Broadway’s Back on Bay: Thunder Bay talent wows audience, reviving Broadway classics.

Story by Lindsay Campbell, photos by Good Design by Jess Vamplew

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On Wednesday July 24, people of all ages crowded the Finlandia Hall eager to celebrate the music of Broadway. Applauze Productions’ musical extravaganza Broadway’s Back on Bay brought songs of the theatre, both old and new, to life on stage.

The cast of performers appropriately opened the show with a number titled “Another Openin’ Another Show.” It was lively, theatrical and rich with talent.

Spencer Hari, a cast-member of the production allowed the show to get as personal and down-to-earth as a Broadway can get. Between numbers Hari offered relevant showbiz history for Broadway newbies and effortlessly cracked jokes for additional comedic relief.

There were many memorable performances of the night. Alex Onski delivered a lively performance with Neil Paterson of “Sue Me” from the musical Guys and Dolls. Onski portrayed the story of an emotional woman who has grown sick and tired of her partner’s ways of lying and gambling in the New York underworld. Nancy Freeborn brought down the house at the end of the first act with the Broadway classic “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Misérables. It was an emotional performance that gave chills and left the audience wanting more.

In the second half of the production, Broadway Beyoncé, Paula DiGiuseppe entertained the audience with a provocative, energetic song and dance number from the musical Chicago as murderess Velma Kelly. A Footloose medley delivered by Applauze Productions’ intermediate ensemble wowed the audience with their strong vocals and playful dance moves to 80s classics.

The evening ended with a light-hearted, theatrical performance from the whole cast with “Side by Side by Side” from Company. The audience rose from their chairs without hesitation to commend performers with a standing ovation. The only shame in this event was the absence of an encore!