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Play Anne [of Green Gables] I was told I would never do it. “

The pandemic forced the production of the Anne of Green Gables in Charlottetown. The musical went into hibernation for the first time in 55 years before the long-awaited return last weekend.

At Prince Edward Island, there is no better marker than “returned to normal.” Ann of Green Gables — Musical..

Inspired by Lucy Mode Montgomery’s 1908 novel, a show about an adult, energetic and freckled orphan on an adopted farm has been performed at all Charlottetown Festivals since 1955. The pandemic solved it in 2020 and 2021 and became a more typical part of PEI’s summer than red sandy beaches and lobster rolls.

The show continues this year, with Charlottetown’s benches and buses re-decorated with promotional photos of Anne’s classic red pigtails and green corduroy overalls.

The face of this year’s promotion is Calgary-born, Toronto-based 26-year-old actor Kelsey Verzotti, who plays Anne for the first time this year. Verzotti is not a musical stranger. She played Diana Barry, Anne’s best friend of the show, at the Thousand Islands Playhouse Productions in Gananoque, Ontario. However, she embodies Anne for the first time in what the protagonist calls her hometown. This is the first Asian Canadian to play this role, and Verzotti is preparing for a new level of limelight. McLeans I caught up with her before the opening night of the show last weekend:

Welcome to Kelsey, PEI. Do you settle in Charlottetown?

Kelsey Verzotti: I actually live in Sherwood, 10 minutes from Charlottetown and have a major FOMO. I love walking dogs on the Charlottetown waterfront and want to get closer to common hangout spots. But not living within walking distance of cow ice cream is probably good for me.

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The Ann of Green Gables is huge in PEI and living in the city may be more perceived than you would like. Has it already started?

I was admitted several times, but I heard that I had just painted my face on the travel bus. You can see your face in the main garage (Charlottetown Confederation Center of Arts). So I support myself, but for now I’m lying low.

It’s my first time to live in PEI, but I’m not a stranger. Ann of red hair After playing Diana Barry in Gananoque before the pandemic. Why is it an audition to play Anne this time?

When I played Diana, I fell in love with musicals. And when she got to know the play, I fell in love with Anne. I like her personality and can build her relationship with her in several ways. She has a terrible temper, and I can get that way-really reactive-with my parents. I like her ability to speak her mind and ask questions that provoke the imagination of her people. Most of the time, I resonate with her fit and her desire to be accepted. For example, this role was probably told to never be done.

Because you’re not redhead? You are the first Asian Canadian cast as Anne in Charlottetown. Do you think about it?

We are kneeling in acting and rehearsals and haven’t really thought about it these days. But when you step back, you realize it’s huge. The other day, one of our producers saw her driving through the town and a little Asian girl taking a picture of her next to a promotional photo of my face on the bench. Such moments remind me that this opportunity does not just play that role.

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For the show, do you go with a red wig, or a red hair dye?

Oh! wig. I chose a slightly toned-down color from the classic neon orange, so it feels natural. I was told that I should die forever, but I would like to spend the summer at a beauty salon if I can keep it economically. Chair.

This year, Diana Barry will be played by Emma Rudy, who played Anne in 2019.You and Emma Graduated from Musical Theater and Performance at Sheraton College Together, and now you are playing the roles that each other played before. Do you want to replace the pointer?

It’s nervous to play the role someone just played, they just see you do it. But Emma was a perfect rock for me in the process. Our relationship lasts for 10 years and it’s very easy for her to be here. Even if it gets messed up.I’m so used to playing Diana that I kept singing Emma’s lines Kindred Spirits, But we could laugh about it.

She gave me good advice about playing Anne: don’t spare your energy. That’s the part that gets tired aloud. We have eight shows a week. This is a production standard, but Anne’s line is very high. [in vocal range], And I have never played such a big role. So it’s important to get a good night’s sleep this summer.

We hope you enjoy PEI even if your schedule is out of order.

I really have it for now. When I’m with Emma in Charlottetown, she knows all the cool places with everyone. You can go somewhere and find a complete bucket of mussels for $ 13. I “how?” It’s a great start to summer.

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Play Anne [of Green Gables] I was told I would never do it. ”

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