Anne of Green Gables
Review by Grace Eccleston – Showbill.ca Staff Writer
November 27, 2017
In honor of Canada’s 150th, the Victoria Operatic Society has lit the McPherson Playhouse with none other than Anne of Green Gables. This Canadian favorite has been performed with dedication since 1965 by a huge number of groups and theaters, with good reason. It’s simplistic story of small-town daily life is something many theater-goers can identify with. The VOS do it this year with great pride, and success.
Bright in all regards – costumes, music, and dancing – the cast brings lively passion to the stage, and that shows in every moment the audience was moved to laughter. This classic is chalked full of witty moments and familiar troubles. It was performed with enormous energy. It did not struggle at all to keep you giggling, until it was ready to make you cry.
Anne (with an ‘e’) Shirley is a deeply memorable little girl, whom you can’t help but to love from her first step onto the stage. Actress Molly Lydon brings Anne to life with infectious flair. This spunky, wild, and brave orphan wants one thing – a home. She will make you smile with her child-like drama and play. She captures hearts with ease, much like that of character Gilbert Blythe, portrayed by Rowan Wolfe. The pair make a comical team, dancing among their friends through the whole show. Though at moments the dancing sequences seemed excessive, they did not take away from the overall atmosphere of fun.
In every scene, there is something for every member of the family. Schoolyard tom-foolery, sly adult conversations, and an ageless love of iced cream make up the whole personality of this delightful show. It’s giddy fun for both those who know the story, and those who do not.
For those who do not, young Anne is brought to a small Prince Edward Island town from a Nova Scotia orphanage. She wins the hearts of the locals with her peculiar imagination and free-flying tongue. Across the whole production, she makes clumsy mistakes and then amends them, as she learns how to be part of a community, and a family. Through endearing first loves, best friends, and tear-jerking tragedy, Anne will have you bouncing along to the tunes with a smile on your face. It will leave you with a warmth that sticks to your very bones.
THE BOTTOM LINE
In the end, this musical is heart-warming and sweet, a must-see this winter!