"Anne of Green Gables" Sings Anew in Bend in the Road in California
By Kenneth Jones
Bend in the Road, a new family-friendly musical based on the youth novel "Anne of Green Gables," will play a limited engagement Sept. 14-Oct. 7 at the Carrie Hamilton Theatre at Pasadena Playhouse in California.
Written by Benita Scheckel and Michael Upward, and directed by Scheckel, Bend in the Road is inspired by the Prince Edward Island-set stories by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Young Anne Shirley, an orphan, is mistakenly adopted by siblings Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, to help them on their Avonlea farm. "Anne's intelligent, joyous and imaginative ways change the lives of all those around her in this small town, including Matthew, Marilla and nosy town gossip Mrs. Rachel Lynde," according to production notes. "Anne finds fast friendships at school, and a rivalry with classmate Gilbert Blythe turns complicated as they grow up."
The book has inspired movies, plays, TV series and several other musicals over the years.
The cast of Bend in the Road will feature Christopher Callen, Ty Freedman, Christopher Higgins, Justine Huxley, James Jaeger, Don Margolin, Melinda Porto, Kate Sullivan, Kailey Swanson and Alison Woods.
As part of its educational outreach, which includes providing free shows to Pasadena Unified School District students, the production has cast five Pasadena-area students to work as apprentices alongside Equity actors. They are Cade Anderson, Zoe Berger-Davis, Mariella D'avirro, Kaitlyn Hammer, and Cheri McKenzie.
The creative team includes scenic artist Gary White, lighting designer Darrell Clark, costume designer Liz Dickson and sound designer Julie Ferrin. The musical director is Michael Upward, choreography is by Kevin Lee, and the stage manager is Kelsey O'Keeffe. Susan Lambert produces for 134 West and Summerland Entertainment. (This is not a production of Pasadena Playhouse.)
The running schedule is Saturdays at 1 PM and 7 PM, and Sundays at 1 PM. All seating is general admission, and tickets may be purchased online at bendintheroadtickets.eventbrite.com, or or by calling (626) 344-8846.
The Carrie Hamilton Theatre is located upstairs at The Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Avenue, in Pasadena, CA.
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