Segal Centre announces cast and creative team of “The Hockey Sweater: A Musical”

An All-Canadian, All-Star Team Brings Centre Ice to Centre Stage

Montréal, September 28, 2017 – Lace up your skates! The Segal Centre is proud to announce the cast and creative team of their upcoming world premiere, The Hockey Sweater: A Musical based on the short story by Roch Carrier, with Book and Lyrics by Emil Sher (Hana’s Suitcase, The Boy in the Moon, and Beneath the Banyan Tree), and Music and Lyrics by Jonathan Monro (Composer of No Matter What, Variations on a Nervous Breakdown, and Music Supervisor on The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz: The Musical). The Segal is honoured to continue the legacy of this treasured Québec story by reinventing the classic tale into a modern musical for the whole family.

Commissioned and produced by the Segal Centre for Performing Arts, this original Canadian production is directed and choreographed by Stratford Festival hit-maker Donna Feore, whose recent production of Guys and Dolls has been wowing audiences this festival season.

Presented as part of the official programming of Montréal’s 375th anniversary celebrations, The Hockey Sweater: A Musical will run at the Segal Centre from October 19 to November 12, 2017.

Homegrown talent takes a leading role!

Trading off the part of Young Roch are two performing dynamos. Alessandro Gabrielli has been seen on many Montréal stages, along with numerous television appearances; including the role of Michael Banks in Juste pour rire’s ongoing and acclaimed French-language production of Mary Poppins. Jesse Noah Gruman whose musical passion began at the age of three when he took up violin and who has been studying dance since the age of five, will be making his professional debut in this production.

Six more of the country’s most talented young artists join the team

The Segal Centre is pleased to welcome a dynamic and gifted group of young artists, all between the ages of 11 and 13, to the Segal stage in this new homegrown musical. The young cast will feature Drew Davis, who began his acting career on camera at the age of five on Rookie Blue, and currently voices the roles of Marshall on Paw Patrol and Justin on Justin Time; Annelise Forbes, whose many credits include Pollyanna in Pollyanna, A New Musical (Lab/Yonge St. Theatricals) and Young Clara in The Nutcracker (Hamilton City Ballet); Jayden Greig, who has previously appeared as Ralphie inA Christmas Story (Neptune Theatre), and Michael Banks in Mary Poppins (Neptune Theatre and Drayton Entertainment); Lucas Kalechstein, who has also played Michael Banks in Mary Poppins for three seasons at the Lower Ossington Theatre and Flounder in Little Mermaid (UTC); Riley O’Donnell, who just recently performed throughout North America in the Acrobat Tour of Matilda the Musical as Lavender for which the ensemble received a 2017 Dora Mavor Moore award nomination; and Berkley Silverman completes the young group. She is a competitive dancer, and trained singer, best known for her 2017 Young Artist Award-winning role as the voice of Everest in Nickelodeon’s Paw Patrol.

Talented artists of all ages

Richard Jutras, whose many theatre credits include Crazy for You and Damn Those Wedding Bells at the Segal, will be playing the part of an adult Roch Carrier looking back on his childhood. No stranger to rink-side hijinks, Jutras was nominated for a Gemini Award in both 2005 and 2006 for Best Ensemble in a Comedy for the hit CBC series, The Tournament. In the role of Roch’s mother is Claire Lautier who has played leading roles on stages in New York, across the United States, and Canada; including six seasons as a leading actor at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. In the role of village priest (and referee) Father Delisle, is another Stratford and Shaw festival regular, Ian Simpson; he has previously worked with Director Donna Feore on The Sound of Music. Also making their Segal Centre debuts are Scott Beaudin who in addition to his musical theatre credits, has appeared on several television shows including Saving Hope, Murdoch Mysteries, and Degrassi: TNG, as Gaétan Ouellette; and Kate Blackburn who has performed in beloved musicals across the country like Little Mermaid (Globe Theatre) and Crazy for You (Gateway Theatre) as the school teacher, Mlle Therrien.

Theatre is a team sport too!

Rounding out the exciting company are Andréane Bouladier (as seen in the North-American/Broadway tour of Les Misérables), Geneviève Dufour (who has performed many times at the Théâtre Français de Toronto), Jean-François Poulin (winner of the Juste pour rire Victor Award for Artist of the Year 2016 for his role as Bert in Mary Poppins), and Brandon Howard Roy who will be making his professional stage debut following three seasons with the Confederation Players. Allfour are graduates of Sheridan College’s illustrious Musical Theatre Program.

