Listeners may not know that 4MBS is more than a radio station. The performance studio is used for many musical and cultural events during the year. Three Great Musicals, hosted by Peter Weston, featured two singers performing songs that bought memories back for many in the audience. By the end the studio resembled an old fashioned musical hall.
Soprano Kerry Vann, pianist Anne Gaffney and baritone Ralph Devlin created a wonderful atmosphere of old fashioned musical hall for an audience who were invited to join in with the artists, which they did with gusto.
Peter's first choice was Fiddler on the Roof. Written in 1894, it first was produced for Broadway in 1964 then a film in 1971. The term fiddler in this case is a metaphor for survival. Tevye [Teddy] and his family must survive in Russia after the Tsar wanted all Jews to leave in 1905. This is the story of how they adapted to their changed environment. This is complicated by the fact that Teddy has 5 strong-willed daughters.
Guys and Dolls is set in New York in 1940 and is all about a bunch of petty crims. and gamblers. The film in 1960 was a great success, mainly because of the caste which included Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons and Frank Sinatra.
Oliver, based on the novel 'Oliver Twist' by Charles Dickens was a crowd hit. Another of the award winning hits of the sixties it was produced for the stage in London in 1960, then a film in 1968.
Peter Weston has been contributing his popular 'remember' series at 4MBS for over 15 years. His parents were in vaudeville and his knowledge of the theatre and the artists is comprehensive.
Ralph Devlin has been involved in musical theatre for over 40 years. His repertoire includes 10 G and S operettas which gave him an advantage as many of the songs he chose for this concert needed 'patter' skills. Since 1996 he has been a member of the 'Tatty Tenors'.
Pianists are often called the 'wicket keepers' for artists. Anne Gaffney at all times made sure the singers kept strict time. Anne is well known in musical circles. She entertains in nursing homes and plays the clarinet with the Kelvin Grove Wind Orchestra. Anne is widely travelled to unusual destinations giving a helping hand as needed.
Kerry Vane is a versatile musician. She is solo artist, teacher and adjudicator. She loves to travel, has numerous hobbies including a collection of 620 teddy bears. Her bubbly personality shines through her well controlled, light soprano voice.
The 2 hour programme opened with gusto by Ralph singing 'If I were a rich man'. The audience was engaged from the get go. His full throated, jovial approach to the music and his quick change of hats and costumes [well jackets] bought the characters to life. His choice of songs reflected his love of comedy.
Kerry broke our hearts with 'As long as he needs me' sung by the self-sacrificing Nancy from 'Oliver', echoing the same sentiments as 'He's just my Bill' from Showboat.
The duet "Sunrise sunset, swiftly fly the years, laden with happiness and tears' from Oliver added a nostalgic note to the afternoon, Guys and Dolls was lots of fun, while the old music hall atmosphere was bought back in 2014 as the audience joined in with the singers in Oliver. There should be more afternoons like this and 2015 will see another season of Peter Weston remembers, it has been a popular event for many years.