Chor Leoni Men's Choir

No Strings Attached

Dates and Venue 15-29 June 2009 @ 8pm |Bard on the Beach Tent, Vancouver

Conductor and Director Diane Loomer

Band Leader Ken Cormier

Reviewer Ed Farolan

I was curious to find out what this group was all about and why all their shows were sold out. The name vaguely reminds me of a Mafia family in Coppola's Godfather, and I was wondering whether it had ties with the Mafia. To my surprise, the reason why they had all the soldout shows was because the singers put out a fabulous show. I attended the June 22nd matinee, and it was another soldout show and to boot, there was a standing ovation during curtain call.

The name of the group sounds so formal and yet, when the singers came in with their tuxedoes and opened with the Broadway hit "There's no business like show business", I knew right away that this wasn't going to be one of those shows where they would just stand and sing. In fact, they started dancing too!

They followed with "It might as well be Spring" rhyming with "puppet on a string". We were told to watch out for the word "puppet" popping up in their songs.After this, to the delight of the audience, a Japanese mime came out and did a number where she would fan a piece of paper and make it float like a butterfly, as the chorus hummed along through her routine which ended with snowflakes floating in the air.

What a delight to see a variety of aproaches to this production which continued on with guest singer Steve Maddock singing another pop hit "The way you look tonight". A Chorus Line number followed with the singers doing their song and dance routine. They weren't taking off their hats at the same time as in the Broadway hit, but it was amusing to see them dance and sing to this number. The next number was a take-off from Riverdance with some dancers doing the athletic Irish jig and pretending to collapse from fatigue at the end of their rendition. Laughter from the audience.

The second half was even more colourful as the singers, dressed in puppet costumes, mingled with the audience composed mostly of seniors as they sang `Forever Young``, and did what the show was all about--puppetry, a puppet carnival. There was Miss Piggy and Cookie Monster, Dracula and Maddock as the Beast (from Beauty and the Beast), and everyone parading and mingling with the audience. What great rapport! And finally, the concluding song, ``What I did for love`` from Chorus Line.

I was indeed convinced why the soldout shows, and if you want to see this group perform again in their 2009-10 season, be sure you get your season tickets early. Great show, men, and kudos to Band Leader Ken Cormier for the fabulous accompaniment and to Director-Conductor Diane Loomer for a wonderful production.

© 2009 Ed Farolan