August 15, 2002

Anne of Green Gables: The Musical (1965)

Anne of Green Gables: The Musical, promotional image showing Anne's silhouette

Anne of Green Gables: The Musical (1965) is based on the novel Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. Its music was composed by Norman Campbell, and the book is by Don Harron. The lyrics were written by Don Harron and Norman Campbell, with additional lyrics by Mavor Moore and Elaine Campbell. It was directed and choreographed by Alan Lund. At the premiere in 1965, Anne Shirley was portrayed by Jamie Ray. Barbara Hamilton played Marilla Cuthbert, Peter Mews played Matthew Cuthbert, and Dean Regan played Gilbert Blythe. The stage musical was based on the 1956 Anne of Green Gables musical film that was produced for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and directed by Don Harron.

The musical is notably the longest running musical in Canadian history. After its premiere in 1965, the production ran every summer for more than 50 years at the Charlottetown Festival, which is hosted by the Confederation Centre of the Arts, until 2019. Performances paused during the COVID-19 pandemic and the musical returned to the stage in 2022. According to the Confederation Centre of the Arts, "Starting in 2024, Anne of Green Gables–The Musical™ will be playing on the mainstage every two years (biennially) coinciding with the 150th birthday of Lucy Maud Montgomery."

I saw this musical in Charlottetown in 2006, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The script is available is available through Concord Theatricals.

A cast recording of the musical was released by The Charlottetown Festival and you can listen to it at Amazon Music. The album includes the following 19 songs:

1. Overture / Great Workers for the Cause / Where Is Matthew Going?

2. Gee I'm Glad I'm No-One Else but Me

3. We Clearly Requested a Boy

4. The Facts

5. Humble Pie

6. Apology

7. Back to School

8. Wond'rin'

9. Did You Hear?

10. Ice Cream

11. Summer

12. Kindred Spirits

13. Open the Window

14. I'll Show Him

15. General Store

16. If It Hadn't Been for Me

17. Anne of Green Gables

18. The Words

19. Wond'rin' (Reprise)


Purchase the Anne of Green Gables: The Musical cast recording:

Anne of Green Gables: The Musical, album
Official Site:
Anne of Green Gables: The Musical
at the Confederation Centre of the Arts

Image Credit:
Anne of Green Gables: The Musical promotional image by the Confederation Centre of the Arts.

Reference:
Confederation Centre of the Arts. Anne of Green Gables–The Musical™ to return to The Charlottetown Festival in 2024. Retrieved from: https://confederationcentre.com/anne-of-green-gables-the-musical-to-return-to-the-charlottetown-festival-in-2024/

Created August 15, 2002. Last updated May 7, 2024.
© worldofanneshirley.com

Anne (1998)

Anne - Anne of Green Gables play by Paul Ledoux


Anne (1998) is a play adapted by Paul Ledoux from the novel Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. The play premiered at the Young People's Theatre in Toronto, Ontario on April 5, 1998 and was directed by Patricia Vanstone. Jennie Raymond, a native of Prince Edward Island, starred as Anne Shirley. The cast featured Janet Amos as Marilla Cuthbert, Robin Craig as Rachel Lynde,
Jerry Franken as Matthew Cuthbert, Catherine Gatotos as Diana Barry, Carolyn Hay as Josie Pye, Jamie Robinson as Gilbert Blythe, and Eliza-Jane Scott as Ruby Gillis.

The two-act play is 125 minutes long. Its script was published in 1999 by Playwrights Canada Press.

The play is described as follows:
"They wanted a young boy from the orphanage to help out around the farm. Instead, Matthew and Marilla got the irrepressible Anne Shirley. Their lives and the community of Avonlea would never be the same again."

A review in Variety described the production, saying: "What Ledoux has created is a rich evocation of turn-of-the-century life on tiny Prince Edward Island, with Anne at its center. In his hands Marilla and Matthew, Anne’s adoptive parents, and nosy neighbor Rachel Lynde, come alive as powerful archetypes whose gentle story is deeply sentimental, but never saccharine in its delivery of a timely message about the importance of community."

The play is available at the Canadian Play Outlet.

Image Credit:

Cover of Anne published by the Playwrights Canada Press.

