(Posted July 9, 2021)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
“It’s a very happy, beautiful, and positive show, and I think people will really enjoy it,” said Danielle Fredette who is directing Madison County Arts Council’s (MCAC) upcoming musical revue.
“A Grand Night for Singing” debuted as a musical on Broadway in 1994. MCAC’s production is being presented in a dinner theater format at Brennan Loft in London on July 23-24.
“It’s a mashup of songs from the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein repertoire. So, it’s kind of like a variety show, but it has the flow of a musical with singing, dancing, solos, and choral numbers,” Fredette said.
The audience can expect to hear plenty of popular tunes, like “Some Enchanted Evening” and “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair from “South Pacific,” and “Impossible” and “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?” from “Cinderella.”
“There are a lot of medleys in the show, and some of the contexts for the songs are a little bit reimagined,” Fredette said. “For example, ‘How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?’ (from ‘The Sound of Music’) is sung by a lovesick man instead of nuns.”
The cast of 16 has been rehearsing three nights a week for the past few weeks in preparation for the upcoming shows. Fredette is pleased with how the performers are handling the material.
“They are excellent,” she said. “I think they are one of the best groups of singers I’ve seen together in a long time.”
An engineer by trade, Fredette pursues her passion for singing, dancing, and performing as a hobby. Since moving to London about five years ago, she has acted in some MCAC shows, choreographed four musicals at West Jefferson High School, and choreographed one musical at London High School. She said she is grateful for her involvement in MCAC and the opportunities it has afforded her.
“They are a great group of people, right here in my town. I’m really happy to help them out. It is an honor to be asked to direct a show,” she said.
Fredette is joined by Jeff Gates as assistant director, Kevin Lohr who is teaching the cast the music, and Shannon Treynor who is helping to teach the music and serving as accompanist.
The cast includes: Grayson Abend, Emry Acton, Brynne Adkins, Madeline Frambes, Hadley Gammie, Sherry Holland, Gary Likens, Crystal Moran, Stan Moran, Paul Oswalt, Luke Peart, Ruth Peart, Robert Rhodes, Jennifer Ruhlen, Matthew Tlachac, and Ben Treynor.
The shows are set for July 23-24. Doors open at 6 p.m. each night. Before dinner, guests are invited to enjoy wine, cheese, and crackers. Dinner will be served at 6:30 and includes a Loft salad, bread, choice of chicken cordon bleu, ham loaf, or vegetable lasagna, green beans, roasted redskin potatoes, and desserts by Vallery’s Bakery.
Tickets are $40 per person. Reservations are required as seating is limited. For tickets, call Wilson Printing & Graphics at (740) 852-5934.
Brennan Loft is located at 158 S. Main St., London, above Wilson Printing & Graphics.