New musical at the Goodspeed takes fresh approach to 'Anne of Green Gables'
Over the years, the beloved children’s novel “Anne of Green Gables'' has been adapted for stage, film and television (including a recent series on Netflix). There was even an animated cartoon based on the book.
Now a fresh take on this timeless story is playing at Goodspeed Musicals in East Haddam.
The musical, with book and lyrics by Matte O’Brien and music by Matt Vinson, focuses on the title character Anne Shirley, played by actress Juliette Redden. The plucky, red-headed orphan is adopted by siblings Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert and goes to live on their farm in Avonlea on Prince Edward Island.
The 1908 novel by L.M. Montgomery is set in the late 19th century. But O’Brien and Vinson’s musical reimagines “Anne of Green Gables” with a folk-rock music score and modern dress. Jenn Thompson, the director of the show, said the title character’s personality is perfectly suited for a modern musical interpretation.
“I think it’s one of the reasons people love this character so much. She’s just way ahead of her time,” Thompson said. “It feels like a perfect time for a refresh and a new look at her. You know, she’s such a powerful, passionate character that I think she lends herself very well to this genre.”
“Anne of Green Gables” runs through Sept. 4 at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam.