Dear Rita

June 19 – 23, 2024
The Majestic Theatre, St. John’s, NL

Created by Lindsay Kyte and Mike Ross
Featuring the music of Rita MacNeil
Arrangements by Mike Ross
All performances will feature ASL interpretation

DEAR RITA is a musical celebration of Cape Breton’s first lady of song, Rita MacNeil — an iconic Canadian storyteller who invited us to see ourselves in her music. Rita herself said her life story is “something you could pretty well put anyone into. It’s about one person, but so many of us could be there.” Cape Breton playwright Lindsay Kyte was chosen by Rita’s son, Wade Langham, to develop this show, featuring a cast of six and band, and new, re-imagined arrangements of Rita’s music by PEI composer/musician Mike Ross.

Through her career MacNeil was at the time the best-selling country artist in Canada, received five honorary degrees, released 24 albums, won three Juno Awards, a SOCAN National Achievement Award, four CCMA awards, eleven ECMA awards, was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame and was named to the Orders of Nova Scotia and Canada.

From Rita’s popular hits to the lesser-known songs that made her bandmates cry like babies, DEAR RITA weaves Rita’s lyrics into new perspectives and invites her spirit into the room as her songs live on through our own experiences. Who is “Rita” in this show? It’s not one person. We all are — everyone on that stage, everyone in the audience, and everyone whose hearts she has touched with the musical prayers of her people.

Created by Lindsay Kyte and Mike Ross, featuring the music of Rita MacNeil with arrangements by Mike Ross. The cast includes actor-musicians who both sing and play instruments, channeling MacNeil’s stories and spirit through their own identities as opposed to a literal depiction of the Canadian icon herself.

Dear Rita was commissioned and first produced by the Confederation Centre of the Arts for the Charlottetown Festival in 2021. It was developed with dramaturgical support from Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre. Dear Rita is produced by permission of the Creators and Marquis Literary (Colin Rivers).

Contact The Majestic Theatre Box Office or book online clicking the event card below.