WhatsOn Aug 05, 2015 by Paige Phillips Parry Sound North Star
PARRY SOUND – On the eve of the civic long weekend, the Charles W. Stockey Centre was visited by three ghosts – or so it seemed.
On Friday evening, Adi Braun took to the Stockey stage to present “An Evening with Rosie, Judy, and Peggy!” as part of a performance for the Festival of the Sound’s 36th season. The performance paid tribute to three of the leading ladies of the 20th Century, Rosemary Clooney, Judy Garland, and Peggy Lee.
“Throughout tonight you will hear songs that were signature songs for each of them and then some songs that a particular artist made famous,” said Braun.
Braun began the evening with her own rendition of Old Devil Moon, a song that was recorded by all three women – on Lee’s 1959 album Jump for Joy, Garland’s 1960 album That’s Entertainment!, and Clooney’s 1998 album accompanied by the Count Basie Orchestra At Long Last.
This hit was merely the first of many that were met with bobbing heads and tapping toes from the captivated audience, while others simply closed their eyes and felt the rhythm of the music.
Braun requested some participation from the audience in a number of the pieces, including Lee’s You Gotta Have Heart and Fever, in which the audience snapped along to the melody.
The Charles W. Stockey Centre has been described as an intimate venue by staff and audience members alike, a statement made obvious at Friday night’s performance, as Braun approached individuals seated in the orchestra along either side of the stage. Throughout various pieces, Braun danced her way over into close proximity of attendees, where they received their own personal performance.
Braun also dedicated one piece to her mother, who was in the audience, The Party’s Over, a song recorded by both Lee and Garland in 1959 and 1960 respectfully. Braun revealed to the audience that the song was a “big hit” of her mother’s, singing it while she was growing up in Germany, comments which were met with a glowing smile from her mother. Braun concluded the piece with, “I love you, mom,” while her mother, beaming, gently touched her chest and blew a kiss in Braun’s direction.
At least one member of the band had previously visited Parry Sound and performed at the Charles W. Stockey Centre. Daniel Barnes, who played the drums at Friday evening’s performance, revealed that he has a cottage in Muskoka and was somewhat familiar with the larger area. Barnes had also previously performed at the Stockey Centre earlier this year in June.
“I was here in June actually and performed Stand By Me: The Music of the Brill Building,” said Barnes. “We were pleasantly surprised when we showed up in June. It is a beautiful venue – a first class theatre.” Barnes is among the many performers who dub the Stockey Centre an “intimate” venue as he said that it feels like some audience members are right on the stage with him.
Braun echoed Barnes’ thoughts on the Stockey Centre, dubbing it “Ontario’s most beautiful theatre” with a “gorgeous stage” and “gorgeous sound” for which she thanked the sound crew in addition to thanking the audience for attending the evening’s performance.
Braun concluded the evening with a piece featuring some awe-inspiring whistling, which was met with some of the audience’s own whistling, cheers, and a standing ovation.
“It was a wonderful performance,” said attendee Sarah Glatt from Orillia. “I loved it – every minute.” Sarah’s husband, Ben, echoed his wife’s sentiments towards the evening’s performance.
“It was sensitive and most emotional,” said Ben. “And it was very intimate. We were basically on the stage looking out at the audience.”
The Glatts viewed the performance from one of the orchestra seats located directly to the right of the stage and were able to have an up-close view of Barnes playing the drums. Ben said that the two are supporters of many festivals and venues and are staunch supporters of the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto.
Paul Emond and his wife, who had traveled from Muskoka for the Friday performance, missed the first five minutes of the show due to a wrong turn but thoroughly enjoyed the show. Emond described the evening as “wonderful, inspiring, uplifting, and fabulous.”
The Festival’s 36th season comes to a wrap this weekend with the Opera Gala on Saturday evening and Rising Stars on Sunday afternoon.
For information on other Festival events, including ticket sales, visit: www.festivalofthesound.ca