Love Train

All Aboard the Love Train

If you only need one good reason to take a weekend jaunt to Mississauga to see a show at Stage West, here it is: Aurianna Angelique. Rather, I should say, here she is. Aurianna is well worth the drive to Mississauga. Her rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” is not to be missed. She captures all that Whitney had put into the song, both with her voice and her heartfelt performance. With Whitney’s passing, it makes Aurianna’s presentation that much more moving. I wasn’t the only one in the audience wiping tears from my eyes.

But there are actually 10 good reasons to take in Love Train at Stage West: The entire cast is excellent in this revue of soul music and rhythm & blues. Last year, Stage West presented Motown Gold – all the hits of Berry Gordy’s Motown record label. This year that cast has returned to Stage West to carry on the Motown legacy by hopping on board the Love Train. The revue starts with music of the fifties and brings us to the present.

Love Train

Troy Adams’ smooth voice excels in hits such as Papa was a Rolling Stone, Johnny B. Goode, Under the Boardwalk, and Just the Two of Us. Jivaro Smith garners applause for his strong lungs, when he holds the word “Well” for an amazingly long time in Shout. Andrew Broderick clearly hits all the high notes when he presents a favourite – Johnny Nash’s I Can See Clearly Now. Rob James is excellent with Percy Sledge’s When a Man Loves a Woman, and James Brown’s I Feel Good. Aadin Church gives a solid performance with This Magic Moment, and Tafari Anthony excels in the Stylistics’ You Are Everything.

Saccha Dennis is excellent as the “rough” Tina Turner with Proud Mary, followed by Aurianna Angelique’s amazing rendition of River Deep Mountain High. Louise Camilleri excels in Aretha Franklin’s Chain of Fools and The Drifters’ Up on the Roof. Karen Andrew gives us a perfect Beyonce, singing and dancing in Single Ladies.

Working together, this cast produces great harmonies, backing each other in all these numbers and dancing with enormous energy.

In between songs, the cast keeps us informed with interesting trivia on the history of black music. For example, Big Mama Thornton had a hit with Hound Dog long before Elvis came along. The Civil Rights movement prompted many songs that went on to become hits.

Credit goes to musical director Anthony Bastianon and his excellent band for adding to the energy of the show.

The costumes and wigs capture the looks through the years very well, and kudos to the cast for the many quick costume changes.

Overall, it is a lively and energetic production, guaranteed to chase away any January blahs! The buffet dinner and the suite accommodations are excellent, well worth the trip to Mississauga.

And after seeing these performers in Motown Gold and Love Train – what’s next? Will we see Dreamgirls coming soon? This cast would be perfect!

Love Train continues at Stage West, Mississauga until February10, and includes buffet dinner. Special packages can also include hotel suite and breakfast. Call 1-800-263-0684 or see

Love Train
~ A Musical Revue Celebrating the Best of Soul and R&B
Written by Howard Pechet & Tim French
Directed & Choreographed by Tim French
Musical direction by Anthony Bastianon
Performed by Troy Adams, Karen Andrew, Aurianna Angelique, Tafari Anthony, Andrew Broderick, Louise Camilleri, Aadin Church, Saccha Dennis, Rob James, Jivaro Smith.
Stage West, Mississauga
November 29 to February 10, 2013
Reviewed by Mary Alderson


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