CBC TV and Broadway star at Stratford SpringWorks
If you love music from the American Songbook and musical theatre don’t miss “I Hear the Music” Friday and Saturday afternoon at the SpringWorks Festival in Stratford.
Staring Lorraine Foreman, “I Hear Music” traces the Canadian legend’s career from a footloose young club singer to Broadway, the West End, Stratford, and Charlottetown.
From the capitals of Europe and the Middle East, where Foreman met up with the likes of Princess Margaret, Ava Gardner, Henry Fonda and King Farouk, to her huge successes on both Canadian and American television, to her work on Broadway, Foreman sings the songs that touched her heart and reminiscences about her long and distinguished career.
I caught up with Foreman and had the chance to do some reminiscing.
1) In the 1950’s you worked with Gordie Tapp and Tommy Hunter, on CBC’s “Country Hoedown.” What did you learn from working with them so early in your career?
We were all starting on television around that time.
Hoedown was very casually rehearsed. We got the songs on the Monday, five days ahead of the shoot, we learned them at home, and we would wing it on Friday in front of the cameras, remember, everything was live to air back then, and there was an audience – it was a lot of fun.
When Gordie couldn’t remember his lyrics, he would just add, “Comin’ through the jam,” and somehow make it fit.
King Gannon would write the introductions of the numbers on his hands, use the washroom, wash his hands, and then with the intros washed away… fake it!
Tommy Hunter was sweet. He was just starting out.
He was passionate about model railroads, and he took great pride in taking us home to see his train sets!
2) You were on the cover of the popular magazine Chatelaine. In her song “Miss Chatelaine” KD Lang wrote “I can’t explain why I’ve become Miss Chatelaine.” How did you get that cover and what impact did it have on your career?
They were doing a cover story about new television celebrities. They wanted to know whether we were going to stay in Canada or go to the States.
They followed me with cameras for a week, so they could get a sense of the life of a young performer and television artist. They took photos of me taking singing, ballet and acting classes, rehearsing “Time Lock,” the new Arthur Haley play, and performing at the King Edward Hotel.
Chatelaine made me a star for a while in Canada – thank you Chatelaine!!
3) In 1993 you performed in the Tony Award winning Broadway production of “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” along with fellow Canadian Brent Carver. The show was directed by the legendary Hal Prince. How did Prince get such evocative and compelling performances from the cast?
He cast really well.
He trusted who he cast, and he let them develop their own rich, and compelling characters.
I loved that show.
4) Your show at SpringWorks in Stratford, “I Hear Music,” features classics from the American Songbook and selections from musical theatre. What criteria did you use in selecting the songs?
The songs in “I Hear Music” are the songs that I sang in clubs, cabarets, television shows and Broadway. The song list follows me through my life, and touches on all the facets of my life.
Bob [Missen] and Debora [Joy] sing songs that enhance the story, and they, along with David Warrack, join me in the telling of my story.
5) If you could only sing one more song which song would you sing and why?
At the end of “I Hear Music,” I sing, “No Time At All,” from Pippin.
It’s an upbeat song that describes the way I feel about my life so far, and far into the future.
Life is a great adventure. Go out and live it!!
“I Hear Music” is at the Falstaff Family Centre in Stratford, 2pm Friday and Saturday afternoon.
Lorraine is joined by Debora Joy, who has performed on Broadway, The Stratford Festival and the Old Vic in London’s West End and Robert Missen who worked with many vocal ensembles including the Festival Singers, Elmer Iseler Singers and Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. Missen is a member of the Canadian Opera Company.
Musical Director is David Warrack who has worked for television and stage across North America. CBC Radio listeners might recall his regular appearances with Peter Gzowsky on “Morningside” where he performed his trademark comedy songs.
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