American Lates

An endearing display that demonstrates both exceptional vocal and instrumental talents. Beginning by apologising for the state of politics in his home country (a jibe at both Clinton and Trump), tenor Tom Randle takes to the stage with a sonorous take on the traditional American folk song, 'The Boatman'. Halfway through 'I Bought Me a Cat', soprano Gillian Keith arrives behind the seated rows to warble her way into the Aaron Copland classic and join her colleague Randle on the stage in duet; the two, visibly expressive vocalists show a clear background in musical theatre.

A professional scale from all involved.

At the midway point we are treated to a beautiful rendition of Samuel Barber’s 'Nocturne', and it is here we begin to see the more illustrious talents of Chad Vindin, the man behind the player piano. Around the same time, Tom Randle enthusiastically provided us with a rendering of his own composition, a dedication to Walt Whitman that sees him sing the words of 'Reconciliation' in praise of the American poet. Thereafter, Emily Sun arrives to the stage, somewhat late but nonetheless masterful of her art, to exhibit impressive skills on the violin.

The third quarter performs pieces by Leonard Bernstein, including West Side Story’s popular 'Tonight', before the closing three numbers pay tribute to George Gershwin, ending the night on a charming rendition of 'Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off'. It would have been nice to include Emily Sun in the final five minutes of the show. Still, the closer was nonetheless terrific, a stripped back version of 'Shall We Dance' with amusing altered lyrics to their Scottish environment.

At times, the lighting does not effectively complement the talent on stage, but it would be unfair to put blame down to the venue choice. The biggest issue seems to be the exclusion of Emily Sun, where it does not feel that they use the violinist enough to justify her presence. Overall, however, the lasting outcome is sufficient in conveying musical talent on a professional scale from all involved.

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The Blurb

Soprano Gillian Keith is joined by tenor Tom Randle, violinist Emily Sun and pianist Chad Vindin for this late-night concert of American classics, including Bernstein, Gershwin and Copland. Includes a glass of wine.

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