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Productions in Summerside and Charlottetown for Feast 40th

Tuesday–Saturday
Rodd Charlottetown
Brothers 2, Summerside

Summerside cast: Dan Bevan-Baker, from left, Elijah Ruddick, Ceili Galante, Hailey MacIsaac, Lindsay Schieck, and Mitchell O’Blenis.The musical comedy called Up in Smoke marks the Feast Dinner Theatre season’s 40th celebrations.

Assistant director Brandon Roy, a graduate of Sheridan College’s bachelor of music theatre performance program, says the biggest set of talented directors to date have come together to create the performance. “It’s been really exciting. Normally there’s just the director and music director, but this year we have a directing team of four,” he acknowledged. “And the passion comes across the cast every day because they love what they’re doing.”

Roy says, “Don Groom, the founder of Feast, has created thousands of memories for people to look back on, as well as hundreds of incredible opportunities for performers. It’s so valuable, and there’s so much to celebrate, so we’re working on making this show the best it can be.”

Roy, born and raised in Montreal, performed in three seasons of Feast Dinner Theatre, and made his professional Montreal debut under Canadian choreographer Donna Feore in the world premiere of The Hockey Sweater: A Musical

Assistant music director Jaime Hunter, from New Brunswick, says the crew have amped up the volume this year and “it’s going to be one beautiful musical experience” with pitch perfect vocals. Hunter has four summers of experience with Feast Dinner Theatre, in addition to studying music at Memorial University of Newfoundland. “The music in the show will appeal to every member in the audience, and we hope many will sing along,” she says.

Andrew Waite, music director, says the show has an “ambitious music selection” to ring in the 40th season. The PEI musician remarked, “I think it’s incredible that Feast has run this many years, which is a testament to hard work and credit to Don for what he has built.”

Charlottetown casrKristina McCormack, from Montague PEI, plays the character Dani Simpson in the Rodd Charlottetown dinner theatre location. “She’s a middle child and wants her own way. I developed her basically out of my own sassy habits, so when I play her I always feel like I’m at the end of a fuse, but I want everything to go well in the rally the Simpson sisters hold to raise money for their family farm,” explained McCormack, a Feast veteran.

To commemorate the 40th season of the Feast Dinner Theatre, Briane Nasimok will make a guest appearance where it all first began. He was hired in 1978 to help develop the dinner theatre format, which opened at Summerside’s Brothers Two restaurant in 1979. Nasimok, along with owner and operator Don Groom, crafted the original show, The Governor’s Feast, which ran for five years. “We will bring back old traditions, including the original writer and director Briane and Don, as well as make the show as big as it can be with the most talented personalities,” concluded McCormack.

Up in Smoke runs Tuesday to Saturday at Rodd Charlottetown hotel, 75 Kent Street and at Brothers 2 Restaurant, 618 Water Street, Summerside. www.ticketwizard.ca  www.feastdinnertheatres.com

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