Tales from the Road

  • 2012-03-12 14:11:01
  • Fredericton
  • Photo from TNB's The Dollar Woman, by Alden Nowlan and Walter Learning--a show in which I had the great pleasure to play a small role
  • 2012-01-03 10:19:08
  • Moncton
  • Be sure to check out the 2011 year-end commentary by going to my youtube channel. This was the piece that was performed live on CBC radio the morning of December 30 (last year)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-Nwwdvx6KI&feature=youtu.be
  • 2011-10-13 12:00:12
  • Morrisburg On
  • Well you can fool some of the people some of the time. . . 8 sold out shows over the next 5 days. I really do like being here, in the old stompin' grounds, so to speak. Hat's off to Donnie Bowes and his terrific team @ UCP
  • 2011-09-22 11:59:41
  • Moncton
  • Coming around to the idea of working with other actors
  • 2011-01-04 21:32:58
  • St John's United Church
  • One of the my most unique weekends in show business--I went from a show for the first nations' community of Elsipogtog, to hosting The Greater Moncton Chorale/Neil Michaud Choir Christmas Concert (Photo above), to hitting the road as Narrator with Symphony NB. . proving that if you hang around this business long enough, you will get to do just about everything.
  • 2010-12-07 10:42:47
  • Pierre et le loup/Peter and the Wolf
  • An article from the Daily Gleaner describing the upcoming engagement with Symphony NB By GLENNA HANLEY For The Daily Gleaner He's been called an 'icon' of Canadian culture, a 'national treasure' and a champion of blue-collar workers everywhere. Marshall Button as Lucien will narrate Peter and the Wolf at Symphony New Brunswick's Christmas concert. The concert will take place at The Delta Fredericton Hotel on Tuesday, Dec. 14. Lucien is the comical character created by New Brunswick actor, comedian and playwright Marshall Button. Button, as Lucien, is going to appear in the upcoming Symphony New Brunswick Christmas concert, narrating the classic story Peter and the Wolf. Button based the Lucien character on a North Shore paper mill worker, authenticated by Button's personal experience working summers in the mill in his hometown of Dalhousie. The character is also a reflection of the creator's roots, growing up in a family of mixed cultures and language, Anglophone and Francophone. Button has been performing the Lucien monologues for more than two decades and done more than 1,500 shows across Canada and the U.S., and recently for the troops in Afghanistan. Working with the symphony in a concert billed for children and families will be a departure for Lucien, with his shop-floor jokes and armchair philosophy. "I talked to the conductor, Michael Newnham, and he'd like me to do this in character. I think it's probably to give Peter and the Wolf that North Shore dialect," said Button in a recent interview from Moncton, where he is currently artist-in-residence for the Capitol Theatre. Lucien's most enduring and endearing feature is his speaking style, mixing and matching French and English words, what the character himself calls "frenglish" or "franglais". Button thinks it will work well with the symphony. He did a similar show last year with the Greater Moncton Chorale, narrating a piece called Brother Heinrich. For that occasion Lucien did not wear a plaid shirt and work boots, but a tuxedo. "It went very well," said Button. Since being invited to join the Christmas concert Button has been pouring over the script of the Russian writer and composer Sergei Prokofiev, both French and English versions. "I am in the process of going through it and trying to North-Shore-ize it," said Button. Peter may become 'Pierre' and the wolf , 'le loup.' The actor says it will be a point and counterpoint performance, with the refined music of the symphony cast against the coarseness and bad grammar of the narrator. Button thinks this juxtaposition of the down-to-earth Lucien with classical music might make the symphony more accessible to a wider audience. People have been exposed to classical music through many venues, such as the old Bugs Bunny cartoons, TV shows and movies, but don't realize it he said. "It (classical music) is not necessarily elite. It is not for everybody but everybody should at least give it a try," said Marshall Peter and the Wolf is the story of a young boy, Peter, and a wolf who comes out of the forest and threatens the animals in a meadow where Peter likes to roam. The story is from another era noted Button. "Here is a story where there is a certain amount of turmoil and threats and danger ... If we can stay true to the story, but deliver it in this distinct dialect, then hopefully we will have accomplished something." While Lucien has been a mainstay of his career Button is much more diverse. He has written full length plays, done radio commentaries, TV guest appearances, film work and directing. He is in demand as an emcee, even for gatherings of politicians despite their often being the butt of Lucien's jokes. In 2008 Button was awarded the Order of New Brunswick and an honorary degree