References:

Friedlander, Mira. (1998, May 11). Anne. Variety. Retrieved from: https://variety.com/1998/film/reviews/anne-1200453779/

Young People's Theatre. Young People's Theatre Production History 1966 to 2021. Retrieved from: https://www.youngpeoplestheatre.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/ALL-SEASONS-revised-Fall-2021.pdf

Created August 15, 2002. Last updated May 8, 2024.
© worldofanneshirley.com

Anne of Green Gables (1956)

Anne of Green Gables (1956), photo of John Drainie as Matthew Cuthbert and Toby Tarnow as Anne Shirley


In March 1956, Anne of Green Gables was broadcast as a black and white television musical film by the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC). The 90-minute program aired as part of the CBC Folio series. The musical was based upon L.M. Montgomery's novel Anne of Green Gables and starred Toby Tarnow as Anne Shirley.

The musical film was directed by Don Harron, a Canadian actor, comedian, author, composer, director, and journalist. It written by James Costigan and Harron. Two years later, a second CBC-TV production aired on November 18, 1958, starring Kathy Willard as Anne Shirley. The 1956 television production was the basis for the stage production Anne of Green Gables - The Musical, which has been performed every summer since 1965 at the Charlottetown Festival in Prince Edward Island, Canada. This musical is the longest-running stage musical in Canada.

Image Credit:
"Anne of Green Gables in Hollis" by Michael Cleveland, Merrimack Journal, December 30, 2005.



Created August 15, 2002. Re-posted online June 12, 2021. Last updated June 12, 2021.
© worldofanneshirley.com

Anne of Avonlea (1940)

Anne of Avonlea Play by Jeanette Carlisle

In 1940, James Reach, writing under the pseudonym Jeanette Carlisle, adapted L.M. Montgomery's novel Anne of Avonlea into a play titled Anne of Avonlea: A Comedy in Three Acts. This play was the first dramatization of Anne of Avonlea written for the stage. It was published by Samuel French, Inc., the same company that printed the 1937 stage adaptation of Anne of Green Gables by Wilbur Braun (pseudonym Alice Chadwicke).

James Reach (1909–1970) was an American playwright who wrote under several pseudonyms. Along with writing under the name Jeanette Carlisle, he also published plays under the names Hilda Manning, John Rand, and Thomas Sutton. Reach wrote many comedies, mystery-comedies, and dramatic plays, including The Wagon To The Star, Women in White, Afraid of the Dark, Blind Gambit, and Life Begins at Sixteen.

In the opening pages of Anne of Avonlea, the "Story of the Play" states,

"Here is the first dramatization of L. M. Montgomery’s famous novel which has been read and loved by millions since its publication more than thirty years ago. The play is in one simple living-room set, with most of the characters young ones, and should appeal particularly to clubs, schools and churches. Its heroine is the same adorable little red-headed vixen whose acquaintance so many of you have made in 'Anne of Green Gables.' But the little girl of 'Green Gables' has become a grown-up school teacher of seventeen. How she faces and overcomes the first real problems of her life form the basis of Miss Carlisle’s faithful adaptation, of which it may be said, as Meredith Nicholson said of the original, 'A story to lift the spirit and send the pessimist into bankruptcy!'"

The story involves Anne’s experiences teaching at the Avonlea School, her friendships with Diana and Gilbert, her neighbor Mr. Harrison, and her work with the Avonlea Village Improvement Society to beautify Avonlea. The introductory “Story of the Play” states, “Miss Carlisle has magically blended these into a whole that will capture and hold your interest from curtain to curtain, that will bring you much wholesome laughter and a few sentimental tears...”

Anne of Avonlea by Jeanette Carlisle is available for purchase and licensing through Concord Theatricals, which acquired Samuel French, Inc. in 2018.

Created August 15, 2002. Last updated May 12, 2024.
© worldofanneshirley.com

Anne of Green Gables (1937)

Anne of Green Gables by Alice Chadwicke (pseud. Wilbur Braun)

In 1937, Wilbur Braun, under the pseudonym Alice Chadwicke, adapted L.M. Montgomery's novel Anne of Green Gables into a three-act play titled Anne of Green Gables. This play was the first dramatization of Anne of Green Gables written for the stage. It was published by Samuel French, Inc.

Wilbur Braun (1894-1968) was an American playwright who wrote under over 50 pseudonyms. He was a prolific writer known for his dramatic and comedic stage adaptations, including Great Expectations, Pudd'nhead Wilson, Davy Crockett, Tish, and The Trail of the Lonesome Pine.

In the opening pages of Anne of Green Gables (1937), the "Story of the Play" states, "for years this fascinating book has headed the list of best sellers. It has been printed and reprinted, has been made twice as a movie, once as a silent picture and only recently as a talkie, but it has remained for the distinguished dramatist, Alice Chadwicke, to make the first and only dramatization of this magically beautiful story."

