Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Evangeline, A Love Story for the Ages

Lorna and I went to see Evangeline at the Confederation Centre in Charlottetown on Saturday.  It is a new musical by Ted Dykstra.  It was recommended to me by a friend/relative which I can now thank him for and pass on the recommendation to others.  I am generally not a great lover of musicals but this is definitely the exception that proves the rule (I'm not a great fan of that expression either but this exception proves the rules as well).  The music was enjoyable and fit well in the context rather than being an excuse for singing which I find doesn’t always happen (e.g. Les Misérables the movie).  The production was of high value with the set being simple but effective using projections on a back screen which included maps of the journeys of the hero and heroine.  I even enjoyed the dancing which says a lot –not being a fan of dance usually - including the liturgical kind.  The acting and singing were exemplary (again unlike Les Misérables)
The story is adaption of the epic poem of the same name by Longfellow which recounts the long attempts by the two lovers Evangeline and Gabriel to reunite after being separated tragically on their wedding day.  The lovers’ story is backgrounded by the events around the expulsion of the Acadians from Nova Scotia by the British to various places in the United States.  The lovers search is a life-long event which is made all the more tragic by many times their paths almost meet.  Gabriel dies in Evangeline’s arms in the final scene with the being not a dry eye in the house.  I was not really familiar with the events around the expulsion of the Acadians so it gave me a great introduction to that unfortunate part of Canadian history  - we can always blame it on the British so our Canadian holier than thou virtue is intact.    
I hope you do get the opportunity to take in a production in the future.  I definitely recommend it and trust it will be mounted in other venues in the future or it could be an excuse to come to beautiful PEI. 

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