"I have no words. You have created a masterpiece and a movement that is about to take off. I am blown away."
- Robert Zed, Chair of Triangle Strategies, ZedEvents
"Productions that will significantly touch people in heartfelt ways with words, movements, and music are what we all need right now. I believe that Could I Have This Dance? has the opportunity to stand out from the crowd with its engaging timeless narrative, original relevant story, proven music, and an ensemble cast that truly reflects the power of an engaged artistic community".
- Doug Ross, managing director of SquarePeg International, chairman of SquarePeg Venture Capital.
"What a masterly performance of Could I Have This Dance? ! Such a musical treat to see how marvelously you wove Anne Murray's songs into the script at just the right moments. And so cool that it was based on a true story! We came from New Zealand to see this. May this musical fly high! It deserves to."
- Robyn & Tony Posthuma, New Zealand
"I am so excited about the show. I'm honoured to have my songs involved, and think the world of Anne."
- Randy Goodrum, Grammy-award-winning songwriter of #1 international hit "You Needed Me"
“I know two things about Canada: hockey and Anne Murray.” - Elton John
“Anne Murray’s hit record You Won't See Me is my favourite cover version of a Beatles song." - John Lennon
Featuring the hits of Anne Murray, COULD I HAVE THIS DANCE? is a new musical written by Belinda Hart & Geordie Brown, inspired by a true East Coast Canadian story.
Set in post-war Nova Scotia, the musical tells the story of how a sisterhood of women band together through parenthood, widowhood, love, and loss, ensuring no one gets left behind. With world-renowned songs perfectly placed throughout the story, COULD I HAVE THIS DANCE? moves audiences to laugh, cry, cheer, and sing along, as they are immersed in a heart-warming message of family, love, friendship, and justice for all.
Following a workshop in Fall 2018, COULD I HAVE THIS DANCE? took the stage on July 26, 2019 in front of a sold-out audience at Nova Scotia's largest soft-seat performance venue, in a special concert performance celebrating the Anne Murray Centre's 30th Anniversary.
With interest and support from Nova Scotia, Canada, and beyond, it won't be long before this homegrown Canadian musical is Flying On Its Own!
According to a recent CBC Documentary (by Bunbury Films), “I Think You’ve Been Looking For Me”, over 300,000 Canadian women were forced to give their babies up for adoption between 1945 and 1971.
COULD I HAVE THIS DANCE? sheds light on the realities women faced, exposing society’s shaming views toward single mothers and so-called “illegitimate births” in Nova Scotia in the 1950s and 60s.
In our story, inspired by true events, Evie is fortunate to find herself surrounded by courageous, loving women, when she confronts the most difficult moments in her life.
Canadian singer Anne Murray is one of the best-known entertainers in the world. She has sold over 55 million recordings, has had more than 30 charted pop hits on Billboard, over 50 country chart entries, and over 40 adult contemporary listings. The recipient of 4 Grammy Awards, a record-breaking 24 Juno Awards, 3 American Music Awards and 3 Country Music Association Awards, Anne has recorded 32 studio albums and 15 compilations albums, and been inducted into both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. She also has stars on both the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Canada’s Walk of Fame. As timeless as the music she has shared with the world for four decades – Anne Murray is, and will always be, Canada’s national treasure.
As a strong believer in new Canadian musicals - Ellen is proud to take part in this project. Ellen has performed across Canada, receiving a Dora Award nomination for starring in new musical Life After (Canadian Stage / Musical Stage).
Recent credits include Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder (Stage West Calgary); Chariots of Fire (Grand Theatre); Bad Jews (Segal Centre); Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady (Capitol Theatre Port Hope); Anne Shirley inAnne & Gilbert (National Arts Centre / Guild Theatre Charlottetown); Belle in Beauty and the Beast (Neptune Theatre).
Ellen is also a playwright - her comedy Pleasureville premieres at Neptune this October.
