Gordon Roberts

REVIEW: Night on Broadway – After Hours an impressive musical tribute

Fundraiser raises close to $10,000 for Surrey Food Bank according to preliminary estimates

A socially minded, arts-supportive corporation or organization in Surrey could do far worse than step up as a new major sponsor for Debra DaVaughn and Christopher Simmons’ annual fundraiser A Night On Broadway.

Thanks to Envision Financial, which has now completed its three year commitment as major sponsors, 100 per cent of ticket sales once again went to the Surrey Food Bank.

Preliminary estimates indicate that the most recent revue, A Night On Broadway – After Hours – in two performances at Surrey Arts Centre Oct. 4 – raised close to $10,000 for the invaluable community service, championed by DaVaughn and Simmons for the last eight years.

And what a show fans of the stage musical genre got in return for the ticket price!

DaVaughn and Simmons, the soprano-tenor, wife-husband team are talents to reckon with in classical and operatic circles, and they know how to surround themselves with equally first-rate performers. They outdid themselves this year with a show that, while lengthy, was packed with highlight moments – too many to mention them all.

Artistic director and script writer Faith Toronchuk more than played her part by fashioning a smooth, serviceable framework with which to highlight a stellar cast.

A first act featuring generous excerpts from four treasured musicals – Anything Goes, Wicked, The King and I and Into The Woods – was followed by an imagined evening in a Broadway after-hours bar frequented by show people (well-evoked by effective lighting and a simple stage plot). Dialogue and character development were just enough to link ‘situation’ songs cherry-picked from recent and classic musicals (with a couple of movie numbers thrown in) .

But it was the talent on display that really made the show, well produced by Lyn Verra-Lay and choreographed with flair by Elizabeth Lay.

DaVaughn and Simmons offered abundant evidence of their increasing mastery of the dramatic and expressive demands of the Broadway repertoire.

They had numerous effective duets throughout the show (both with each other and other partners) but had two solos that were particularly notable: Da Vaughn’s moving, well-judged version of Losing My Mind from Follies, and Simmons’ dark, compelling reading of Where I Want To Be from Chess.

Seasoned musical theatre favourite Gordon Roberts won the audience over time and again with his humour, charisma and singing chops – in everything from A Puzzlement from The King and I, to Mr. Cellophane from Chicago and If I Were A Rich Man from Fiddler on The Roof.

Versatile emotional spellbinder Tamara Croft had the audience in the palm of her hand with songs ranging from Getting To Know You (with the charming young talents of the Lindbjerg Academy Show Choir, also spotlighted to great advantage in the Into The Woods section and a Disney medley), to a splendidly tuneful Don’t Rain On My Parade from Funny Girl and the humour of Diva’s Lament from Spamalot.

Their flair and timing was well matched by Chelsea Rose Tucker, a stunningly dynamic singer and actress who is clearly going places. She was particularly well showcased in excerpts from Wicked and Into The Woods and a show-stopping Let It Go from Frozen.

Pianist/musical director Angus Kellett, bassist Graham Clark and drummer Colin Parker handled a plethora of styles and a long running time brilliantly, while rising actress Meghan Delaney, empathetic as stage-struck bartender Kasey, showed she is a talent to watch for in future.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A new 23-storey condo development – which might also house a new White Rock city hall space – is proposed for the current site of 3 Dogs Brewing on Johnston Road, and will be discussed by the Land Use and Planning committee on Oct. 26. (File photo)
Civic centre could be part of new 23-storey White Rock condo tower

Development proposal to be discussed Oct. 26 by council’s land use committee

(Image: CDC)
Fraser Health orders Surrey food-processing facility to close amid COVID-19 outbreak

Staff member at Surrey long-term care facility also tests positive for the virus

The number of new COVID-19 cases in the Fraser South region has doubled in the last two weeks. The number of cases in the Fraser East region has tripled.
Chart: Tyler Olsen
COVID-19 surge in B.C. fuelled by spikes in new cases in Fraser Valley & Surrey area

Number of newly confirmed cases has tripled in Fraser Valley and doubled in the Surrey/Langley area

Lotto winner Erwin Espiritu. (submitted photo: BCLC media relations)
$1M lotto surprise for Surrey dad buying takeout food for son’s birthday

‘When I went to show my son, he said that there was six zeros on the screen, not three’

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

The family of Anika Janz, who died after collapsing at school, has launched a GoFundMe to assist with funeral proceedings. (GoFundMe photo)
Family of student who died launches GoFundMe

Rick Hansen Secondary School student Anika Janz, 14, died after collapsing in PE class

Most Read