Broadway Blitz Reviewed by The Beat Magazine

Richard Young of The Beat Magazine kindly posted the following review.

The Voices of Broadway Show Choir’s inaugural concert a treat for ears and eyes

Written by Richard Young

To be sure, the CentreSpace for the Arts, nestled within the confines of historic Bishop Cronyn Memorial Anglican Church, is one of London’s hidden gems when it comes to small to medium sized performing arts spaces.

On Saturday night, the venue was the ideal location forBroadway Blitz, the inaugural concert of London’s The Voices of Broadway Show Choir under the direction of its exuberant and very animated Artistic Director Julie Pietrangelo.

Brought together only four months ago in September 2013, the 30 member choir (28 were on stage last night) offered up a veritable musical feast for the ears and eyes of an appreciative audience.

Aptly titled, the evening’s program was an impressive and ambitious mix of old and new Broadway tunes, presented as medleys or stand-alone songs from shows like Oklahoma!, Jesus Christ Superstar, Aladdin, Hairspray, American Idiot, and many others.

Soloists for night included Abe Kelledjian and Alex Huynh Do who were most impressive in numbers from Jesus Christ Superstar, introduced as Pietrangelo’s “all-time favourite musical theatre production.” Lauren McLaughlin and Caitlin Villeneuve sang a beautiful arrangement of True Colors, a song made famous by Cyndi Lauper. Tom Verkley provided a rousing rendition of John Denver’s Thank God I’m A Country Boy, accompanied by two teenaged fiddlers – Miranda and Courtney Postma – and square-dancing, two-stepping choir members to close out the first act.

Each number brought with it supporting props and, in some cases, costumes. For example, cowboy hats were worn by choir members in the Oklahoma! medley, while brightly coloured scarves were used to simulate the sea in Under The Sea from The Little Mermaid.

Providing musical accompaniment for the concert was a trio of experienced local musicians – Yolanda Postma, the choir’s Assistant Musical Director on piano; Jim Smythe on Bass; and Greg Mainprize on drums. Their performance was by necessity understated and never overpowered the choir and soloists.

Throughout the evening, choir members moved fluidly back and forth between their risers and a front stage area to sing solos and dance in pairs or groups of various sizes, a feat no doubt facilitated by the layout of the CentreSpace venue. At various points in the program, choir members also ventured into the audience to encourage participatory hand-clapping. All of this activity did nothing to distract from the numbers being performed; in fact, it added to the fun and excitement that was evident among the choir and its Artistic Director. And it was contagious for audience members who responded in kind.

MC Lisa Widdifield provided ample background information and context for each number performed.

Buoyed by the audience’s enthusiastic standing ovation at the end of the concert, Artistic Director Pietrangelo said she was “ecstatic” about the choir’s first performance.

When asked if the choir lived up to her expectations, she said, “They gave more, they gave more. They truly rose up to the occasion!”

Indeed, if its inaugural concert is any indication, Londoners will be hearing and seeing a lot more of The Voices of Broadway Show Choir and its Artistic Director in the months to come.

(Out of 4 Stars)

Richard Young is the publisher/online editor of The Beat Magazine Online and he is a big fan of Broadway musicals.

 

 

 

 

Editor’s Note: The Voices of Broadway Show Choir is looking for male singers, all voicing. Auditions to be held January 22, 2014 between 6:30pm and 7:30pm. Email auditions@thevoicesofbroadway.com  to book a time.

Reprinted from The Beat Magazine January 19th 2013.   Click Here to read the full article.