By Mike Cohen
There will be at least three Jewish performers as part of Journey to Broadway, the much anticipated annual musical presentation from The Lyric Theatre singers, with four shows set for June 14 to 16 at Concordia University’s DB Clarke Theatre,
The show will musically travel to the Caribbean, Russia, the American Midwest and the high seas with selections from: Anastasia, Chicago, Once on This Island, Company, Rent, Titanic, Waitress, the 2017 Tony Award-winning Dear Evan Hansen, and timeless songs penned by Rogers and Hammerstein, Rodgers and Hart, Kander and Ebb, Cole Porter and many others.
Performers like Shy Shalev, who is about to become a lawyer, began rehearsing for this show last fall. “Through Lyric, I get the chance to interact with people who are not necessarily in my field of work and that’s something that I really value,” says Shalev, who has been with the show off and on for the past six and a half years. “The people and the music are the reason rehearsals are fun and the reason why we all keep coming back, even if we’ve had to step away for a while.”
On the song choices, Shalev shared: “Over the years, we’ve performed songs from Disney movies, new musicals that everyone knows, and old musicals that I, frankly, have never heard of. Musical theatre shows are constantly evolving in themes and in styles. Singing a song written in the 1960s is a completely different experience from singing one written 2 years ago. Having this amazing mix all in one show is part of what makes the learning process so exciting.”
Adam Gallay has been part of Lyric since 2005. When he is not performing with the group, he works as a Production Department Coordinator for MPC, a film visual effects company . “Rehearsals for this show have been very fun, busy, but fun,” he says. “Even after 13 years, I’m still getting to do things I’ve never done before, including stage combat. My favourite number is a three-song medley from Company that we’re performing this year – The Little Things You Do Together, Sorry/Grateful, and Side by Side by Side. Company is my favourite musical, so to be able to perform a medley like this is a dream come true. And, I get to use those stage combat skills.”
Marlene Goldberg Schwartz has been performing with Lyric since 1990 when the group started. “I keep doing it simply because I love it!” she says. “It challenges me both mentally and physically. Everyone needs a good challenge to stay ‘young,’ and I thoroughly enjoy being with the talented people that make up this group of performers. They are so much fun to be with and to make music with. Even when I’ve had a ‘rough day’ at the office I come home from rehearsals rejuvenated and looking forward to the next one. Singing with the Lyric Theatre Singers is intoxicating!”
The creative team of Bachelor and Burns is complemented by returning co-musical director, Chris Barillaro, guest choreographer, Jonathan Patterson, and rehearsal/show pianist, Benjamin Kwong. The Lyric design team is comprised of lighting designer, Amber Hood, sound designer, Rob Denton, and costume coordinator, Karen Pearce.
Benjamin Kwong is joined on stage by musicians Paul Carter on woodwinds, Chad Linsley on synth, Mike De Masi playing bass, and Parker Bert keeping tempo on the drums. Helming the revue as stage manager is Adrian Smith.
Shows are June 14, 15 and 16 at 8 pm, with a matinee at 2 pm on the final day at the DB Clarke Theatre of Concordia University (1455, boul. de Maisonneuve). Ticket prices range from $17 to $38. For more information call 514-743-3382 or log on to www.lyrictheatrecompany.com