Award winning actress/singer/songwriter Judy Marshak has enjoyed a long and celebrated career on stage, screen, and radio. She has graced clubs and concert halls across the country, and starred in such hit musicals as "Beauty and the Beast", "The Drowsy Chaperone", "Anne of Green Gables", and many more.
Her highly acclaimed CD "A Matter of Time" has been on regular playlists at JAZZ.FM91, (on their 'Favourite New Releases' list), on CBC Radio, and dozens of stations worldwide. Watch for her in theatres this summer in the new Richard Dreyfus film "Astronaut" (recently voted "Best Of" at the Edinburgh Film Festival), and on Universal Kids new cartoon series, "Norman Picklestripes" - both due this July. When not performing, Judy is everyone's favourite ukulele teacher! And she is SO proud and happy to be back in Halifax working on this thrilling project with this stellar group!
Charlotte Moore has been doing Musicals in Canada for four decades. Halifax audiences will remember her as Fantine in "Les Miserables", Mama Rose in "Gypsy", Mrs Johnstone in "Blood Brothers" and other shows for Neptune Theatre. She also spent a whopping eight summers at the Charlottetown Festival in PEI, most recently two seasons as Marilla Cuthbert in "Anne Of Green Gables" (2015/16). She is returning to Charlottetown next month to appear in the world premier production of "Singalong Jubilee" at The Guild. She has two solo CD's to her credit: "Friends Of Mine - Songs From Canadian Musicals" and "Long Road Back" (all originals); and is also on the Cast Recording of "Stan Rogers - A Matter Of Heart". Charlotte has always been a staunch supporter of new Canadian Musicals, and recently appeared as Betty Fox in "Marathon Of Hope" for Drayton Entertainment (another World Premiere!). She is absolutely thrilled to be part of "Could I Have This Dance".
Being a part of this brilliant piece with such radiant artists is beyond Laura’s wildest dreams! “Pinch me.” An utter honour and glowing joy. Theatre highlights include Winnifred in the new Jim Betts musical: “Bluenose” (Eastern Front Theatre), “Sister Act” and “The Sound of Music” (Drayton Entertainment), Claudia in “Honour” (Next Stage, Stratford) and Nellie Forbush in “South Pacific.” Laura was also thrilled to originate the role of Della in the new Andrew Seok musical: “Unravelled” as part of the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival. She dearly thanks her loves and lights for their shining beams of support and inspiration. “For beautiful Val.” @LadyLauraLarson
CHICAGO: Matilda The Musical (Drury Lane Theatre Oakbrook) A Midsummer Night’s Dream(Chicago Shakespeare Theater), Sweeney Todd (Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre).INTERNATIONAL: Into the Woods (Edinburgh Fringe Festival/ The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland). REGIONAL: Grand Hotel, Damn Yankees, Chess, Canadian Musical Theatre Project(Theatre Sheridan); We are Canadian, Bremen Rock City (The Charlottetown Festival); Back In 59 (Haliburton Highlands Festival). EDUCATION: He is a proud graduate of both The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (MA in Musical Theatre Performance) and Sheridan College (BA in Musical Theatre Performance). Andrew would like to thank Geordie Brown and Belinda Hart for creating this beautiful piece of theatre and for the wonderful opportunity. He would also like to thank his family, friends and girlfriend Caroline for their incredible support and love. Represented by Shirley Hamilton Inc.
David Michael Moote is the lead singer and front man of the symphonic metal band Operus, who recently released their album entitled Cenotaph on Dark Star Records/Sony Entertainment. David is a graduate of the BMus Voice Performance Program at McGill University. Select theatre credits include: Jukebox Hero: The Musical (Ed Mirvish Theatre); Beauty & the Beast (Globe Theatre); A Christmas Carol, Chariots Of Fire (The Grand Theatre); Urinetown, Rocket Man (Stephenville Theatre Festival); Oh Canada What A Feeling! (Annerin Productions) Jesus Christ Superstar (Hart House Theatre.) Select film/television credits include: The Strain (FX); Dead Rush (People’s Choice Award Canadian Film Festival); Lariat (Winner Toronto 48hr Film Festival).
