Broadway hits, but no hints

Theatre St. John’s showcasing music of Andrew Lloyd Webber

Published on July 4, 2014

Theatre St. John’s is promising an extra exciting upcoming season — we just can’t tell you what it includes.

It’s not that we didn’t try to find out, it’s just that artistic director Keith Pike isn’t giving much away, saying the theatre company will make a big splash with the announcement in the fall.

His only hints:

“There are going to be a couple of really exciting shows, one that’s never before been produced here, and the other that has, but we’re taking it in a different direction with a new vision.”

Saturday night, Theatre St. John’s will present its annual gala fundraiser at the Arts and Culture Centre. Due to great success last year, it’s a revised tribute to British composer Andrew Lloyd Webber (with some other music thrown in), with some well-known names: Kelly-Ann Evans. Peter Halley, Jonathan Monro, Krystin Pellerin, Justin Nurse, Darrin Martin and more. Songs will include hits from Broadway shows like “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat,” “Phantom of the Opera,” “The Sound of Music,” “Wizard of Oz” and more.

Theatre St. John’s has a mandate to develop the talents of younger performers, and there are four of them performing in this show: Sarah Drover will sing “No Matter What” from “Whistle Down the Wind;” Jane Hutchings will sing “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” and Nicholas Keough and Ian Carol will perform “I Won’t Grow Up,” from “Peter Pan.” The kids are all gifted singers destined for success, Pike said.

Theatre St. John’s, a non-profit theatre company, has produced more than a dozen shows, including last year’s massive production of “Mary Poppins,” complete with flying characters. Pike says he particularly likes doing Webber’s music, since it’s timeless.

Something new for this year’s gala is a silent auction, with works donated by local visual artists Elizabeth Burry, Chris Crockwell and Keli-Ann Pye-Beshara.

Like in previous years, all money raised will help fund the free workshops Theatre St. John’s provides to schools in the city, as well as the theatre company’s future productions.

“We’re a professional theatre company, so the money will go towards salaries for performers, venue rentals, costumes, sets and the rights (to perform certain pieces),” Pike explains. “We also sometimes bring people in — like with Mary Poppins, for instance, we brought a team in to fly Mary and Bert. Stuff like that.”

Tickets for “An Evening With Andrew Lloyd Webber and Friends” are $40, and are available at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre box office. The silent auction begins Saturday evening at 6:30, while showtime is 7:30.