26 September 2017

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An All-Canadian, All-Star Team Brings Centre Ice to Centre Stage

Commissioned and produced by the Segal Centre for Performing Arts, this original Canadian production is directed and choreographed by Stratford Festival hit-maker Donna Feore, whose recent production of Guys and Dolls has been wowing audiences this festival season. Presented as part of the official programming of Montréal's 375th anniversary celebrations, The Hockey Sweater: A Musical will run at the Segal Centre from October 19 to November 12, 2017.

The Hockey Sweater: A Musical  - poster
The Hockey Sweater: A Musical (CNW Group/Société des célébrations du 375e anniversaire de Montréal)
Lace up your skates! The Segal Centre is proud to announce the cast and creative team of their upcoming world premiere, The Hockey Sweater: A Musical based on the short story by Roch Carrier, with Book and Lyrics by Emil Sher (Hana's Suitcase, The Boy in the Moon, and Beneath the Banyan Tree), and Music and Lyrics by Jonathan Monro (Composer of No Matter What, Variations on a Nervous Breakdown, and Music Supervisor on The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz: The Musical).The Segal is honoured to continue the legacy of this treasured Québec story by reinventing the classic tale into a modern musical for the whole family.
Commissioned and produced by the Segal Centre for Performing Arts, this original Canadian production is directed and choreographed by Stratford Festival hit-maker Donna Feore, whose recent production of Guys and Dolls has been wowing audiences this festival season.
Presented as part of the official programming of Montréal's 375th anniversary celebrations, The Hockey Sweater: A Musical will run at the Segal Centre from October 19 to November 12, 2017.
Homegrown talent takes a leading role
Trading off the part of Young Roch are two performing dynamos. Alessandro Gabrielli has been seen on many Montréal stages, along with numerous television appearances; including the role of Michael Banks in Juste pour rire's ongoing and acclaimed French-language production of Mary PoppinsJesse Noah Gruman whose musical passion began at the age of three when he took up violin and who has been studying dance since the age of five, will be making his professional debut in this production.
Six more of the country's most talented young artists join the team
The Segal Centre is pleased to welcome a dynamic and gifted group of young artists, all between the ages of 11 and 13, to the Segal stage in this new homegrown musical. The young cast will feature Drew Daviswho began his acting career on camera at the age of five on Rookie Blue, and currently voices the roles of Marshall on Paw Patrol and Justin on Justin TimeAnnelise Forbes, whose many credits include Pollyanna in Pollyanna, A New Musical (Lab/Yonge St. Theatricals) and Young Clara in The Nutcracker (Hamilton City Ballet); Jayden Greigwho has previously appeared as Ralphie in A Christmas Story (Neptune Theatre), and Michael Banks in Mary Poppins (Neptune Theatre and Drayton Entertainment); Lucas Kalechsteinwho has also played Michael Banks in Mary Poppins for three seasons at the Lower Ossington Theatre and Flounder in Little Mermaid (UTC); Riley O'Donnellwho just recently performed throughout North America in the Acrobat Tour of Matilda the Musical as Lavender for which the ensemble received a 2017 Dora Mavor Moore award nomination; and Berkley Silverman completes the young group. She is a competitive dancer, and trained singer, best known for her 2017 Young Artist Award-winning role as the voice of Everest in Nickelodeon's Paw Patrol.
Talented artists of all ages
Richard Jutras, whose many theatre credits include Crazy for You and Damn Those Wedding Bells at the Segal, will be playing the part of an adult Roch Carrier looking back on his childhood. No stranger to rink-side hijinks, Jutras was nominated for a Gemini Award in both 2005 and 2006 for Best Ensemble in a Comedy for the hit CBC series, The Tournament. In the role of Roch's mother is Claire Lautier who has played leading roles on stages in New York, across the United States, and Canada; including six seasons as a leading actor at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. In the role of village priest (and referee) Father Delisle, is another Stratford and Shaw festival regular, Ian Simpson; he has previously worked with Director Donna Feore on The Sound of Music. Also making their Segal Centre debuts are Scott Beaudin who in addition to his musical theatre credits, has appeared on several television shows including Saving Hope, Murdoch Mysteries, and Degrassi: TNG, as Gaétan Ouellette; and Kate Blackburn who has performed in beloved musicals across the country like Little Mermaid(Globe Theatre) and Crazy for You (Gateway Theatre) as the school teacher, Mlle Therrien.
Theatre is a team sport too
Rounding out the exciting company are Andréane Bouladier (as seen in the North-American/Broadway tour of Les Misérables), Geneviève Dufour (who has performed many times at the Théâtre Français de Toronto), Jean-François Poulin (winner of the Juste pour rire Victor Award for Artist of the Year 2016 for his role as Bert in Mary Poppins), and Brandon Howard Roy who will be making his professional stage debut following three seasons with the Confederation Players. 

All four are graduates of Sheridan College's illustrious Musical Theatre Program.
A tribute to one of Montréal's great passions
Originally published in 1979, The Hockey Sweater recalls Carrier's childhood hockey mishaps during the winter of 1946. 

Like many young people in small towns across Québec, Roch and his friends lived for one thing only: hockey. They idolize the Montréal Canadiens' star-player Maurice Richard; each emulating "The Rocket's" every move. 

When Roch's favourite hockey sweater–a glorious "tricolore" emblazoned with the iconic #9–becomes over-worn and too small, his mother insists he get a new one. But when a mail-order mix-up leaves him dressed in the enemy colours of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Roch must learn the importance of what's in your heart, even when it's not on your sleeve.
The creative team will showcase the talents of Michael Gianfrancesco (Set and Costume Designer), Louise Bourret (Costume Co-Designer), Luc Prairie (Lighting Designer), and Peter Balov (Head of Sound). The production will also feature projections by Normal Studio

Their projection designs can be seen around Montréal in projects such as Montréal Symphonique and Cité Mémoire.
"We are thrilled to welcome this extraordinary company of adults and children as the final piece of the puzzle to this exciting production's development. Shining a light on this quintessential Québec story with such a brilliant group of artists is a musical theatre dream come true and a special gift to our city and country," said Segal Centre Artistic and Executive Director Lisa Rubin.
The Segal Centre is at the forefront of the Canadian musical revival
The Globe and Mail has recently named the Segal Centre "a prime location for developing new musicals under Artistic and Executive Director Lisa Rubin" and has listed The Hockey Sweater: A Musical a production to watch out for this fall due to the "impressive team behind it."
YOUNG ROCH/ANDRÉ Alessandro Gabrielli / Jesse Noah Gruman
MME CARRIER Claire Lautier
MLLE THERRIEN Kate Blackburn
WITH Andréane Bouladier, Geneviève Dufour, Jean-François Poulin & Brandon Howard Roy
AND ROCH'S TEAMMATES Drew Davis, Annelise ForbesJayden GreigLucas KalechsteinRiley O'Donnell & Berkley Silverman
And featuring Richard Jutras as ROCH CARRIER
BASED ON THE SHORT STORY "THE HOCKEY SWEATER" BY Roch Carrier, Translated into English by Sheila Fischman and Published by House of Anansi Press
SET AND COSTUME DESIGNER Michael Gianfrancesco
Jonathan Monro (Band Leader), Evan Watts SmithJason FieldBeth McKennaFrederic BourgeaultVanessa Marcoux, and Parker Bert
For the full production team list, please visit segalcentre.org
October 19 – November 12, 2017
Thursday, October 19 – 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 21 – 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 22 – 1:30 p.m. 
Monday, October 23 – 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, October 24 – 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, October 25 – 8:00 p.m.
Regular Run: 
Mondays – 7:00 p.m.
Tuesdays – Saturdays (closed Fridays) - 8:00 p.m.
Sundays – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesdays, November 1 & 8 – 1:00 p.m. 
Sundays, October 29November 5, and November 12 – 2:00 p.m.
"The Making a New Canadian Musical": an in-depth look at the creative, legal, and technical aspects of producing a new Canadian musical.
Sunday, October 22 – 11:00 a.m. 
Entrance is free.
A chance to interact with the creators and actors of the play after the curtain goes down.  
Mondays, October 30 and November 6
The Hockey Sweater: A Musical is made possible with the generous support from Molson Foundation, with additional support from MUSE.

The Segal Centre gratefully acknowledges the NHL, the Montréal Canadiens, Maurice Richard Jr., and the Richard Family for their support of our project.

  • NHL and NHL team marks are the property of the NHL and its teams. All Rights Reserved.
About the Segal Centre for Performing Arts
The Segal Centre for Performing Arts is a not-for-profit theatre company dedicated to nurturing, producing and presenting world-class English-language theatre and to showcasing the best professional artists from Montréal and beyond. A part of the community since 1967, the organization was reborn in 2007 as the Segal and has expanded to become a nationally recognized venue for the performing arts with a focus on creation, innovation, diversity and cross-cultural collaborations. Driven by a belief in the power of the arts to strengthen and connect communities, the Segal's programming emphasizes original interpretations of popular classic and contemporary works, new Canadian musicals and engaging productions with universal appeal. 
About the Society for the Celebration of Montréal's 375th Anniversary
The Society for the Celebration of Montréal's 375th Anniversary is a non-profit organization whose mission is to organize the festivities and socioeconomic initiatives that will mark Montréal's 375th anniversary in 2017. With a focus on promoting Montréal expertise, it acts as a catalyst for local forces to carry out its mandate: mobilize the community, implement a funding strategy, rigorously manage its financial resources, develop quality programming and ensure the visibility of the celebrations.
The Society receives financial support from the Ville de Montréal, the Québec government and the Canadian government, as well as private funding from 12 Great Montrealers. 

  • For more information, see 375mtl.com.
  • To learn more about the Québec government's contribution to Montréal's 375th anniversary, click here.

The Trailer

SOURCE: Société des célébrations du 375e anniversaire de Montréal

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