Top: Vocalist Ryan Silverman. Bottom:  Conductor Steven Reineke


brownVancouver Symphony Orchestra: Broadway to Hollywood!

Date and Venue 21 July 2011, 7:30pm | Orpheum Theatre

Conductor Steven Reineke Featured performers Ashley Brown vocalist, Ryan Silverman vocalist

Reviewer Ed Farolan

This special summer pops concert was another trip to memory lane. Selections included songs from West Side Story, The Phantom of the Opera, Ragtime, Guys and Dolls, Titanic, Star Wars and more. Outstanding Broadway vocalists Ashley Brown and Ryan Silverman were outstanding and appreciative of the Vancouver audience who stood in ovation. They sang an encore number, "Moon River", and received a final warm applause.

VSO is topnotch when it comes to timing. They almost always finish their show in two hours. I wish they could have done more, but what can you do in two hours? There's just too many numbers to choose from. However, the selections were quite representative of the more popular Broadway and Hollywood hits.

I would have wanted the vocalists to sing more, but you've got to give them breaks too. For example, only the orchestra played selections from West Side Story. It would have been great if the vocalists sang at least two of the songs from this musical, such as "Maria" and "There's a Place for Us".

I also couldn't see the pianist who played "Ragtime". Reineke should have let her stand up after the number so we'd recognize her. He said it was Linda Lee Thomas. And Thomas should have stood up because she's an important figure here in Western Canada.

The last song in the fist half, "The Music of the Night", from Phantom of the Opera, was sung quite well by Silverman. But there was a female voice offstage, as this song is a duet. Naturally, we assumed it was Brown who was singing. What I don't understand is why she didn't come out after the number so the audience would know that it was her?

In the second half, with the movie song hits, I felt that the Disney tunes should have been shortened. Most of the audience members were over 60, and probably didn't know which cartoons the songs came from. I only recognized one: "When You Wish upon a Star".

The next number was a song from The Road to Morocco. I liked Silverman's interpretation of "Moonlight Becomes You", popularized by Sinatra. He sounded a bit like Sinatra, and a bit of Buble.

Next was Brown who said she remembered when she was a child Celine Dion singing "My Heart Will Go On" from the movie Titanic. She said she had dreamed of one day singing this song. Well, she fulfilled her dream with the VSO, but didn't come close to the energy and charisma exuded by Dion.

AThe last piece. the theme from Star Trek, was excellently performed by the VSO, and received a rousing applause from the audience. The three New Yorkers thanked the almost full-house audience for being a good and appreciative audience.

© 2011 Ed Farolan