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Ballads to Broadway kicks off at Peace Mo

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A cast of nine Vincentian vocalists, accompanied by Dennis Jardine on the grand piano and Joffre Venner on guitar, will present an evening of musical entertainment entitled “From Ballads to Broadway” to kick off the holiday season next Friday, December 2, at Peace Memorial Hall. {{more}}Master of Ceremonies for the event will be radio personality Teddy Gould.

The two-hour production, which begins at 7:30 p.m., also features a group of young dancers from the Kingstown-based École de Ballet. The show will be repeated on St. Vincent on Saturday, December 10, and again on Saturday, December 17, in Bequia.

The show, which is being produced by the newly-formed Theatre Arts ensemble, is under the musical direction of Ruth Boerger, who has been teaching voice on St. Vincent for five years. The script was written by the show’s director, Marc Erdrich. Pamela Ratti, director of École de Ballet is the choreographer.

The featured vocalists include Deighton Anderson, Narissa Ballantyne, Marjorie Browne, Andrea Gaymes, Antoinette Jardine, Edwin “Son-J” Johnson, Lorna Marshall, Tabia Matthews, and Atiba Providence, as well as Boerger. All of the performers are students of Boerger’s.

The revue presents a broad overview of western music from early folk music of African origin up through contemporary American Broadway theatre. In between, there are examples of art songs and popular operatic arias.

“At first, Pam (Ratti) and I thought it would be nice to have a recital where our students would have a chance to perform,” Boerger said. “But my husband (Erdrich) had bigger ideas (he always does). ‘Why not produce a show?’ he said. And that’s how the idea was born.”

Trying something different is not new to the threesome. Several years ago, they produced a daytime radio soap opera called “Oh Daddy!” that ran on NICE Radio for two “seasons”.

Boerger, who has sung with the Yuletiders in the past, and is a classical singer by training, said that at first she considered a Christmas concert, with the usual holiday fare. But her husband – as usual – convinced her to try something completely different.

The idea for the show intrigued Lars and Margit Abrahamsson, the owners of Friendship Bay Hotel on Bequia so much that they decided to underwrite the performance.

Tickets for “From Ballads to Broadway” are available downtown Kingstown at The Bounty Restaurant, the Farmer’s Market in Arnos Vale, Peace Memorial Hall, or from members of the cast. The cost is $25 for all performances.

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