Date:   3/4/2007

Anne of Green Gables celebrates the power of imagination and the importance of love.

The classic tale of a young orphan girl whose dauntless spirit transforms her adoptive family is brought to life in ArtsPower National Touring Theatre’s production of Anne of Green Gables, being presented at a 3 p.m. matinee performance on Sunday, March 4, at the historic Thrasher Opera House in downtown Green Lake. Based on Lucy Maud Montgomery’s internationally beloved novel, this original musical delights young audiences with its celebration of the power of imagination and the importance of love and trust.

Set at the turn of the century, Anne of Green Gables begins with the arrival of Anne Shirley in the town of Avonlea. Anne’s past mishaps living with previous families are described in “Problem Child,” the first of the show’s five original songs.  She is met at the train station by Matthew Cuthbert, an elderly man who lives with his sister Marilla.  Although the Cuthberts had asked for a boy to help with farm chores, Matthew is immediately charmed by Anne; her feisty character is made evident in the song “Talkin’ Too Much.”  Together, as kindred spirits, Matthew and Anne persuade the reluctant Marilla to let Anne stay for a trial period.  Anne, who has longed to be part of a real family, sets out - often with humorous results - to prove her worth to Marilla and the rest of the town.

In “The Smartest Girl in Avonlea,” Anne overcomes her first-day-of-school jitters by imagining herself as the best dressed, smartest, most popular girl in town. Unfortunately, things don’t go quite as she plans, and her future with the Cuthberts seems to be in jeopardy. Yet when tragedy strikes, Anne succeeds in gaining Marilla’s affection because of her optimistic attitude towards life.

Anne of Green Gables features a rich musical score, beautiful period costumes, and imaginative sets. Written and directed by Greg Gunning, with music by Richard DeRosa and lyrics by Mr. Gunning, Anne of Green Gables premiered in 1993 and has been performed in some of the leading cultural centers across the United States.  Mark and Gary Blackman, who are identical twins, founded ArtsPower in 1985 and have been steering its course ever since. ArtsPower has grown into one of America’s premiere producers of professional Equity theatre for young and family audiences, the second largest such company in the nation. Its 19 professional touring
productions have been seen by nearly seven million people in 43 states - from Alaska to Florida - in some of the nation’s top cultural centers, including The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and Lincoln Center in New York.

Tickets for this heartwarming musical, sponsored in part by Target, Heidel House, and Two Chez are only $8 and available at Thrasher office, Knowledge Emporium, Green Lake State Bank (Green Lake); Ripon Drug and Pick ‘n Save (Ripon); and Twister (Princeton); Berlin Chamber of Commerce, or by calling (920)294-4279.  For more information or to order tickets online, visit www.thrasheroperahouse.com.   

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