Have you ever realized how many well-known tunes originated in Shows and Musicals? Even many of the current standards played by jazz groups found their first lease of life in a musical theatre production. In Ottawa, the Orpheus Musical Theatre Society keeps that flame alive by running favourites such as “Fiddler On The Roof” (not a show about Garth Drabinsky!) and “Hairspray”. One of the kingpins of Orpheus is retired music teacher and keyboard genius John McGovern, and this week he is coming in as accompanist to singer Mary Frances for an evening of memorable songs from the musical theatre repertoire.
Mary Frances has performed on ‘Country Hoedown’ CBC Toronto, ‘Neither Rhyme Nor Reason’ and ‘Segue’, CBC Ottawa and Lunch Party with Bill Luxton, and at CJOH Ottawa. Mary’s Stage performances include lead roles in Orpheus productions of “Funny Girl” and “Pajama Game”, and her Night club credits include the “Bon Soir” and “Number One Fifth Avenue” in New York, the Duvernay Hotel in Hull, and “Club 70” in Ottawa. She sang with the Moxie Whitney orchestra at the Royal York and Banff Springs hotels and is currently female vocalist with the Grey Jazz Big Band, as well as Featured singer with the Centralaires Concert band. Mary often sings with Bill Luxton in the “Side by Side” duo which visits many retirement homes and other venues throughout the year, where they are accompanied by John McGovern. In her youth she was a winner on the Arthur Godfrey Show singing “I’ve Got A Crush on You” and performed on many CBC musical series in the early days with stars like Robert Goulet and Shirley Harmer etc.
So as you can see we have all the elements for a great evening of memorable and remembered songs from several decades – celebrate the arrival of Spring by coming along to hum the accompaniments and enjoy the choruses with the fabulous talents of Mary and John.
Mary Frances accompanied by John McGovern will be at Gaia Java on Friday, April 17 at 7:00pm.