Members of the Chester River Chorale have been belting out show stoppers or crooning love songs in the spring for almost two decades, but can the singers dance too? You can find out when “Hooray for Hollywood!” is presented at Washington College’s Decker Theater at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 28th and 29th.
A few of the 90-plus Chorale members in the show have been taking dance lessons from Greg Minahan, who has brought his Broadway chops to lead the singers through their paces in moves choreographed by the Chorale’s own dance professional, alto Karen Lynn Smith, who directed the dance program at Washington College before retirement.
Minahan, who was a guest artist last spring in the Chorale’s “Shakespeare’s Songbook,” will serve as the song-and-dance master of ceremonies, soloing with an umbrella in “Singin’ in the Rain,” and leading the Chorale’s Hooray for Hollywood dancers in ballroom turns for “Cheek to Cheek” and some Snoopy-inspired boogying in “Better When I’m Dancin’.”
A bonus will be an interlude of movie themes by Maryland jazz and classical guitarist Tom Lagana.
The show marks the second year in a row that the Washington College Music Department has sponsored the Chorale’s spring show and helped put it on at the college’s Gibson Center for the Arts. Ken Schweitzer, chair of the Music Department, will serve as a percussionist as well as host.
The musical program, put together by Artistic Director Doug Cox and accompanied by the Chorale’s Sam Marshall, raises the curtain with Richard Roger’s “It’s a Grand Night for Singing” (from 1945’s State Fair) and concludes with the stirring rhythms of Carly Simon’s “Let the River Run” (from 1989’s Working Girl).
Cox said he loves the music he chose “not for its tie to the Silver Screen, but rather for the memories I have whenever I hear it,” adding that the songs “are part of my personal life soundtrack.”
Tickets are $15—with students and children free—and will be available at the door in the Gibson Center for the Arts and are available in advance from the Chorale’s website, www.chesterriverchorale.org.
The Chester River Chorale is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization funded in part by Yerkes Construction Co., the Hedgelawn Foundation, the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, the Kent County Arts Council and the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive.
The CRC’s mission is to provide opportunity, education, and inspiration for amateur singers to strive for artistic excellence. our performances entertain diverse audiences and enrich the cultural life of the community. We can only succeed with the help of you, our audience. For more information visit www.chesterriverchorale.org; check out the Chorale on Facebook, or call 410–928–5566.