from St. Thomas University. One of the people as excited as anyone to see how Lucien will adapt to this unique setting is the symphony's conductor, Michael Newnham. "I'm really looking forward to it because it is something a little bit different. It's not the average, run-of the-mill Peter and the Wolf," said Newnham in a telephone interview from his home in Peterborough, Ont. "Certainly Lucien is going to be flavouring the whole thing," said Newnham. The symphony's Christmas concert last year was in a lighter vein and intended as entertainment for families and all ages. This concert will be the same. Newnham came on board last season as the symphony's conductor and music director. This is his first full season with the New Brunswick Orchestra. He travels between here and Peterborough, where he is also music director/conductor for the Peterborough Symphony Orchestra and the Northumberland Orchestra and choir. The music of Peter and the Wolf is familiar to audiences and that makes it challenging for the orchestra. The same for the second segment of this concert, which will include music from Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker. "It is really challenging for the orchestra but it is also a way to showcase their abilities," said Newnham. The orchestra will do its best to stay true to the music as Prokofiev meant it to be played, but "every performance, every orchestra and every conductor, everything is going to be slightly different. Everybody makes sound in a different way. And also each conductor is going to make an orchestra sound different. "We will be as honest as we can so hopefully, if we meet the composer on the other side, he won't be angry at us," joked Newnham. One of the fun elements of the concert is the way the instruments are matched with the animals from the story. The flute is the bird, the oboe is the duck, the clarinet the cat. "The music is so descriptive and Prokofiev knew the quality of those instruments. When the flute plays you just hear a bird flying around. "Or the cat slowly walking along, it's a low clarinet playing. The drums have to be the hunters," explained Newnham. Newnham, like Button, has a multifaceted career. He has conducted opera, ballet, symphony and pop music. He has been a guest conductor in Europe, Asia and across Canada and won several awards for his work. He also conducted a special concert for Pope John Paul II at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto. The Christmas concert will be performed Dec. 13, 14 and 15 in Moncton, Fredericton and Saint John, respectively. ---- Who: Symphony New Brunswick What: Peter and the Wolf, with narrator Marshall Button and conductor Michael Newnham When: Dec. 13 in Moncton at the Capitol Theatre; Dec. 14 in Fredericton at the Delta Fredericton Hotel; Dec. 15 in Saint John at the Imperial Theatre. All shows start at 8 p.m. Information: Tickets are $40 for adults; $35 for seniors; $10 for students and children. Tickets for the Fredericton concert can be purchased in advance at The Playhouse box office; phone 458-8344 or visit www.theplayhouse.nb.ca. Tickets for the other two cities can be purchased at the box offices of their respective theatres.
  • 2010-11-16 14:14:26
  • Lucien on tour en francais!
  • Le célèbre personnage de Lucien, créé par Marshall Button, il y a plus de vingt ans, revient à la scène, mais cette fois-ci, en français ! Ce sympathique col bleu philosophe se retrouve dans son refuge préféré, sa cabane à éparlans sur la Baie des Chaleurs, où il commente la société d’aujourd’hui, l’environnement, l’amour, le sexe et la politique dans une langue acadienne aussi colorée que mordante. Mais la glace est bien mince et lorsque sa cabane part à la dérive, il sera forcé de réfléchir à de bien plus grandes questions ! Les différents spectacles de Lucien créés par Marshall Button, natif de Dalhousie, ont conquis des milliers d’anglophones (et même de francophones) de partout au Canada. Humour et réchauffement global ! Texte : Marshall Button Adaptation, traduction et mise en scène : Maurice Arsenault Distribution : Eric Butler Décor : John Thompson Éclairages : Tiny Henri Régie : Sylvain Ward (sa participation à cette production est appuyée par le projet Artistes émergents de la Fondation RBC) Une production du THÉÂTRE POPULAIRE D’ACADIE http://tpacadie.ca/programmation/lucien-aux-eparlans
  • 2010-10-14 11:03:35
  • Maritimes
  • Very Busy year. . .too busy to spend much time updating the website. shows throughout the maritimes at various conferences, gatherings and theatres, including Ship's Company in Parrsboro, The CFL Touchdown Atlantic event, the Bobby Orr Golf Tournament for Breast Cancer, Chamber of Commerce Excellence Awards and the Premiers's Awards for Excellence in Education. Busy with the translation/adaptation on Helter Smelter, premiering en francais at Theatre Populaire Acadie this Nov 10. Upcoming public shows with The New Brunswick Symphony Orchestra December 13-15, and with the Greater Moncton Chorale/Neil Michaud Choir Dec 12. Big tour of Ontario and NB upcoming in March-April 2011.