Rebecca is delighted to be part of Could I Have This Dance! Theatre credits include: Ruby in The Forest in My Room (Neptune School Tour),Ensemble in Fatty Legs (Xara Choral Theatre), Laura in This is Nowhere(Zuppa Theatre Co.), Robin in Godspell(Drayton Entertainment/U S National Tour), Vocalist in Rocky Mountain High (VPP), Lusia in The Fantasticks(VPP), Signe in Church Basement Ladies (VPP), Ensemble in Portia(VPP), Pamina in The Magic Flute (Dal Opera). Rebecca would like to thank her friends and family for supporting her so consistently.
'Mrs. Ryan' / 'Mrs. Puddister'
Jennette White has had a long and distinguished career in theatre throughout Nova Scotia and beyond. From 1987 to 2005, Ms. White was Director of Education for Neptune Theatre, as well as Artistic Director for The Young Neptune Touring Company. While working at Neptune Ms. White performed in, and directed, many plays and musicals for various Main Stage seasons; a few examples are: Joseph…., Evita, Baromenter Rising, Cinderella,Anne[of Green Gables],Peter Pan, The Secret Garden,The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe. Jennette feels blessed to be performing with this wonderful ensemble of talented performers.
'Gerard' / Ensemble
'Rosie' / Ensemble
Born in Halifax in 2004, Phoebe Rex began performing at the age of 9 with Neptune Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol”. She has gone on to work with Neptune’s Young Performance Company as well as their Young Actors Company. She has appeared in the films “The Last Divide”, “Reunion” and “Greenness”. Phoebe has extensive dance and vocal training, winning 3 Royal Conservatory Gold medals for voice and 11 first place finishes in the Kiwanis Music Festival. She is thrilled to be a part of this very exciting new musical.
'Lyla' / Ensemble
Miss Willa Morvan is thrilled to be making her theatrical debut in ‘Could I Have This Dance?’. Willa is entering grade 6, studies all disciplines of dance at East Coast Dance Academy in Tantallon, NS and is a member of their competitive dance team. It was apparent early on that she had a love for the stage and musical theatre, leading her to this incredible opportunity. Aside from the time she spends in the arts, Willa is a young ‘foodie’, loves fashion and time spent with loved ones. Willa is so grateful to the cast and crew for their support.
'Mr. Collins' / 'William' / Ensemble
Kyle Gillis is a Halifax based actor, musician, producer, and instructor. He is a graduate of The Canadian College of Performing Arts. Selected Theatre Credits: No Man Is and An Island (Atlantic Rep), Bone Cage (Matchstick Theatre), KAMP: The Musical (Workshops), The 39 Steps, Ruthless!, Forever Plaid (Chester Playhouse), Beauty and the Beast, Shrek, Sweeney Todd (Neptune Theatre), Rockbound, Dustbowl Joan (Two Planks), Funny Money, Peter Pan (Festival Antigonish), Anne & Gilbert (Harbourfront), A Midsummer Night's Dream, Into the Woods (Company C). Gratitude to Geordie and Belinda, and to you, the audience, for supporting new Canadian musicals. Website: www.facebook.com/kylegillisartist
Director / Co-Writer / Producer
An award-winning actor, singer, director, producer and writer from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Geordie is known to East Coast audiences for his productions of Stan Rogers: A Matter of Heart, The Songs of The Rat Pack, and The Advent Show. He recently starred in Foreigner's Jukebox Hero: The Musical at the Ed Mirvish Theatre in downtown Toronto, originating the lead role. Geordie has a long list of film & television credits to his name, including The Tenth Circle with Kelly Preston and Stephen King's Bag of Bones. Up next, he is directing a new musical tribute to Singalong Jubilee, in which he will also perform, taking the stage this summer at The Guild in Charlottetown, PE.
