Showing a wealth of talent on display, Broadway veteran Liz Callaway, a Tony-nominated actress who starred in “Cats” for several years, sang “Memory” from that legendary musical against a PowerPoint backdrop of Civil War photos and paintings. Callaway also sang a number from Anastasia, an animated film in which she was the singing voice of the title character. Both songs were well received by the audience.
In keeping with the Civil War theme students in Chautauqua coordinator John Pratt’s classes have been studying recently, pianist Jacqueline Schwab gave audiences a brief preview of her skills prior to her 90-minute concert at the school Wednesday morning. Schwab’s work played in the background of documentary filmmaker Ken Burns’ famous “The Civil War.”
Fans of ‘70s rock may have felt a tinge of disappointment when Orleans bass player Lance Hoppen declined to sing “Dance with Me” or “Still the One,” but the artist’s optimistic original works appeared to catch on with his audience. Hoppen complimented his fellow Chautauqua members on the uniqueness they were each bringing to the stage.
That individuality was perhaps displayed best in Nancy Nevins’ show-stealing performance. The former member of Sweetwater, the first band to play at Woodstock in 1969, led her audience in an autobiographical song that contained the tongue-in-cheek refrain, “Woodstock wasn’t that much fun.”
Nevins was joined on stage by fellow Chautauqua performers Callaway, Brian O’Neal and Jann Klose for the song, which took a humorous look at some of the less-than-glamorous events Nevins and her band faced at the legendary concert.
The ‘60s rocker also complimented John Pratt saying, “If we had more teachers like this, we might be doing better,” a statement met with applause from the many adults and students in the crowd. Nevins praised her fellow guests as well adding, “These are the best singers I will ever get to work with in my life.”