Established and rising stars carried the spirit of Broadway to the Chrysler Theatre stage Saturday and Sunday in the opening concerts of Windsor Symphony's pops season.
A visit from Canadian lyric tenor Mark DuBois has become an almost annual event.
The highlight of Saturday's near sellout was DuBois' reading of the Irish standard "O Danny Boy." Reaching into a countertenor's range with his high notes, DuBois displayed a mastery of the traditional song, injecting it with emotional intensity.
His leading-man charm and sense of style are ideally suited to romantic arias. On Saturday, they included examples from the world of operetta -- "Chez Maxim's" from Franz Lehar's "The Merry Widow" -- and the musical stage -- Stephen Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns."
At other times, as in Andrew Lloyd Webber's "All I Ask of You," from "Phantom of the Opera," he acted out the song with his singing partner, soprano Corinne Lynch.
Lynch was making her Windsor stage debut and was also featured in the first-half duets -- "Love Unspoken" from "The Merry Widow," and "Brindisi" from the Verdi opera, "La Traviata."
She also sang the obscure George Gershwin song, "By Strauss," a playful tune about romance and the waltz which suited the evening's theme of love in the Broadway style perfectly.
Steven Henrikson, Windsor's widely respected bass-baritone, performed a single number -- "When the Night Wind Howls," from the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, "Ruddigore." This preview of Halloween, about a ghostly ride at night, was aided by the men of the Windsor Symphony Chorus.
WSO conductor John Morris Russell continued to support local talent by adding Windsor groups to the headliners.
A large ensemble from the St. Clair College musical theatre program acted out "Hernando's Hideaway" from the musical, "The Pajama Game." The audience enjoyed a humorous scenario in which a jealous husband is distracted from finding his cheating wife.
About eight grade-school children from Winstars Gymnastics joined DuBois and Lynch in selections from "The King and I."
The second half of the program Saturday was interrupted half way through by an unannounced performance of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," so Russell could update the score in the World Series game in Detroit.
For the encore, the WSO Chorus joined DuBois, Lynch, Henrikson and the St. Clair College group in a rousing rendition of Sigmund Romberg's and Oscar Hammerstein's "The Desert Song."