Cowichan, meet Anne of Green Gables.
The longest-running musical in Canadian history has been performed each year since 1965 and is a fitting choice for South Island Music Theatre Society’s 35th anniversary, with a skilled crew of performers and technical staff bringing the renowned Canadian musical to life at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre.
“Gee, I’m glad I’m no one else but me,” sings Anne, played brilliantly by Casey Heyd.
The musical tells the humorous and heartwarming story of Anne Shirley, an orphaned 11-year-old girl sent to live on a farm run by middle-aged Matthew Cuthbert (Gregg Perry) and his sister Marilla Cuthbert (Laura Cardriver) in Avonlea on Prince Edward Island.
When she first arrives, Anne is a surprise to Matthew and Marilla who were expecting a boy. But in no time Matthew has warmed up to her, and Marilla agrees they’ll keep the talkative, colourful youngster. There are early clashes with some of the townsfolk such as Rachel Lynde (Mary Harrison), but things start to change. Anne makes a best friend, Diana Barry (Megan Holt), has a crush on Gilbert Blythe (John Felton), becomes a top scholar and the bedrock of her new adopted family.
The story of how Anne changes the lives of those around her and finds her way in the new town is a compelling look at how much difference one person can make. With excellent setwork, acting and vocals, SIMTS does a splendid job of bringing it to the stage.
Theatre-goers have the chance to see Anne of Green Gables April 1 and 2 at 7:30 p.m. and April 2 and 3 at 2 p.m. at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre. Tickets are $35 for adults, $30 for seniors and $20 for students. For tickets call 250-748-7529 or visit www.cowichan pac.ca/event/anne-green-gables.