Lyric Theatre is back and The Band’s Visit opens things up

There will be  some definite Jewish flavor when  the Lyric Theatre Singers turn up the heat at Concordia University’s DB Clarke Theatre with four performances of TOO DARN HOT! A Sizzling Broadway Revue, playing June 13, 14 and 15.

Created by directors Bob Bachelor and Cathy Burns, this original musical theatre revue features 43  performers and five musicians in an exciting mix of Broadway’s hottest hits! Year after year, Lyric fans trust Bachelor and Burns to deliver exciting, multi-faceted revues celebrating the greatest hits and lesser-known gems of the American musical theatre songbook; audiences are never disappointed. “We continue to discover and develop new talents and abilities within the cast. They keep getting better and we keep raising the bar … it’s a win-win for our audiences,” said Burns.

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A scene from last year’s magnificent show.

TOO DARN HOT! features a sizzling selection of musical theatre favourites from composer/lyricist Cole Porter, as well as shows such as The Band’s Visit, Singin’ in the Rain, Company, Next to Normal, Cinderella, Nine and Something’s Rotten. The Singers will also tell the story of three families in pursuit of the American dream at the turn of the 20th Century in a medley from Ragtime and recount the incredible true story of how residents of Gander, Newfoundland welcomed 7,000 stranded air passengers from around the world in the wake of 9/11 in the opening number of Come From Away. Directors Bachelor and Burns are complemented by guest choreographer, Jonathan Patterson, and rehearsal/show pianist, Chad Linsley. Lighting designer James Kokol, sound designer, Joseph Browne and costume coordinator, Karen Pearce, comprise the professional design team. Pianist Chad Linsley’s fellow musicians are Paul Carter on woodwinds, Christopher Smith on synth, Caleb Smith playing bass, and Guillaume Pilote keeping tempo on the drums. Helming the revue as stage manager is Adrian Smith.

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Another scene from 2018.

Some of the  Jewish cast  members back this year include veteran Marlene Schwartz and young Richard Kallos. Richard’s  mom Diane Dupuis  has been  a huge supporter of local musical theatre. She’s sees everything, avidly plugs shows through her social media, and volunteers. She’s contributed her time and effort in various ways to Lyric over the years.

A little bit about The Band’s Visit, which opens things up. This  2017 Broadway smash tells the story of  a touring Egyptian band that is stranded in the Israeli desert by accident. A love story develops between an Israeli woman and one of the Egyptian musicians  and they sing a beautiful song called “Answer Me”. From time to time Lyric creates mini-stories where they use a medley of songs from one show to tell a “Reader’s Digest” version of that show in the revue. Such is the case with The Band’s Visit. And as it happens, the “Answer Me” soloists are Shy Shalev (Jewish) and Tarik Azgui (Muslim). The play’s theme of finding commonalities that connect us, which parallels Lyric’s longstanding diverse membership bound together through the love of music, is epitomized in the song.

The Lyric Theatre, founded over 50 years ago, is a producer and promoter of musical theatre in the Montreal area. What began in 1965 with a vision of a community-based group presenting an annual stage production on the West Island has, thanks to the creation of The Lyric Theatre Singers in 1990, grown into a company of performers from all areas of the city. The Singers rehearse and perform 10 months out of every year, presenting their very popular Broadway revues and Christmas concerts annually.

The DB Clarke Theatre is located downtown at Concordia University (1455, boul. de Maisonneuve). Tickets range in price from $17 to $38.  You can call 514-743-3382, log on to  www.lyrictheatrecompany.com or e-mail: lyrictheatreboxoffice@gmail.com.

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