By Stephen Weir
Does Brandon Randolph know something we don’t? In an interview this week with the Caribbean Camera, prior to his upcoming performance with the famed Mark Morris Dance Group this Friday night at the downtown Meridian Theatre, he expressed a slight concern about our weather!
Brandon Randolph has a place on St. Croix Island in the Virgin Islands that he just visited, and after reading the weather reports on what is happening in New York State and Toronto, he is wishing he might have stayed a little longer.
“You are getting us fresh and eager to dance. Toronto is the first performance of our new tour,” Randolph told the Camera. “We have been in Toronto twice before, and we are looking forward to this visit, except for one thing — what is happening with your freezing weather?”
He says he likes the Caribbean feel to the city (when it is warm) and fans should give him a wave and a clap when they see him on stage – “you won’t have trouble picking me out!”
Randolph and nine other dancers will have no issues staying warm once inside the Meridian Theatre, the Look of Love is described as being a lively performance. Randolph who is Black, says the Bacharach classic tunes have been jazzed up and “so don’t worry, we really have picked it up!”
Brandon Randolph has been with the Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG) for ten years now and is one of their big draws. The MMDG was founded by Mark Morris in 1980 and is as much a part of the New York City scene as the Empire State Building.
They are a touring ballet dance troupe and try to come to Toronto whenever they are on the road. They were last here in 2018, performing “Pepperland,” which paid homage to The Beatles’ 1967 album Sgt. Pepper.
This time Mark Morris Dance Group returns to Toronto with a heartfelt homage to the chart-topping songs of Burt Bacharach, just a year after the musician’s death. A towering figure across decades of popular music, Bacharach was known for crafting soaring melodies embedded in unique orchestrations influenced by jazz, rock, and Brazilian music; his lyricist Hal David providing poignant, often bittersweet lyrics.
Bacharach’s marvellous music “calls out for dancing,” says Brandon’s boss Mark Morris. “You’ll hear new arrangements of over a dozen classic hits performed live by the Mark Morris Dance Group’s Music Ensemble, from “I Say a Little Prayer” to “Walk on By” to “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head.” The Look of Love is a must-see for dance and music fans alike.”
There will be a live band playing in the orchestral pit. Piano, trumpet, bass, and percussion will be backing Broadway star Marcy Harriel on lead vocals.
Harriel is both a star on stage and as an actress on TV.
When Look of Love premiered on the east coast at John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Washington Post reported: “Performed by luminous chanteuse Marcy Harriell … Harriell’s voice reaches theatre-filling force … Harriell ranges masterfully from hushed intimacy to a desperate, raging plea, making you feel the destruction of a soul.”
The Mark Morris Dance Group is only in town for one performance on Friday night. The show starts at 8pm at the Meridian Theatre (1 Yonge St). The MMDG moves on next to perform in Albany New York.