The dedication of the play reads:

TO
L.M. MONTGOMERY,

who created the most lovable heroine
the world of fiction has ever known,
this play is most earnestly dedicated.

ALICE CHADWICKE.

Anne of Green Gables by Alice Chadwicke is available for purchase and licensing through Concord Theatricals, which acquired Samuel French, Inc. in 2018.

Purchase and read the Anne of Green Gables (1937) play script:


Anne of Green Gables (1937) Play by Alice Chadwicke (pseud. Wilbur Braun)


Created August 15, 2002. Last updated May 12, 2024.
© worldofanneshirley.com

July 28, 2002

Easton Press Hardback Anne of Green Gables Series Book Set

Photograph of the leather-bound, eight-volume Anne of Green Gables hardback set from the Easton Press

I've had a few questions about the availability of hardback volumes of L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series. The only place I have seen a set like this for sale is in the Easton Press catalog. The Easton Press offers high quality book sets, and I'm sure their Anne set is gorgeous.

Their eight-volume Anne of Green Gables keepsake book set is leather bound with 22 karat gold accents and gilded page ends. The books are $109 per volume. Each volume is 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" in size and has a full-color frontispiece by Ben Stahl.

According to the Easton Press website, the books feature:
- Fully bound in genuine leather.
- 22kt gold deeply inlaid on the “hubbed” spine.
- Superbly printed on acid-neutral paper that lasts for generations.
- Sewn pages – not just glued like ordinary books.
- Satin-ribbon page marker.
- Gilded page ends.
- Bound in the USA. Imported materials.
- Rigorous inspection at every stage ensures adherence to our exacting standards.
- Superb craftsmanship and commitment to quality.
- Standard shipping included at no additional charge.

You can order the eight-volume set online at the Easton Press website, or request a catalog and order them by mail. According to their site, the books will ship in 6-10 business days.

Created July 28, 2002, Last updated May 2, 2024
© worldofanneshirley.com

July 24, 2002

The Road to Yesterday

The Road to Yesterday by L.M. Montgomery


The Road to Yesterday
by L.M. Montgomery was published in 1974. L.M. Montgomery had originally penned this book under the title The Blythes are Quoted, but the book was not published during her lifetime. After L.M. Montgomery's death, her manuscript was discovered by her son, Dr. Stuart MacDonald. The original manuscript for The Blythes are Quoted was divided into two parts taking place before and after World War I. Each part was composed of short stories interspersed with narratives of evenings in Anne and Gilbert Blythe's household with the Blythe family listening to Anne's poems.

In preparing The Road to Yesterday for publication, the narrative sections were removed along with all but one of the poems. The sequence of the short stories was reorganized. All of the stories included in The Road to Yesterday mention members of the Blythe family.

The Road to Yesterday includes the poem "Canadian Twilight" and 14 short stories, which are listed below:

"Canadian Twilight" (poem)
"An Afternoon with Mr. Jenkins"
"Retribution"
"The Twins Pretend"
"Fancy's Fool"
"A Dream Come True"
"Penelope Struts her Theories"
"The Reconciliation"
"The Cheated Child"
"Fool's Errand"
"The Pot and the Kettle"
"Here Comes the Bride"
"Brothers Beware"
"The Road to Yesterday"
"A Commonplace Woman"


Purchase and read The Road to Yesterday:

The Road to Yesterday by L.M. Montgomery


Created July 25, 2002. Last updated April 26, 2024.
© worldofanneshirley.com

May 29, 2002

The Golden Road

The Golden Road by L.M. Montgomery, 1913 frontispiece art by George Gibbs.

The Golden Road by L.M. Montgomery was published in 1913 as a sequel to The Story Girl. In this novel, Bev reminisces of his friends and of days gone by on a golden road of childhood.

In The Golden Road, Sara and the other children decide to publish their own magazine to entertain themselves, named Our Magazine. Each child contributes to a particular column, including fiction, fashion, personals, and etiquette. They have several adventures together, including visits to the town "witch," Peg Bowen. Along with sharing adventures, the children have many fights and squabbles. They experience mishaps during a visit from their aunt and attend two weddings. In addition, they learn the secret of the Awkward Man and witness Cecily's bravery to support the missionaries.

By the end of the novel, the characters have grown. Sara, Bev, and Felix must leave Carlisle, and things will never be the same. But Bev's memories remain strong. As Blair Stanley states, "Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it."

Purchase and read The Story Girl and The Golden Road:

The Story Girl by L.M. Montgomery The Golden Road by L.M. Montgomery


Created May 29, 2002. Last updated February 2, 2022.
© worldofanneshirley.com