29 February 2016

Raise Your Voice! – A Glorious Broadway Revue

 

Lyric Theatre Singers produce another winning show with Raise Your Voice

Mike Cohen – The Suburban

Jun 18, 2016

If there is one show I make an effort to see each year it is that of the wonderful Lyric Theatre Singers. I saw the second of four presentations of Raise Your Voice! A Glorious Broadway Revue at Concordia University’s DB Clarke Theatre. Two more remain on Saturday, June 18 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

There really is nothing in this city we can quite compare Lyric to. The 46 performers on stage are full of energy, guided by Bob Bachelor, Chris Barillaro and Cathy Burns. My family and I are big Broadway fans. We love going to New York City to see the major productions  and look forward to the few that come here to the Place des Arts. A week after the outstanding Tony Awards telecast on CBS, the timing was just right for Lyric.

 

This year’s song list spanned 10 decades of musical theatre and included numbers from Rodgers and Hart’s 1929 show, Spring is Here, In the Heights, The Music Man, Annie, South Pacific, Cinderella, The Lion King, Newsies, Sister Act, Wicked, Godspell, The Bakers Wife, Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. The opening was one of the best I have seen in years, with Fred Gagnon and Adam Gallay doing a little different spin on the Broadway smash Something Rotten. It packed a punch and really got the audience into the show right from the get go. That was one of three acts overseen by guest choreographer Jonathan Patterson, whose talents are well known.

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The Lyric team pulled a fast one on the audience, announcing that someone had made a $20,000 donation to the organization. Everyone cheered with approval. Soon, a Mrs. Primrose was identified as the donor. She seemed normal at first, but it was quickly quite clear this was all a big gag. Lyric President Louise Dorais later told me she was happy to see representatives of their legitimate corporate sponsors on hand, including those from BMO.

 

It was nice to see performers like Richard Kallos stand out. Kallos, a tenor, has been one of the group’s younger members for a few years now. He clearly had a more visible role, including lead male in a take of The Music Man. This made his mom, noted behind the scenes volunteer Diane Dupuis, very proud.

While the opening number was great, the same can be said for the start of the second half with a stage full of ladies dressed as nuns for their rendition of Sister Act.

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If you are reading this and want to see a terrific production try your luck for tickets. Concordia’s DB Clarke Theatre is located in Concordia’s Downtown Hall Building (1455, boul. De Maisonneuve). There is indoor parking available across the street at the Webster Library Bldg. (1400, boul. de Maisonneuve). Tickets range in price from $17 to $36, with special discounts available for students and groups. For more information log on to http://lyrictheatrecompany.com or call 514-735-9908. Let me also give a shout out to publicist Barbara Ford, who year after year makes it so easy for writers such as myself to cover this amazing musical production

 

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