To the Editor: Bonnie & Friends Review

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Bonnie & Friends

One did not have to catch a train to a New York concert hall or sail on a ship to hear the Royal Caribbean Singers in order to enjoy some of the finest performers one can hear. Their outstanding props were in the imagination and a red cape, plus a few vivid, whimsy scarves and a dashing cowgirl hat.

From the first cord, tickled on the piano keys by the very outstanding pianist Nancy Fleischman at the annual “Bonnie and Friends In Concert, Sunday, August 14 at Crozet Baptist Church, the audience was captivated until the final cord of the performance. No one wanted to leave the gathering of old friends, and stayed around to make new ones.

Chuck Miller and David Collyer brought down the house, so to speak, with their strong, rich  voices and their gifted abilities to “play to the audience.”

David Collyer’s gift to the audience was imaginary tables and chairs that were so powerfully put down that one could imagine seeing them, sitting around, but all empty of friends who had once been there. This was done by his singing “Empty Chairs and Empty Tables” from Les Miserables.

Bonnie Samuel was not new to performances like this and whether she sang a soft romantic song or a toe tapper, she was superb. Her performance of “The Greatest of These,” and her selections from “Phantom of the Opera” all left the audience with a smile, quietly humming the songs. Bonnie’s personality was charming, so was her little red cape.

Dry Bones, sung by the ensemble, was brought to life before one’s eyes when the old, dry skeleton began to dance around with his eyes rolling and his feet dancing to the rhythm of the music.

Judy Bazin was absolutely the “Cat’s Me-Ow” as she sang and performed the song, Raunchy, from the play The Rainmaker. She played the part of Lizzie, an aging unmarried woman, who lives with her father and brother on a drought-stricken ranch. Here again, as thoughout of the entire concert, New York performers could not have done it better!

It seems that Edelweiss ranks very high on the list of favorites for everyone and the opening of the song by Chuck Miller started heads in the audience to gently sway as the song gained momentum and action from the ensemble.

Every one of the performers was relaxed ad made the audience feel that each one in attendance was the most important there. The numbers on the program were finely selected to appeal to the audience and each singer was well suited for the part.  This was an event that was so very well done.

Betty Clayton

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