Hollywood Sings ~ The Great Movie Music

Susan Gilmour

Conceived by David Rogers
Directed by David Hogan
Musical direction by Mark Payne
Choreographed by Tia Colborne
Performed by Christy Adamson, Brian Belleth, June Crowley, Susan Gilmour, Marcus Nance, Cory O’Brien, Rebecca Poff & David Rogers
Starbright Summer Festival
Imperial Theatre, Sarnia
July 23 to August 22, 2010
Reviewed by Mary Alderson

Hooray for Hollywood in Sarnia

Just like Broadway Baritones last week, we are amazed by the talent at Sarnia’s Imperial Theatre in Hollywood Sings – The Great Movie Music. This musical revue of various movies – some musicals, some with great scores – has eight of the best of Canadian musical theatre in the cast.

Christy Adamson, Brian Belleth, June Crowley, Susan Gilmour, Marcus Nance, Cory O’Brien, Rebecca Poff and David Rogers all have very impressive credentials and their talent shows throughout the evening as they present one big Hollywood number after another.

The show opens with cast members saying famous and familiar lines from movies. David Rogers garners the most laughs with his Katharine Hepburn imitation from On Golden Pond, “The loons!”

Act II opens with Marcus Nance as Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act. The stage filled with nuns singing “I will follow you”, and then somehow, those same nuns sing “How do you solve a problem like Maria”, leaving cast members wondering what movie they’re in. June Crowley follows with “Confidence” from The Sound of Music.

Susan Gilmour sings a superb “Maybe This Time”, the song written especially for Liza Minnelli in the movie version of Cabaret.

Rebecca Poff has the amazing show-stopper number “Blues in the Night”, which she belts with great passion and for which she receives loud and long applause.

In same cases, one singer introduces another, giving a little teaser song by the same artist. Often, I was wishing I could hear more the teaser. For example, Rebecca Poff sang a few lines of “You are the wind beneath my wings”, but turned it over to Christy Adamson to sing a Bette Midler tune from The Rose.

Like the opening night of Broadway Baritones, the opening of Hollywood Sings was also marred by audio difficulties. Mics weren’t turned on until after the singer had sung a few bars. In one instance, the mic wasn’t turned off and we heard backstage chatter. The big clown number at the end of Act I was spoiled by several dysfunctional mics.

The finale is a glorious compilation of all the big numbers from Disney musicals – favourites from Little Mermaid, Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast, Lion King, Aladdin, Pocahontas, and more. For those of us who have all those great videotapes sitting on a shelf, it was wonderful to hear the songs. After receiving a standing ovation on opening night, the cast presented an encore: “As Time Goes By” from Casablanca.

Hollywood Sings and three other shows will be in repertoire on stage at Sarnia’s Imperial Theatre until August 22. It is well worth the visit, to see these eight singers on one stage.

Starbright Summer Festival continues at the Imperial Theatre, Sarnia until August 22. For tickets, call the Imperial Theatre box office at 1-877-344-7469 or 519-344-7469 or see www.starbright.ca

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