Searching For Abegweit: The Island Songs & Stories of Lennie Gallant
Woven around the music of the award-winning Island songwriter, this P.E.I. love-letter stars Gallant himself, and presents his folk, roots and pop music, alongside comedic stories, Island legends, and poignant tales in a multimedia format that utilizes film, and visual works from well-known painter Karen Gallant. This dynamic, energetic show is storytelling at its best and includes Acadian and Celtic numbers that will have you dancing in your seat in celebration of Canada’s cradle on the waves. The colourful spectacle will offer Lennie Gallant favourites such as ‘Peter’s Dream’ ‘Tales of the Phantom Ship’ and ‘Island Clay’ along with new Island-themed songs.
The show stars Lennie Gallant with an amazing supporting band comprised of Sean Kemp (violin), Jeremy Gallant (keyboard and percussion), Jonathan Gallant (backing vocals, drums, percussion and mandolin) and Patricia Richard (bodhran, mandolin, banjo, and vocals). Directed by Jac Gautreau.
Quotes from those that attended the show:
"Absolutely FANTASTIC show!" - Linda A
"Loved the show. You have an unique way of uniting people and our Canada." - Lynn Roberts
"This is such a magnificent show. I heartily recommend it to everyone." - Lynn Ellsworth
"Excellent show, loved the music and Karens' paintings were awesome!" - Janet Doiron
"Everybody's having a great time, especially the audience." - Eric Macewen
"So much energy. I don't know how you do it. Loved it!" - Julie Auld Hipson
"Fantastic show! Foot stopping, hand clapping. By far the best show I've seen in a very long time." - Cheryl Reid
"The show was world class and your performance was like always, fantastic. Thank you." - Miles Gallagher
"It was more than just a concert, more than just a show. It was AMAZING. Enjoyed it tremendously." - Caro MacKillop
"The show is fantastic!! had to see it twice " - Vandra Macdonald
"The must-see show of the summer!" - Nils Ling
“Whether you are an Islander by choice, by birth, or by visit, Lennie Gallant’s Searching for Abegweit will make your heart sing…It is a show that celebrates PEI, captures what it means to be Canadian and carries a truly universal message. The songs, the stories and the musicianship will entertain but will also remain with you, long after the last note is played. Don't miss it!” Suna Houghton
“This is the most compelling production of all things Prince Edward Island, that I have ever experienced, a work of art and a work of heart.” Margie Carmichael
“Visiting from Port Dover, ON…was part of the [Searching for Abegweit] audience last night…spectacular! The highlight of our vacation!!!” Gayle Bridger
For Immediate Release
The Search Heads West!
Lennie Gallant returns with a limited run of Searching for Abegweit at Harbourfront Theatre this summer.
SUMMERSIDE (February 23, 2017) – Harbourfront Theatre is proud to announce that Lennie Gallant will be headlining their 2017 summer season with his acclaimed musical-theatre show “SEARCHING FOR ABEGWEIT: The Island Songs & Stories of Lennie Gallant.” Eight performances are scheduled at the Summerside venue on selected dates from July 11 to August 23, 2017.
Hailed as a runaway theatrical hit with a solid track record of 120 full house performances, SEARCHING FOR ABEGWEIT is a musical love letter to Prince Edward Island that stars the artist himself and presents his folk, roots and rock music, alongside comedic stories, Island legends, and poignant tales in a multimedia format that utilizes film, and hundreds of paintings from well-known PEI visual artist and sibling, Karen Gallant. Sharing the stage with Gallant are nephews Jonathan Gallant on vocals and percussion and Jeremy on piano, fiddler Sean Kemp, and popular Acadian singer and multi-instrumentalist Patricia Richard.
Much of the Island themed music in the show was gathered from the span of Lennie Gallant’s extensive career, along with a number of compositions written specifically for the show. The accompanying album, Searching for Abegweit, contains all of the musical numbers from the live production, and has recently been nominated for a 2017 East Coast Music Award for Folk Recording of the Year.
A native of the Acadian village of Rustico, PEI, Gallant has recorded eleven albums [9 in English and 2 in French] which have won him a host of awards and nominations from the JUNOs, the East Coast Music Awards, and Les Prix Eloizes. He was honoured with a 2015 Canadian Folk Music Award for his recording Live Acoustic at The Carleton, and has most recently been nominated for the 2017 ECMA’s Fans’ Choice Entertainer of the Year. He was awarded the Order Of Canada for his contribution to Canadian culture, and has shared the stage with symphony orchestras and artists such as Jimmy Buffett, Patti Griffin, Chris Isaak, and Lucinda Wlliams.
Kieran Keller, Executive Director of Harbourfront Theatre says, “We are thrilled to have Lennie return to the Harbourfront stage. His show Searching for Abegweit is a wonderful rich blend of song, stories and images that resonate with Islanders and visitors alike. We heard stories of people who have returned to see the show five and six times, bringing someone new with them on each occasion. No one can tell an Island story quite the way Lennie Gallant can. And we are happy to be featuring his show as part of our summer season.”
Lennie Gallant adds, “I am extremely excited about bringing the show to the beautiful Harbourfront Theatre this summer! I always enjoy playing there and I feel ‘Abegweit’ is going to be a great fit! We have had a lot of demands to bring the show back for a fourth season and requests to be closer to the western end of the Island as well, so hopefully we will see a lot of folks from Prince county there this year. The show will have the same wonderful band, and I can’t say enough good things about these musicians. Every show is as energetic as the first, and we truly have a lot of fun on stage. Of course Karen’s paintings on the big screen are worth the price of admission alone, and people say they keep coming back to see something new up there each time round. It’s going to be a great time!”
Tickets for the 2017 season of SEARCHING FOR ABEGWEIT at Harbourfront Theatre are now on sale at harbourfronttheatre.com, through Ticket Pro at 1-888-311-9090, and at the theatre box office, 124 Heather Moyse Drive, Summerside.
Review by Jan Cox (The BUZZ)
Feature Article by SALTSCAPES
Review by Colm Magner (The Guardian)
Searching for Abegweit - Songs from the hit musical by Lennie Gallant
Double album of 22 songs