A tribute to one of Montréal’s great passions!

Originally published in 1979, The Hockey Sweater recalls Carrier’s childhood hockey mishaps during the winter of 1946. Like many young people in small towns across Québec, Roch and his friends lived for one thing only: hockey. They idolize the Montréal Canadiens’ star-player Maurice Richard; each emulating “The Rocket’s” every move. When Roch’s favourite hockey sweater–a glorious “tricolore” emblazoned with the iconic #9–becomes over-worn and too small, his mother insists he get a new one. But when a mail-order mix-up leaves him dressed in the enemy colours of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Roch must learn the importance of what’s in your heart, even when it’s not on your sleeve.

The creative team will showcase the talents of Michael Gianfrancesco (Set and Costume Designer), Louise Bourret (Costume Co-Designer), Luc Prairie (Lighting Designer), and Peter Balov (Head of Sound). The production will also feature projections by Normal Studio. Their projection designs can be seen around Montréal in projects such as Montréal Symphonique and Cité Mémoire.

“We are thrilled to welcome this extraordinary company of adults and children as the final piece of the puzzle to this exciting production’s development. Shining a light on this quintessential Québec story with such a brilliant group of artists is a musical theatre dream come true and a special gift to our city and country,” said Segal Centre Artistic and Executive Director Lisa Rubin.

The Segal Centre is at the forefront of the Canadian musical revival

The Globe and Mail has recently named the Segal Centre “a prime location for developing new musicals under Artistic and Executive Director Lisa Rubin” and has listed The Hockey Sweater: A Musical a production to watch out for this fall due to the “impressive team behind it.”


YOUNG ROCH/ANDRÉ Alessandro Gabrielli / Jesse Noah Gruman
MME CARRIER Claire Lautier
MLLE THERRIEN Kate Blackburn

WITH Andréane Bouladier, Geneviève Dufour, Jean-François Poulin & Brandon Howard Roy

AND ROCH’S TEAMMATES Drew Davis, Annelise Forbes, Jayden Greig, Lucas Kalechstein, Riley O’Donnell & Berkley Silverman

And featuring Richard Jutras as ROCH CARRIER 



BASED ON THE SHORT STORY “THE HOCKEY SWEATER” BY Roch Carrier, Translated into English by Sheila Fischman and Published by House of Anansi Press

SET AND COSTUME DESIGNER Michael Gianfrancesco


Jonathan Monro (Band Leader), Evan Watts Smith, Jason Field, Beth McKenna, Frederic Bourgeault, Vanessa Marcoux, and Parker Bert


October 19 – November 12, 2017

Thursday, October 198:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 218:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 221:30 p.m.
Monday, October 238:00 p.m.
Tuesday, October 248:00 p.m.
Wednesday, October 258:00 p.m.

Regular Run:
Mondays – 7:00 p.m.
Tuesdays – Saturdays (closed Fridays) – 8:00 p.m.
Sundays – 7:00 p.m.

Wednesdays, November 1 & 81:00 p.m.
Sundays, October 29, November 5, and November 122:00 p.m.


“The Making a New Canadian Musical”: an in-depth look at the creative, legal, and technical aspects of producing a new Canadian musical.
Sunday, October 22 – 11:00 a.m.
Entrance is free.


A chance to interact with the creators and actors of the play after the curtain goes down.
Mondays, October 30 and November 6

TICKETS: $52 – $66

Group, Senior, Student, Under 30 discounts available. Subject to availability.

About the Segal Centre for Performing Arts

The Segal Centre for Performing Arts is a not-for-profit theatre company dedicated to nurturing, producing and presenting world-class English-language theatre and to showcasing the best professional artists from Montréal and beyond. A part of the community since 1967, the organization was reborn in 2007 as the Segal and has expanded to become a nationally recognized venue for the performing arts with a focus on creation, innovation, diversity and cross-cultural collaborations. Driven by a belief in the power of the arts to strengthen and connect communities, the Segal’s programming emphasizes original interpretations of popular classic and contemporary works, new Canadian musicals and engaging productions with universal appeal.

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