A night at Roy Thompson Hall to see the Toronto Symphony Orchestra may not sound like a theatre-goer’s ordinary evening plan, but the renowned orchestra’s renditions of classic musical theatre hits from Lerner and Loewe is just as magical as a night at the theatre. Legendary writing duo Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, a lyricist and composer respectively, have left an indelible mark on the musical theatre world with Broadway hits such as My Fair Lady and Brigadoon, as well as Oscar-winning film Gigi. All three of these works and more are on display at Roy Thompson Hall, with guest Canadian soloists and a one hundred-strong choir combining with the TSO for a stunning and altogether memorable concert.
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra, conducted here by Steven Reineke, is, as always, flawless in their performance of famous songs from Camelot, Paint Your Wagon, and other shows. Joining them is the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, as well as Canadian soloists Amy Wallis, David Curry, and Jonathan Estabrooks. This merger of orchestra, choir, and soloists is expertly handled by Reineke, long-time TSO conductor. His passion for the music, no matter where it comes from, is obvious in how he handles himself onstage and in his interactions with the audience and with the soloists performing in front of him. Wallis is superb, especially in solo renditions of “Say a Prayer For Me Tonight” from Gigi and the famous “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady. David Curry, replacing Colin Ainsworth who withdrew for personal reasons (and thus is making his TSO debut), is just as unforgettable, shining in “On the Street Where You Live” from My Fair Lady and “I’ll Go Home with Bonnie Jean” from Brigadoon. Jonathan Estabrooks is no slouch either, pairing up often with Wallis in various songs and even with the choir in a great rendition of “They Call the Wind Maria” from Paint Your Wagon.
Overall, for lovers of musical theatre in general, there is not much to complain about at a concert like this one. The night opens with selections from Camelot, Paint Your Wagon, and Gigi and finishes with Brigadoon and the always loved My Fair Lady. It is a memorable evening filled with some of musical theatre’s most beloved songs and shows, and certainly would not look out of place on a theatre lover’s calendar.
Photo credit: Josh Clavir