This was definitely a show that you shouldn’t have missed! On 13 August, the Cinnamon Grand Oak Room was brought to life with an amazing selection of songs from Broadway musicals. Organised to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Colombo International Tea convention, the performance featured world class opera singers Karen Usha Grey and Adam Jon. They were accompanied by Soundarie David Rodrigo, who was also the main musical director for the show. The show also included guest appearances by ‘Soul’ with Ravi Bandu Vidyapathy and Soul Sounds. All proceedings collected will be donated to the trust fund that helps with the education of the estate children.
It started with an energetic and vibrant performance by Soul Sounds accompanied by Soundarie David. The medley included a whole bunch of amazing songs, to name a few - 21 Guns, Need a Hero, Talk About Love, Gravity and No Business Like Show Business. Everything from the choreography to the outfits were on point. It definitely set the stage for the rest of the night.
Usha Karen Grey entered the stage next and mesmerised the audience by her performance of ‘Sound of Music’. Both her presence and the deliverance of it was captivating. ‘I could have danced all night’ and ‘Summertime’ were lovely and fun. Her stage presence is amazing! She keeps you captivated and engaged the whole time. Both emotional and expressions on point. Her rendition of ‘Don't cry for me Argentina’ was breathtakingly beautiful. She painted a perfect picture with her performance. She also dedicated ‘Somewhere over the rainbow’ to Jith Pieris. Her first performance at 8 was also produced by him. She even joked about wearing a red dress back then too. One thing is for sure. When the show ended, I was left being proud to be Sri Lankan. Her talent is beyond my ability to describe and praise.
Adam John was accompanied by Soul Sounds for two songs from the Lion King ‘Circle of life’ and ‘He lives in you.’ He has a very powerful voice that did justice to both songs. I couldn’t pick a favourite between ‘If I can't love her’ from the Beauty and the Beast and ‘Stars’ from Les Miserables. I am certainly leaning towards ‘Stars’ as it is from my favourite Broadway musical and the backdrop together with the lighting was spot on. He brought out the emotions so well and had the audience captivated. He also performed some fun and animated songs like ‘Dancing through life’ from Wicked and ‘Man about Town’ from Young Frankenstein.
But when they took the stage together to perform two sings from Phantom of the Opera ‘All I ask of you’ and ‘The Phantom of the Opera’, it was out of this world. Both times the audience was left speechless. It was so beautiful and full of emotion.
The show also broke from the Broadway songs for an instrumental by Soul with Ravibandu Vidyapathi titled ‘Brock Hoofbeats’ Raagaesque. It was both an impressive and beautiful blend of Western and Eastern instruments. It was the perfect addition to the evening.
The night was concluded with the ‘Prayer’ and it was the perfect ending!
“It was a beautiful performance. Both artists are so talented. Broadway shows are not seen so often in Sri Lanka so I am happy to have enjoyed the show.”
2. Mal Keragala – “It was very good and a very memorable selection of songs.”
3. Liyana – “It was superb! And I thoroughly enjoyed it.”
4. Indresh Fernando – “I absolutely enjoyed it. It was amazing and I got goosebumps. Phantom of the Opera was my favourite.”
5. Ramona Anthonys – “I enjoyed the show very much.”
6. Stefan Joachin – “It was absolutely spectacular in terms of everything from the music, sets and lighting. Karen was amazing!”
7. Dr. Vasantha Kumar – “Really enjoyed it. It was very nice and a good selection of songs that everyone can enjoy.”
8. Romesh Moraes – “It was something different from the usual. I am very proud that we are Sri Lankan. The prayer was my favourite performance.”
10. Himali Senanayake – “Fantastic! Somewhere over the rainbow was my favourite.”
11. Aru Supramanium – “It was fantastic! Soundarie David, Karen and the Soul Sounds were excellent!”
12. Dr. Priya – “It was really good. Would like to see more similar performances in the future!”
13. Prasanna Gunathileka – “Absolutely wonderful. I have seen Phantom of the Opera 6 times in London and today’s performances were amazing. Loved it!”
14. Natasha – “So happy to hear such positive feedback. Hopefully we will have more similar shows in the future. ‘Stars’ by Adam and ‘Memory’ by Karen were my favourites!”
Pics by Nisal Baduge