  • 2009-03-23 18:29:33
  • Hockey Day in Campbellton, NB - Feb 20/09
  • I shoot I don’ score! No I not talk about my lass moose huntin’ trip when we spend more time in da disco bar in St Quentin dan in da woods. . Like everybody on da nord shore, I all hexite about da ‘Ockey Day au Canada, when dat young fella Rockin’ Ron McLean wit’ his crazy arse sidekick Dandy Don Cérise pass by on da way from da Pond Hockey Plaster Rock full blast man party . Me I always taught dat Plaster Rock is what ‘appen when you get hammer in Newfoundland. Talk about dat, wit’ da crazy global warning all over da planet, pretty soon de only pond hockey is gonna be under da water. But anyway dis is da big day for da Nord shore. If it wasn’t for da ‘ockey dere might not be any nord shore—225 year ago two young fellas went on da breakaway in St Louis du Ha! Ha! an’ didn’t stop until jus’ outside Atolville when dey hit MacKenzie’s Hill,. . Dat’s da hill da peoples from Campbellton call Seattle, because when you stand on top of McKenzie Hill, you can see, Attol. Unless you got too plaster on Morrisey Rock, because den you can’t see attle at all. We all ‘appy for Campbellton, dat’s da way tings are on da Nord Shore. When something big ‘appen like dis, we all stick togedder like NB Power Big Shots in a bonus meeting. I wasn’t always like dis. I mean when you da kid in school, an’ da teacher tole you dat you are on da far away planet, an dere’s somebody from Campbellton, Dalhousie, Bathurst an’ Amqui an da planet is gonna blow up in ten minute so who you gonna pick to get on dat playoff rocket—well. . . . But den you move down Moncton you all from da nord shore space station. When you gone Halifax, you jus’ a no good New Brunswicker, and if you gone Toronto, you jus’ a crazy Newfie like everybody else. Dose were day. . Dalhousie Ranger against da Campbellton Tiger. . Talk about action! De only action we got now is da lousy Stranger chasin’ da Campbellton Cougar. Dose Tiger Team sound like United Nation Pow-wow: Jean-Marie Bouchard, George “Da Chief” Berube, Owen Jelly, da Parker brudders board game, da Fuzzy Logga. . takin’ on da Ranger wit’ Clem da Mayor Tremblay, Bruce de ole gray mayor McIntosh, an’ when da dimplomaniac politics wouldn’t work, dey brang out Gordie Machine Gun Gallant. Da Tigers even had a communist for da boss. . ah oui, Gerry “Red” Oullette. Now dere’s no more senior hockey in Campbellton. . all da player move out west to Alberta, freeze dere arse in Ft McMurray. Maybe wit all de attention we gettin’ from dis Ockey day in Canada somebody might notice we got and bring some job to da nord shore. . . dat way all our young peoples could be back home freezin’ dere arse where dey belong!
  • 2008-10-31 13:39:20
  • Fredericton- Order of NB
  • A comedian, an industrialist and a foster mother were among the 10 people inducted into the Order of New Brunswick on Wednesday. At a ceremony in Old Government House, Lt.-Gov. Hermenegilde Chiasson said the inductees helped others and took little in return. He said they made the province not just a better place, but a different place. He said the honour isn't important because it's handed out by him. "It is remarkable because it comes from the people of New Brunswick," said Chiasson. "They nominated most of you. Your peers see something in you so outstanding, so important and so crucial to life here in this place." One of the inductees is Marshall Button. A playwright, actor, comedian, artistic director and teacher, he's best known to New Brunswickers as Lucien, the province's Acadian blue-collar philosopher. He began playing the character for friends at parties. He's played Lucien more than 1,800 times across Canada and the United States, and in Afghanistan to entertain Canadian troops. After the ceremony, Button said his first reaction was to wonder how he came to be honoured. "When I read the accomplishments of the others, I am honoured to be in the audience, frankly," said the Dalhousie native. Reporters couldn't resist asking what Lucien would think of the honour. "Well, you know something," he answered, immediately slipping into character. "Dey told me I got da odour of New Brunswick. "Je pense, I tink it is because I've been stinking up this province for so many year. I dunno." James K. Irving was named to the Order of New Brunswick for his drive and entrepreneurial spirit which has expanded J.D. Irving Ltd. into a company with 15,000 employees and operations in Canada and the United States. Irving is also the founder of Partners Assisting Local Schools, which has the goal of breaking the cycle of poverty for students in vulnerable neighbourhoods in Saint John. The program involves 10 schools and more than 60 local businesses. "It is a very nice honour and I appreciate it very much," Irving said about the award. "I have lived and worked in New Brunswick all my life and it is extra special to me." He said he started the program because the only way to tackle the problem of poverty is by helping children and the community. "It is coming along quite nicely," said Irving. "It is going to make a tremendous difference." If the province is going to reach its goal of self-sufficiency by 2026, it must start with young people, he said. "If we get young people off to a good start, the sky is the limit," he said. Jacksontown native Dorothy Rosevear was also inducted into the Order of New Brunswick. She started fostering in 1958 and over the years has cared for more than 700 children in her home. Today, at age 81, she's still fostering one girl until January, although after that she said she's going to retire. "I feel very nice," said Rosevear. "I really appreciate my award." She said when she first started acting as a foster parent, she never imagined it would be a lifelong pursuit. Rosevear said fostering is the best thing a person can do and the demand for foster families is high. "You are helping," she said. "We take in children from broken homes and we give them the opportunity of knowing what a real home is like." Other inductees are: * Bernard Imbeault, executive chairman of Imvescor Inc., formerly Pizza Delight, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year; * George MacBeath, former curator of the New Brunswick Museum's Canadian history department and former deputy minister of New Brunswick's historical resources administration; * Peter MacDonald, an aboriginal educator for four decades; * Marguerite Maillet, an Acadian author and teacher; * Fred Ross, an artist; * Eldred Savoie, a Radio-Canada journalist; * and Marianna Stack, a teacher.

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