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Fredericton man snags lead role in P.E.I. musical

Graysen LaPointe, a 23-year-old Fredericton performer, will star as Gilbert in the Anne & Gilbert musical. (Submitted by Graysen LaPointe - image credit)
Graysen LaPointe, a 23-year-old Fredericton performer, will star as Gilbert in the Anne & Gilbert musical. (Submitted by Graysen LaPointe - image credit)

A Fredericton performer has landed a title role in Anne & Gilbert, a well-loved musical that starts a five-month run in Prince Edward Island this May.

Graysen LaPointe says he was home from work on his lunch break when he got the news.

"I was frying up some eggs, and I got an email that said, 'Congratulations. We're offering you Gilbert,'" he said.

"I just couldn't believe it."

The eggs "might have been a little burnt."

LaPointe was in the show for six weeks last year, playing a schoolboy, but this time around will be a new experience.

The musical theatre veteran grew up singing with his siblings in his dad's musical group and started theatre at the age of eight. He continued to do musicals with Theatre New Brunswick and at Fredericton High School.

Now, beginning in mid-May, LaPointe will be taking the stage at the Florence Simmons Performance Hall in Charlottetown.

Rebekah Brown and Graysen LaPointe will perform in Anne & Gilbert. (Anne & Gilbert Inc)

Anne & Gilbert is based on Anne of Avonlea, the second Anne of Green Gables book by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

In the musical adaptation, according to the Anne & Gilbert website, Anne, played by Rebekah Brown, is ready to begin her first job teaching at a one-room schoolhouse, until her romance life gets a bit more complicated. Her childhood sweetheart, Gilbert Blythe, proposes.

Gilbert is a bit of a heartthrob in Avonlea, and LaPointe said while the schoolgirls in the show all fawn over the character, Anne doesn't.

The show is a sequel to Anne of Green Gables, the beloved musical that has played at the Charlottetown Festival for decades, but now plays only every second year.

LaPointe will head to Prince Edward Island at the end of April to begin three weeks of rehearsals.

In addition to locals who might go to see the show, Port Charlottetown also has a packed cruise schedule for the entire run.

"I think it's a cool way to kind of show what the Maritimes are about and with a really endearing and charming story," he said.

The full-time gig will require him to put aside his day job for a little while.

The 23-year-old graduated last year from the University of New Brunswick with a degree in biochemistry and is now working in a microbiology lab. LaPointe's workplace supports his decision to trade his lab coat for a costume for a few months.

"I have some other things that I'm interested in as well, but theatre is always something that I've loved and been passionate about," he said.

"So I think this is the type of opportunity that I just couldn't pass up."