RV Chorale and Carter Calvert say ‘Give My Regards to Broadway’
The sounds of Broadway will beckon from the Craterian stage next weekend.
The Rogue Valley Chorale, led by artistic director Michael Morris, will present “Give My Regards to Broadway,” featuring favorite tunes straight from the Broadway stage at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday, March 18-20, at the Craterian Theater, 23 S. Central Ave., Medford. The show is sure to please with cherished classics including selections from iconic shows such as “Guys and Dolls,” “Les Misérables” and more. The chorale will also be joined by a special guest straight from New York, Broadway star Carter Calvert, live on stage.
“Broadway has always held a special place in my heart and soul over the years,” Rogue Valley Chorale Association executive director Brad Nelson stated in a press release. Since he was a young child, the bright lights, extravagant sets and spectacle enamored and inspired him to pursue a life in the live events industry, Nelson said. After decades spent working in a performing arts venue, Nelson soon realized that successful productions are built on many different disciplines all working together.
“But, at its core, the music is what rings true,” said Nelson. “The songs that inspire us for greatness, the tunes that have us wiping the tears from our eyes, and the lyrics that have us laughing on the car ride home are what remain with us long after the shows have packed up.”
It’s this music, this inspiration, that the RVCA, along with Calvert, will gift their audiences.
Calvert said she agrees that the music is the true magic of Broadway.
“People love Broadway! It’s the emotional soundtrack of much of our lives,” Calvert stated in the press release. “We fell in love, danced and have a collective memory of this great music. It’s cathartic to share a theatrical experience with your neighbors and community, especially in these divided times. I think everyone is hungry for good live entertainment, especially after the shutdown. There is nothing better than performing in front of real live humans! Truly thrilling! ... Whenever I perform in live concerts all over the country, the thing I hear over and over from audiences is how a particular song affected them emotionally and prompted a beautiful memory. That is so meaningful to me.”
Calvert is best known for originating her role in the Tony-nominated Broadway musical “It Ain’t Nothin’ But The Blues” alongside Grammy-winning jazz vocalist Gregory Porter, where she is featured on the cast recording and starred in the show’s national tour. Other tours include the title role in “Always Patsy Cline” opposite Sally Struthers, the featured role of “Grizabella” in the Broadway national touring company of “CATS,” the European tour of “Smokey Joe’s Café,” and an international tour of Neil Berg’s “100 Years of Broadway,” which included a stop here in Medford in 2007.
She’s received rave reviews for her off-Broadway work in “Forbidden Broadway: Comes Out Swinging” and appeared in “The Thing About Men” opposite Tony-nominee Marc Kudisch. She has originated world premiere roles in the musicals “Forbidden Vegas,” “Sparkley Clean Funeral Singers” and the “Great American Trailer Park Musical.”
“I love chorale music and am excited to be a part of this collaboration,” Calvert said in the release. “I think it’s a wonderful selection of music with everything from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Carole King to Patsy Cline. It’s thrilling to share the bill with such an incredible choir, especially under the direction of Michael Morris, whom I admire immensely. I’m looking forward to making new friends, seeing old friends, and bringing Broadway to Medford.”
Morris is no stranger to the Great White Way, either.
“I started my performing, directing and voice teaching career with Broadway musical,” RVCA’s artistic directed said in the press release. “It has always been a major part of my professional life, and it has always been near and dear to my heart. Broadway is a uniquely American genre of musical theater that captures our cultural spirit, openly expresses our concerns, joys, difficulties, humor, love, with a wealth of characters who represent the world we live in, all wrapped in a comedy or drama enhanced by song and dance!”
While the RVCA productions won’t feature those dazzling sets or the elaborate costuming, the multitude of voices raised in song will be the piece to more than make up for it.
“The music, our Rogue Valley Chorale’s voices, the direction of our own artistic director, Michael Morris, as he leads the group through the decades of Broadway songs will make for a truly wonderful concert experience,” Nelson said. “We look forward to sharing these very special events ... and hope you are singing on the car ride home!”
Concert tickets are $25, $10 for ages 22 and younger, and can be purchased at craterian.org, at the box office, 16 S. Bartlett St., in Medford, or by calling 541-779-3000. Attendees are asked to follow all venue COVID-19 policies and protocols.
For more information, see roguevalleychorale.org/events.