Admission), $25 (Student | Senior | Arts Worker)
The House of Martin Guerre (In Concert) features professional musical theatre talents:
Noah Beemer (Martin Guerre), Carson Betz (Phillippe), Emma Burke-Kleinmann (Suzanne),
Benjamin Camenzuli (Arnaud du Tilh), Lana Carillo (Jeanette), Zach Colangelo (Father Boeri),
Isidora Kecman (Bertrande), Ryan Kelly (Pierre Guerre), Lizzie Kurtz (Jehannot’s Wife),
Evan LeFeuvre (Little Sanxi), Joseph Lévesque (Jehannot), Mateo Lewis (Soldier), Will Lincoln-Gouett (Guilhaume),
Lia Luz (Young Bertrande), Melissa MacKenzie (Catherine), Tyler McKinnon (Sanxi Guerre | Jean Coras),
Kevin Morris (Antoine), Kati Pearson (Wise Woman), Annie Ramos (Adele), Sarah Strange (Bernarde de Rois),
Teresa Tucci (Marie), Christopher Wilson (Carbon Barrau), and Kristi Woods (Marguerite).
Direction by Christopher Wilson; Musical Direction by Chris Tsujiuchi; Assistant Direction by Ryan Kelly.
Stage Management by Justine Cargo; and Lighting Design/Projections by Jim Plaxton.