Powerful Voices and Powerful Music
Billed as The Power of Song, but subtitled “Broadway * Pop * Classical”, the musical revue now on stage at Petrolia’s Victoria Playhouse quickly revealed the reason for the subtitle. The three stars each fall into one of those categories – David Rogers, as all loyal Victoria Playhouse fans know, has an amazing Broadway voice, while Kevin Pauls is a pop singer and Robert Longo is a classical vocalist.
As always, the team of David Hogan and David Rogers has put together a show of powerful songs with the powerful voices to go with the songs. Four backup singers, Jessica Farrell, Rebecca McCauley, Mélanie Paiement, and Amber Tomlin, add to the power of the music. The Starbright Band, including Alex Baerg, Jesse Grandmont, Mark Laidman, and Dave Robilliard under Mark Payne’s direction, complements the powerful sound.
David Rogers opens the show with an audience favourite, “The Music of the Night” from The Phantom of the Opera. Rogers’ rendition of “Bring Him Home” from Les Miserables is my personal favourite. Although I’ve heard him sing it several times, I still tear up. Another special moment comes when Rogers sings “Gus: The Theatre Cat” from Cats – a poignant poem by T. S. Eliot that tells of an aging actor reminiscing about his starring roles of the past. Rogers delights the audience by actually producing Gus and having him sing, too.
You may remember Robert Longo for his role in Portia, last year at VPP. He perfectly played Portia’s vocal instructor, Ernesto Vinci. Interesting to note that he is on stage this year with Amber Tomlin, who portrayed Portia White in that production. Longo sings several operatic numbers in his rich voice. His rendition of “Con te partirò – Time to Say Goodbye”, a beautiful Italian song made famous by André Bocelli, is a highlight of this show.
Kevin Pauls demonstrates his pop talent with powerful performances of two Bette Midler favourites: “The Wind Beneath My Wings” and “The Rose”.
The three join together for many other beautiful songs, singing in harmony or taking solo parts. The revue has one familiar favourite after another. In fact, the audience enjoys a sing-along with the Sound of Music’s ever-popular “Edelweiss”.
The emotion-filled songs make the evening fly by. Call for your tickets now to hear this collection of popular songs that cross the genre categories of Broadway, pop and classical music. This show has a short run and will sell out, so book right away.
The Power of Song continues at Victoria Playhouse Petrolia until August 26. Call the box office at 1-800-717-7694 or 519-882-1221 or visit www.thevpp.ca for tickets.
Photo: Mark Payne at the piano, with Robert Longo, David Rogers, and Kevin Paul, and back-up singers Jessica Farrell, Rebecca McCauley, Mélanie Paiment, and Amber Tomlin. Photo by Diane O’Dell.
The Power of Song
Directed and created by David Hogan and David Rogers
Musical Direction and arrangements by Mark Payne
Performed by David Rogers, Kevin Pauls, Robert Longo, et al.
Victoria Playhouse, Petrolia
August 14 to 26, 2018
Reviewed by Mary Alderson