The Band's Visit tour star Chilina Kennedy stars in The Stratford Festival’s November 4 concert presentation of The House of Martin Guerre as part of the Forum Showcase at Stratford’s Avon Theatre.
Kennedy, who sings the lead role of Bertrande, is joined by Adam Brazier, singing the role of Martin Guerre’s imposter, Arnaud du Tilh. Brazier and Kennedy starred together in the world premiere of Evangeline at the Confederation Centre of the Arts’ Charlottetown Festival, where Brazier serves as artistic director.
The ensemble also features several other past and present members of the Stratford Festival company: Gabriel Antonacci as Soldier, Sean Arbuckle as Jean de Coras, Juan Chioran as Pierre Guerre, Camille Eanga-Selenge as Suzanne, Gabi Epstein as Marie, Henry Firmston as Martin Guerre, Evangelia Kambites as Villager, Monique Lund as Bernarde de Rols, Denise Oucharek as Jehannot’s Wife, Trevor Patt as Jean Peghula, Jennifer Rider-Shaw as Jeannette, Steve Ross as Jehannot, François Ferrière, Vanessa Sears as Catherine, and Hutton Patterson as Bertrande’s son, Little Sanxi.
With music and lyrics by Leslie Arden and a book by Arden and Anna T. Cascio, The House of Martin Guerre follows Martin Guerre, a 14-year-old boy forced by his parents to marry 11-year-old Bertrande. Bertrande suffers abuse at Martin’s hand for eight years, only to have Martin abandon her and their infant son. Years later, a stranger arrives, claiming to be Martin—completely transformed. Though Bertrande accepts her new loving husband, their happiness is threatened by the jealousy and greed of others.
Richard Ouzounian directs the concert.
Kennedy, who was a member of the Stratford company from 2009 to 2011, made her Broadway debut with the transfer of the Festival’s 2011 production of Jesus Christ Superstar. She also played a lengthy stint in the long-running Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.
“I am thrilled to have Chilina Kennedy return to Stratford to sing the lead role of Bertrande in The House of Martin Guerre in concert. I know audiences will jump at the chance to see her on the Stratford stage once more,” Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino said in an earlier statement.
“I am very excited to dive into one of Canada’s richest musicals, having admired Leslie Arden for many years,” added Kennedy. “I am also thrilled to be coming back to Stratford and joining its talented company of artists and creators.“
Tickets range from $35 to $100 and are available online at StratfordFestival.ca.
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(Updated November 4, 2019)