Cynthia Dale in Concert

Cynthia Dale

Cynthia Dale

Starbright Summer Festival
Produced  & Directed by David Hogan
Performed by Cynthia Dale
Accompanied by Charlene Nafziger
Imperial Theatre, Sarnia
July 7 to August 16, 2009
Reviewed by Mary Alderson

Musical Leading Lady Offers Her Best

Cynthia Dale, is of course, well-known as Stratford’s leading lady of musicals, appearing such classics as Camelot, Man of LaMancha, My Fair Lady, Anything Goes and South Pacific. She brings selections from these shows and many more to Sarnia in concert. Among the audience favourites are “Meadowlark” from The Baker’s Wife and “Moon River”.

Dale is very personable, with friendly patter between songs. She talks about Pete (her husband, CBC National News anchor Peter Mansbridge), son Will, and their home in Stratford. She sings a very touching number dedicated to her young son.

She concludes with “Impossible Dream” as her encore number and gets a warm standing ovation.

It is indeed wonderful to see such high-calibre professionals in Sarnia’s Imperial Theatre. Credit goes to the local community theatre group, Theatre Sarnia, for restoring this old movie house to a beautiful Art Deco live theatre. My only concern with the venue is the seating: instead of staggering the rows of seats, the chairs are placed one directly behind another. For the Cynthia Dale concert, I was seated behind a woman who had beautiful upswept hair with large fluffy curls framing her head. It was nearly impossible to see Dale when she stood by the grand piano at centre stage, which she did much of the time.

Also part of the Starbright Summer Festival are two other productions: You’ve Got a Friend and Tuesdays with Morrie. You’ve Got a Friend features the Mantini Sisters and David Rogers singing favourites from the seventies. The Mantinis have been favourites on the stage at Victoria Playhouse, Petrolia. Tuesdays with Morrie is a poignant play written by Detroit Free Press columnist Mitch Albom about one his favourite professors. Cory O’Brien plays Mitch, while Aron Tager reprises the role of Morrie, which he performed so well at London’s Grand Theatre.

An amazing amount of talent assembled on one stage – Starbright Summer Festival is a wonderful surprise for Sarnia.

Starbright Summer Festival continues at the Imperial Theatre, Sarnia until August 16. For tickets, call the Imperial Theatre box office at 1-877-344-7469 or 519-344-7469 or see


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