Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Simply Red; or, In Character


I’ve returned to the States from a glorious week on Prince Edward Island, my birthplace, and am full of blue, green, and red, the colors, respectively, of our salt water, our fields, and our uncommonly pretty soil.

I loved rediscovering all the different reds—the deep coppery reds in farmland furrows, the dusty pink reds that wouldn’t be out of place on a powder puff.

When I wasn’t admiring the landscape or presenting at my conference, I was looking at another red: the stage curtain at the Charlottetown Festival, home to the musical production of Anne of Green Gables since 1965. I took my two daughters to see it and loved to hear them laugh at Anne’s irrepressible philosophizing and mishaps (green hair, anyone?).

We also divided up the family (the three-year-old lad is too young for evening theatre) and saw a musical revue called “The British Invasion: America Strikes Back,” in which dancers and singers got to strut their stuff, belting out numbers by Dusty Springfield and Heart, hoofing to Cher’s “Believe.” Terry Hatty, the sixty-something year-old former singer from the Guess Who was a lead, and he gave all the youngsters a clinic in performance—from Garfunkel to Bowie to Keef Richards.

But what I especially loved at the theatre were the shoes—character shoes in particular. Although I didn’t grow up in dance, I literally grew up at this Festival, which I attended every year from age four onward, where I worked front-of-house one summer, and where I took dance and voice lessons from the cast.

At the end of the season, the cast always puts on a benefit show and I sang and danced in it, wearing some sort of spangly flapper dress. I also wore character shoes from the company’s wardrobe and was thrilled to find Lenore Zann’s name inside them (Canadians: anyone remember/know her?).

The Festival brought back my dreams of being a triple threat and though I may run the risk of channeling Zelda Fitzgerald, who rather clunkily took up ballet in her thirties in hope of being a dancer, I may see whether I can’t find a local musical theatre gig when I return to my current home state.

After all, those character shoes are just magic.

5 comments:

WendyB said...

I have fondness for character shoes too.

enc said...

I like character shoes, too, but mostly, I'm just glad you're back!

Imelda Matt said...

welcome back, I've wondering where you'd gotten to and considered that i should get worried...then I remembered it's summer in your part of the world and you're likely to be on vacation!

Anonymous said...

Would you ever move back to Canada?

Miss Cavendish said...

Anon, I certainly wouldn't rule it out!