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Arts Club Theatre Company


Written, Directed and Choreographed by Marion J. Caffey

Dates 14 September-15 October 2006   Venue Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage Reviewer Ed Farolan

Jackie Richardson and Janice Lorraine Photo by David Cooper

From start to finish, the audience was continuously laughing and whistling and clapping at this delightful musical excellently rendered by Jackie Richardson (Alberta Hunter) and Janice Lorraine (Young Alberta, & other roles) in the Arts Club Theatre Company’s opener for 2006-07 Season.

Both actors make their debuts on the Stanley stage for this season's opener backed by veteran musicians Bill Sample, Graham Boyle, David Sinclair, and Rene Worst.

When you have blues and jazz, there's no way you can't get the audience bursting with energy. There were almost 40 songs sung in this musical, a lot of them originals by the legendary Alberta Hunter: "My castle's rockin' ", "Downhearted Blues", "I've got a mind to ramble", "The love I have for you", "I'm having a good time", and others. Jazz classics like "St. Louis Blues" (WC Handy), "Sweet Georgia Brown" (Pinkard, Bernie & Casey) and "When the Saints Go Marchin' In" popularized by Louis Armstrong were also part of the repertoire.

Alberta Hunter was one of the pioneers of jazz and the blues, and recorded for six decades (1920s-80s) until her death in 1984.

Jackie Richardson is one of Canada's foremost singers of gospel, blues, and jazz and won the Dora Award for this musical. Janice Lorraine makes her home in Brooklyn, New York and has won multiple awards as a musical performer.

Writer/Director/Choreographer Caffey began his career as a song and dance man and has performed in numerous productions for the Broadway stage. He has been nominated five times for the Dora Award, and has won one.

This is certainly going to be a big hit, and I won't be surprised if this show will be extended.

© 2006 Ed Farolan