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P.E.I.'s John Connolly back at Charlottetown Festival to star in ‘On the Road with Dutch Mason’

The cast of “On the Road with Dutch Mason” are from front left, John Connolly, Hailey Gillis, Edward Murphy and Brendan Wall. Back row from left, Cameron MacDuffee and Greg Gale. The show, which opens at The Mack in Charlottetown on June 30, is part of the 2018 Charlottetown Festival. SUBMITTED PHOTO
The cast of “On the Road with Dutch Mason” are from front left, John Connolly, Hailey Gillis, Edward Murphy and Brendan Wall. Back row from left, Cameron MacDuffee and Greg Gale. The show, which opens at The Mack in Charlottetown on June 30, is part of the 2018 Charlottetown Festival. SUBMITTED PHOTO

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Islander John Connolly is set to star in “On the Road with Dutch Mason,” set to open at the 2018 Charlottetown Festival at Confederation Centre on June 30.

After a slew of auditions this winter, artistic director Adam Brazier said it was a no-brainer to choose Connolly to play Dutch Mason.

“We needed to find an actor with remarkable musical skills, with and an authentic voice and appreciation for the blues.

“Dutch Mason was charming, funny, captivating and could raise the roof off any building he performed in,” noted Brazier. “What luck for us to find such a perfectly unique and experienced artist right here on the Island with John Connolly, who brings a wealth of performance experience and a vast musicality to the complex title role.”

Connolly is looking forward to returning to the Festival after an eight-year break and couldn’t be more excited to play “the prime minister of the blues.”

“A lot of people don’t know who Dutch Mason is, so this is a great opportunity to share his story and his phenomenal music,” said Connolly.

He will be accompanied by a rock-star cast which includes Festival newcomer Hailey Gillis, and the return of Edward Murphy, Brendan Wall, Cameron MacDuffee and Greg Gale.

Inspired by the non-fiction book "On the Road with Dutch Mason" by David Bedford and Harvey Sawler, the musical will take audiences on a fictional tour through Atlantic Canada with “the prime minister of the blues.”

“On the Road with Dutch Mason” is directed by Mary Francis Moore, musically directed by Bob Foster, and written by Wade Lynch.

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