An engaging show called The Legends of Carnegie Hall is on its way to the City this week.
Performances are set to run April 28th and April 29th in the Nickle Studio (in the Memorial Centre), starting at 7:30 p.m.
The show, created and produced by Alison MacDonald and Morgan McKee, is described as a, “Musical celebration of women who have sung in Carnegie Hall. An evening filled with stories, laughs and songs made famous by Patsy Cline, Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli, Bette Midler, Carole King and Ella Fitzgerald featuring the vocal stylings of Alison MacDonald and the incomparable Morgan McKee on keys (with special guests).”
MacDonald said that almost 20 years ago, she sang in the Take Note Jazz Choir at Lindsay Thurber High School and in 1998, the group sang in Carnegie Hall as part of the North American Vocal Jazz Extravaganza.
“It was an incredible experience! Our choir was even given a Mayor’s Recognition Award in 1999,” she said. “Since graduating high school, I have gone on to complete Red Deer College’s Theatre Program, graduated from the Canadian College of Performing Arts, garnered a Jessie Award in Vancouver and have worked across the country in musical theatre.”
Last year, she was also approved by the Patsy Cline Estate to play ‘Patsy’ in ‘A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline’ at theatres in B.C. and Ontario.
MacDonald said it was her portrayal of Cline that really sparked her interest in doing this type of a show.
“But I also wanted there to be more diverse music throughout the evening, so I looked through my repertoire and of musicians that I really appreciated. Judy Garland came to mind, and Liza Minnelli. And then I tried to find a tie in with them all, and I realized that they had all performed at Carnegie Hall,” she said.
“Carnegie Hall meant something different to each of them. And all of that history – I’m trying to fine-tune it and really dig into it more, too.”
As to what makes these women legendary, MacDonald believes that for each of them, performing was really just a part of them all on a deeper level. “Performing and singing and storytelling through song – it was all something that they just had to do.
“Patsy Cline said, ‘I sing like it hurts’. Ella Fitzgerald said, ‘The only thing better than singing is more singing’. When I listen to these artists, I see that it’s in them. Where they really shine, and where they needed to be – was onstage singing and telling these stories.”
Meanwhile, MacDonald added that after having lived in Vancouver and Toronto for several years, she is excited to be making Alberta her home base once again. “I felt like why don’t I make Alberta my home base since I’m always craving the prairies between jobs,” she said.
“More specifically, I’m thrilled to be singing in Red Deer – the city that, during my years in high school and college, really nurtured my love of the arts.
“There’s just something in me that knows I’ll always be doing this – I just love it. I feel at home onstage singing.”
For ticket information, visit www.blackknightinn.ca.