Dr. Magnificent’s Travelling Musical Medicine Show will make its world premier on Prince Edward Island as part of the province’s 2014 celebrations. This sparkling new production leads Young at Heart Musical Theatre for Seniors’ ninth season. The play, written by Young at Heart Artistic Producer, Catherine O’Brien and veteran Canadian playwright and composer David Archibald, is set in 1864 around the historic meetings of the Fathers of Confederation.
Dr. Magnificent’s Travelling Musical Medicine Show is a fictional tale about a mismatched trio who peddle suspicious medicinal remedies to unsuspecting PEI visitors. “The show has something for everyone; comedy, mystery, loads of wonderful original tunes and a surprise twist at the end!” says O’Brien “It’s fun and fanciful and will appeal to ages 10 to 110!”
Young at Heart Musical Theatre for Seniors operates under a mandate of providing top-of-the-line, professional musical theatre experiences to seniors in care on Prince Edward Island. Their shows typically tour to nursing homes, manors, and seniors residences across PEI. This year, as part of the celebrations of the Island’s sesquicentennial, the MAGNIFICENT tour will also feature performances in community venues. “We hope to encourage families to attend this show, as well as our devoted senior audience. That is why we have extended our tour to include small halls across PEI” says O’Brien.
David Archibald is the co-writer, composer and musical director of the show. David has written for and performed on Sesame Street in New York and CBC’s Mr. Dressup. He recently appeared at Toronto’s Yonge/Dundas Square as a featured performer at the Kidzfest festival. His musicals The Perilous Pirate’s Daughter, Love & Larceny and Up the River have been professionally produced across the country.
Robert Clarke, a Toronto-based actor with an impressive resume, will lead the play as Dr. Magnificent, a cowardly Confederate General, who leaves behind a sticky southern situation and escapes to PEI with his medicine show. This past Christmas Robert played Macy in Theatre New Brunswick’s production of Miracle on 34th Street—his second appearance for that company, having originated the role of Donnie in the premiere production of Norm Foster’s The Foursome. Other theatre credits include: The 39 Steps (Sudbury Theatre Centre); Falsettos (Chutzpah Festival Vancouver). Favourite film and television credits include: Murdoch Mysteries; Defiance; The Firm; The Good Wife; Chasing Christmas; and Fierce People with Donald Sutherland.
Naomi-Joy Blackhall, who hails from Halifax, will play the lovely Louloubelle, an escaped American slave, who mistakenly lands on PEI after trying to ship herself to Philadelphia. Blackhall is a multi- talented actor, musician and filmmaker. Upcoming television projects include: Forgive Me(Super Channel), Sex and Violence( Out TV), Seed(City TV) She is also featured in Andrea Dorfman’s new feature film: Heartbeat.
PEI native Jason Burbine completes the cast as Jean-Francois Gallant, an Acadian roustabout who works the docks in Charlottetown and gets tangled up with Dr. Magnificent and his schemes. Burbine spends most of his time in Halifax where he has worked as a musician and singer with several bands and as an actor, performing for many years in Dinner Theatre. Jason was last seen on PEI in The Ballad of Stompin’ Tom for the Charlottetown festival.
Dr. Magnificent’s Travelling Musical Medicine Show runs March 25 – May 10, 2014, at several seniors’ venues and small halls across PEI. Major Sponsors are: PEI 2014, PEI Credit Unions and the Seniors Secretariat.