You're Gonna Love Tomorrow by Stephen Sondheim

Dates and Venue 15 & 17 August 2009, 8pm | Autumn Brook Gallery, Vancouver

Reviewer Ed Farolan

Stephen Sondheim is the Gershwin or Hammerstein equivalent in today's Broadway musicals. His musicals have won him awards, and tributes have been showered on him time and again. This particular show is a compilation of songs from different musicals he had written through the years, since the 50s, and the selections are from songs for which Sondheim had written both music and lyrics. . Originally performed in 1983, it starred Angela Lansbury.

Carmina Bernhardt, Seth Drabinsky, Meghan Anderssen and Brandyn Eddy who are already names in the Vancouver scene rendered 23 songs from Sondheim's musicals The Frogs, Saturday Night, Company, Anyone Can Whistle, Follies, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Pacific Overtures,, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, and Merrily We Roll along.

These four performers who are extremely talented performed with gusto and elan. I was particularly moved by that Sondheim classic Send in the Clowns sung soulfully by Bernhardt. Likewise, I enjoyed Bernhardt's and Drabinsky's poignant interpretation of With So Little To Be Sure Of.

Eddy delighted the audience with Johanna and Anderssen sang Not A Day Goes By so expressively. The other numbers were done as a group, and I could tell how Music Director Angus Kellett worked hard with this group. The timing and pacing of the show was perfect, and as a group, they connected brilliantly.

Sondheim's songs are quite demanding, yet these talented singers delivered as though the lyrics and melody flowed naturally from within them. As the saying goes, these singers are "naturals".

Largely responsible for this concert is APPLAUSE! Musicals Society Artistic Director Scott Ashton Swan who will be highlighting Sondheim in the Society's upcoming 2009/10 season. Sondheim will in fact be in Vancouver on October 27 at the Vogue Theatre where an onstage conversation with him and the audience will take place. This once-in-a-lifetime event shoudn't be missed.

© 2009 Ed Farolan