The sounds of love are being sparked on stage just in time for the most romantic weekend of the year.
They have sung Something Good as Maria and Captain Von Trapp and performed ABBA originals as Donna Sheridan and Sam Carmichael. Local performers Charity Van Gameren and Stephen Friesen combine voices once more on Feb. 15 to present From Broadway with Love at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre.
“Steve and I have a strong musical connection and chemistry that allows us to find the beauty, sincerity, and spark in the songs and performances when we share the stage,” said Van Gameren. “We have had many years of being immersed in theatre together and are thrilled to share our love of Broadway with the audience. It will be a beautiful blend of voices and storytelling wrapped in all things amore.”
The duo plans to perform songs from some of Broadway’s best-known musicals, including Phantom of the Opera, Annie Get Your Gun, Fiddler on the Roof, and The Sound of Music. They will also perform modern offerings from the stage and screen, including from Moulin Rouge, The Greatest Showman, Once, Finding Neverland, A Star is Born, and Mamma Mia!, the latter of which they appeared in together last year.
“These are not just your typical shmaltzy duets between the guy and girl,” Friesen said. “We’ve tried to find some comedic and more obscure songs that people may not have heard before. We’ll be doing some songs in a concert-style, and some will be in character.”
The busy physician and family man has not only taken on significant roles in several musicals, including as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray and Mr. Banks in Mary Poppins, he has also performed with Opera Kelowna and the Okanagan Symphony Chorus.
The director of Vernon’s Lights of Broadway, as well as the owner of Center Stage Performing Arts Academy, Van Gameren has been performing and instructing voice for more than 25 years.
Friesen and Van Gameren have been rehearsing the past six months on the 16 songs they will present for From Broadway with Love. Accompanying them on the piano will be Neta Petkau. The intimate concert will take place with the audience seated with them on the Performing Arts Centre stage.
From Broadway with Love starts Feb. 15 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35/adult and $32 student/senior at the Ticket Seller box office. Call 250-549-7469 or order online at www.ticketseller.ca.