Let's hope the hits keep coming


The Brockville Operatic Society broke with tradition on Saturday, but one can hope it also took the first steps toward a new one.

As I've reported before, the BOS this year stepped aside from its annual practice of a February musical, choosing instead to stage a revue of hits from music theatre.

If you weren't at one of Saturday's two Andrew Lloyd Webber shows, you missed out.

It was a great selection of musical theatre classics, set on a very professional stage, with the clincher being a supersized chorus.

One of my quibbles with the show is that this large crowded chorus was not called in for vocal muscle on more numbers. Its full power was first deployed in a stunning rendition of 'Old Deuteronomy,' from Cats, which has a strange, challenging progression that demands great attention to vocal harmonies.

The chorus reached its crescendo with the final numbers from Joseph, leaving the audience wishing the show allowed for encores.

The Webber revue featured some top-notch solos and duets, including some impressive work by the children.

Another quibble would be the absence of any kind of transition between the plays, which would have given the show some welcome interaction with the audience.

I won't go on here about a show that happened two days ago, but will say that, looking ahead, a musical revue in February followed by a full-on stage musical in June would be a winning format for the BOS going forward.

The Operatic Society will stage South Pacific in June, a time when more of its key theatregoing demographic is back here from Florida.

The mid-February slot is a great time for music, filling something of a dead zone on the entertainment calendar and helping those of us who can't flee to sunnier climes fight the winter blues.

A bigger musical in June, meanwhile, would be an additon to the city's tourism offering, coming shortly after the St. Lawrence College play and serving as a welcome switch from “shoulder season” to peak tourism time.

After Webber, there's a wealth of material one car draw on for such February interludes: Gershwin, Berlin and Rodgers and Hammerstein for a start.

One hopes we haven't seen the last of these February revues.