Co-Writer / Original Concept
Choreographer / Associate Director
Mary Lou is a director, choreographer and an arts educator. An integral faculty member at Halifax Dance, she has been teaching ballet and theatre dance there since 1981.
She was the Artistic Director for the Chester Playhouse Summer Theatre Festival for 10 seasons. Favourites there include Musical of Musicals - The Musical!, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well..., The 39 Steps and The Fantasticks.
Her Neptune Theatre credits span many years, from her first contract in 1984 in Cabaret as Heidi to the most recent, choreographer for Shakespeare in Love last year. She has also directed three productions for Neptune's YPCo.
Mary Lou has directed and/or choreographed for Two Planks and a Passion Theatre, Live Bait Theatre, Theatre Antigonish, Atlantic Theatre Festival and the Stephenville Festival. She choreographed Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and directed High School Musical 2 for Silvermist Productions in Niagara Falls.
She will return to Dalhousie University's Fountain School of the Performing Arts to direct Dido and Aeneas in January 2020.
Originally from Montréal, over the past two decades, Ms. Bohn’s work has been seen all over North America. Off-Broadway: A Four-Letter Word (Classic Stage Company); Richard III, King Lear, Macbeth (New York Classical Theatre). Off-Off-Broadway: Displaced Wedding (New Worlds Theatre Project); Orpheus (Next Wave Festival); Revolution on the Roof (Fringe NYC). Regional: Jukebox Hero (Ed Mirvish Theatre); Theory (Tarragon); The Nether (Coal Mine); Crees in the Caribbean (Theatre Aquarius); The New Canadian Curling Club (Blyth Festival); Amadeus, The Gamblers (Talk is Free Theatre); The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Kimberly Akimbo (Southern Rep Theatre). Film & TV: Save Me, season 2 (CBC Gem), NOLA, The Red Thunder (short), Good Sister (short).
Selected - National Tour: A Night with Janis Joplin, Vocalocity, Walking Dead Experience, and The Little Prince. Selected - NYC: Tail Spin, play/date, Lady Day, Moses of Egypt - New York City Opera, Knuckle Heads Zoo, Black Violin, Chix 6 and THE RIDE. Various productions for: Paper Mill Playhouse, Walnut Street Theatre, Drury Lane - Chicago, TUTS, Signature Theatre DC, Laguna Playhouse, Barter Theatre, Lincoln Center Festival, Capital Repertory Theatre and Bristol Riverside Theatre (2016 Barrymore Award). Associate Lighting Designer for over 25 Broadway productions, currently: Donna Summer, Come from Away, Bronx Tale and Hamilton. O’Gara graduated from North Carolina School of the Arts.
Consultant / Co-Producer
Doug Ross is the is the Managing Director of SquarePeg International, and the Chairman of SquarePeg Venture Capital, through which he has invested in and co-produced West End musicals, ballets and plays, in addition to the Tony-award-winning revival of La Cage aux Folles. In 2019, he has been actively involved in bringing the award-winning Canadian musical Come From Away (8 Olivier Awards) and a new play, The Starry Messenger (Elizabeth McGovern and Matthew Brodrick), to the West End.
FRIDAY, JULY 26, 2019
REBECCA COHN AUDITORIUM, HALIFAX NS
In celebration of the Anne Murray Centre's 30th Anniversary,
Theriault Financial Inc. presents
COULD I HAVE THIS DANCE?
A new musical featuring the hits of Anne Murray
ELLEN DENNY, JUDY MARSHAK, CHARLOTTE MOORE, LAURA LARSON,
DAVID MICHAEL MOOTE, & ANDREW MACNAUGHTON
BELINDA HART & GEORDIE BROWN
Original Concept by
MARY LOU MARTIN
Lighting Design by
Associate Lighting Designer:
REBECCA McCAULEY, JENNETTE WHITE, LUCAS POPOWICH,
PHOEBE REX, WILLA MORVAN, & KYLE GILLIS
Produced with support from
DOUG ROSS & SQUARE PEG INTERNATIONAL
In loving memory of
Production photos by Timothy Richard.