Patrick Street Productions’ Out of a Dream is a successful tribute to Rodgers and Hammerstein: a repertoire of classics from the duo’s prolific twenty-year musical career. If you grew up to songs from Oklahoma!, know all the words in The Sound of Music and have re-watched The King and I numerous times, this show is made for you. It’s a lovely evening.
Conceived and directed by PSP’s co-founder and artistic director Peter Jorgensen, Out of A Dream arranges more than 40 Rodgers and Hammerstein songs into a loose narrative of lovers falling in and out, and in and out, of love. The staging – one wooden bench with a rainbow-sky backdrop – could be too sparse in any other production, but here it’s the ideal staging to create this dream-like reality; we slip in and out of stories and songs with grace and ease, our imaginations adapting to each new melody.
The cast is very strong. Kazumi Evans opens the show with “Out Of My Dreams” in her soaring clear soprano, Kaylee Harwood has a smooth, velvet-powerful voice that matches the more boisterous numbers in the show such as “I Cain’t Say No”, and Catriona Murphy gives a moving and original rendition of “Maria” from The Sound of Music. Their male counterparts are equally engaging. Sayer Roberts’ rich tones and commitment to each song make his versatility a pleasure to watch, while Warren Kimmel reminds us why he’s a highly-praised musical theatre veteran with his subtle, moving performances and considered mannerisms.
Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote primarily about that crazy little thing called love, so it’s no surprise that much of Out of a Dream consists of lovers’ duets or the musings of a lover – requited or not. “If I Loved You” by Sayer and Kazumi is a particular highlight, touching and deftly played. Highlights of the show for me were the same-gender songs, primarily upbeat numbers that quickly moved both acts along, such as “There Is Nothing Like A Dame” and “Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair ” (or maybe I just really like South Pacific).
Patrick Street Productions have succeeded in creating a loving ode to the music genius duo. Out of A Dream is a graceful evening that lets you bask in the pure pleasure of these musical numbers. One for the family, or a cozy date night.
Out of A Dream continues to February 16, 2014 at the York Theatre in Vancouver. Visit http://thecultch.com for tickets and information.
Scottish-born Zoe Grams is Principal at ZG Communications and has spent much of her life in theatres and bookstores.
Her work has appeared in publications on both sides of the Atlantic, including The Tyee, Back of the Book, GUM and Skinny Mag. Zoe’s lifelong passions include exploring new cities and the arts.