Seeing great old songs with fresh eyes


Susan Gilmour and June Crowley headline the VPP’s Hollywood Sings until Sept. 22.


Theatre veterans Susan Gilmour and June Crowley say they are seeing familiar songs in new ways in Hollywood Sings.

The pair headline Victoria Playhouse Petrolia’s production along with a mix of seasoned and new performers.

The show by David Rogers and David Hogan takes the best of the songs from Hollywood musicals and blends them together. “There are themes of love, adventure, anything Hollywood movie musicals can throw at you, that’s what they are about,” says Crowley. “This music is timeless and it really is about the human condition.”

And while the songs are familiar classics which Gilmour and Crowley have sung before, sometimes when they were rehearsing for the show, they’re surprised by it.

“Wow, did I really sing that song before?” says Gilmour.

“How come that is so hard?” laughed Crowley.

The pair say it is hard to pinpoint exactly what is their favourite part of Hollywood Sings but they both enjoy the medley of Judy Garland music which includes Somewhere Over the Rainbow, The Boy Next Door, The Man the Got Away and Trolley.

And while Crowley and Gilmour relearned the music they love, they had a chance to see it in new ways working with other cast members, some of who are just starting out.

“We all come together as a unit and all learn from each other,” says Gilmour. “We’re constantly learning…and being challenged.”

Crowley says working with fresh faces such as Christine McKeon and Michael Vanhevel helps her grow. “They are a fresh set of eyes and fresh experiences,” says Crowley.

Gilmour agrees. “I’m learning from watching them…It’s a real symbiotic thing. They want to know how do you walk down the stairs in those high heels?

“And they remind you that you can sing a song 100 different ways and that’s a lesson well worth learning.”

– Heather Wright