Nova Scotia to host local ‘Evangeline’ show _lowres

Photo provided by Lester Kenyon -- Paul and Darlene Taranto, Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez and Ranji Bercegeay, from left, are shown with a Parish of Ascension key that will be presented to representatives from the Nova Scotia community of Tusket later this month. Bercegeay will perform in ‘Evangeline, the Musical,’ with members from Nova Scotia in July. Paul Taranto wrote the music and lyrics for ‘Evangeline’ while Darlene serves as producer. The Tarantos hope to open dialogue between the Nova Scotia community and Ascension Parish because of the historical ties shared by both communities.

Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez and officials with the local production of “Evangeline, the Musical” recently met to plan a presentation ceremony offering kindred ties with the small fishing village of Tusket in Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia.

Paul and Darlene Taranto, composer and producer of “Evangeline,” respectively, and local actor and singer Ranji Bercegeay told Martinez that the production will be held in Tusket for three weeks in July.

Bercegeay will be playing the role of Gabriel and will be joined by actors from Nova Scotia.

“Tusket is very near to GrandPré, which is where the story is set,” Darlene Taranto said.

Taranto said the GrandPré area is “historically where all of the Cajuns down here came from.”

The Tarantos will present a parish key and proclamation to officials in GrandPré with hopes of starting dialogue between Ascension Parish and the hosting seaside community in western Nova Scotia.

Taranto wrote the music and lyrics for “Evangeline,” and the first full-scale production of the show was held in 1999 at LSU. Subsequent productions followed in Lafayette and at the Strand Theater in Shreveport. The Shreveport production was taped by Louisiana Public Broadcasting in 2000 and aired on PBS stations throughout the U.S. and Canada.

The production also graced the stages of the Baton Rouge Little Theatre in 2004 and the Manship Theatre in 2011.