Nobody does Broadway quite like The Lyric Theatre Singers and we have been fortunate to have an outfit like this presenting annual June musical reviews for 28 years. The 2018 edition, dubbed Journey to Broadway, is now history and I was fortunate to be at the final presentation. There were four shows in all at Concordia’s DB Clarke Theatre downtown
The 40 performers and five musicians had everyone in the audience smiling from the get go. Hats off to the creative team of Bob Bachelor and Cathy Burns, co-musical director and conductor Chris Barillaro, guest choreographer, Jonathan Patterson, and rehearsal/show pianist Benjamin Kwong, for another job well done. You can see why this is a 10-month process from the time they choose the theme, complete auditions, rehearse and get everything into gear. The numbers are always seamless, choreography on the mark and costumes pleasing to the eye. A shout out to Karen Pearce for the latter. Lyric Theatre President Louise Dorais also singled out stage manager Adrian Smith, lighting designer Amber Hood, sound designer Rob Denton and the rest of a big team.
Journey To Broadway began quite appropriately with the number Another Op’nin; Another Show from Cole Porter's 1948 musical Kiss Me, Kate as Will Fech, Ben Corkett, Nathalie Thermil and the always dynamic Laurie-Anne Jean Baptiste got the audience into the swing of things.
Shy Shalev , Bethany Mount and Marie-Alexiou then did a fun rendition of Opening Up from the Broadway smash Waitress, complete with a few tables, waitresses and menus. Kiss The Girl (The Little Mermaid), It’s An Art (Working), Journey to the Past (Anastasia) Happiness (You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown), You’re The Top (Anything Goes), You Will be Found (Dear Evan Hansen) and Selections from Company closed out the first act. The latter included a lot of dialogue and a cute scene involving Fech, Adam Gallay and Andee Urovich.
The second half began with four numbers from A Grand Night for Singing and the cast all in formal attire. Isn’t it Romantic (Love Me Night) was next, followed by a Titanic Medley including a pretty neat backdrop on the big screen. Chicago’s trademark Cell Block Tango was well performed by Gallay, Mary-Joyce Palisoc, Katherine Fournier, Farida El Kilany, Danielle Hoyt and David Chhiv. There was a French number from Les Misérables (Comme Une Homme), with Broadway Baby (Follies), Handful of Keys (Ain’t Misbehavin’) and The Human Heart (Once on This Island). An energetic encore wrapped things up after a much deserved standing ovation.
Now it is back to the planning board. Auditions for 2018-19 will commence soon. If you are interested in trying to join the cast, email email@example.com, log on to www.lyrictheatrecompany.com or call 514-735-9908.
Their next show will be the annual Candlelight Christmas presentation at Concordia’s Loyola Chapel in NDG next December. Tickets will be available in the fall.
The Lyric Theatre was founded over 50 years ago and is a producer and promoter of musical theatre in the Montreal area. What began in 1965 with a vision of a community-based group presenting an annual stage production on the West Island has, thanks to the creation of The Lyric Theatre Singers in 1990, grown into a company of performers from all areas of the city.