another splendid show
Journey to Broadway a fitting tribute to Lyric Theatre Singers’ 28th year
By Byron Toben
Included in the printed program for the Lyric Theatre Singers annual Broadway show at Concordia’s DB Clarke auditorium this past three days is a photo of five members who have been with it from its very beginning in 1990.
They are Bob Bachelor, founding member and musical and stage director, Louise Dorais, President, and singers Helene Charbonneau, Marlene Schwartz and Gloria Aronoff.
This year’s show, as usual, had Cathy Burns as co stage director. Both she and Mr Bachelor also enlisted Jonathan Patterson as guest choreographer on three bravura routines.
Chris Barillaro, co musical director, conducted the onstage orchestra of five.
The dedicated 38 singer/dancers were comprised of 12 sopranos, 8 tenors, 11 altos, 3 baritones and 4 bass.
Act One led off with Cole Porter’s appropriate 1948 Another Op’nin’, Another Show from Kiss Me Kate. Later, Porter’s 1934 hit, You’re The Top was also included.
In between, 7 other fine selections were featured until the rousing ending, with selections from Stephen Sondheim’s 1970 Company, the exuberant choreography on which reached Busby Berkeley proportions.
Act Two opened with the apt It’s A Grand Night For Singing from the Rodgers and Hammerstein 1933 classic.
A special treat was the nine-song medley from 1997’s Titanic, complete with special visual effects.
French content was added with Comme un homme from 1987’s Les Misérables.
Those trapped in Cell Block Tango from Kander and Ebb’s 1975 Chicago might have used A Handful of Keys from Fats Waller’s 1978 Ain’t Misbehavin’.
Most members of the chorus had a chance to highlight their individual talents in various scenarios. Some were further featured with solo bits. They were Bethany Mount, Anastasia Tsai, Danielle Hoyt, Ben Corkett, Ian Burke, Will Fech and Laurie-Anne Jean-Baptiste.
After a rousing finale, what a pleasure to see, as an encore, a hit song from Jim Jacob’s 1971 Grease (in the creation of which I was indirectly involved in a very minor way).
The orchestra, by the way, was comprised of Parker Bert, drums and percussion; Paul Carter, woodwinds; Mike De Masi, bass; Benjamin Kwong, piano; and Chad Linsley on synth and keyboard.
Journey to Broadway ended on June 16.
The Lyric Theatre Singers return for their annual Candlelight Christmas at Loyola Chapel in December.
For tickets, info or past CDs/DVDs, visit lyrictheatrecompany.com
Feature image: singer Will Fech
All images: courtesy Lyric Theatre Singers
Read also: Byron’s Fringe Festival “peeps” diary
Byron Toben is the immediate past-president of the Montreal Press Club.