Elizabeth MacPherson takes a moment to rehearse before stepping onto the Chief Sepass Theatre stage. MacPherson performed songs of Britain’s Vera Lynn as part of “Until Everyone Comes Home” a Second World War-era variety show held Saturday in Fort Langley.

Elizabeth MacPherson takes a moment to rehearse before stepping onto the Chief Sepass Theatre stage. MacPherson performed songs of Britain’s Vera Lynn as part of “Until Everyone Comes Home” a Second World War-era variety show held Saturday in Fort Langley.

Langley Centennial Museum and TWU lead sentimental journey

Variety show revisits music and comedy of the Second World War era, with tributes to Vera Lynn, Bing Crosby and many more



From torch songs to toe-tappers, Until Everyone Comes Home took a near-capacity crowd at Chief Sepass Theatre on a trip back in time Saturday afternoon, with a selection of music and comedy from the Second World War.

The two-hour variety show, presented by the Langley Centennial Museum and Trinity Western University’s School of Arts, Media + Culture (SAMC), offered a tribute to the Canadian and American entertainers who provided troops all over the world with a bit of respite from the horrors of war.

Peter Tulumello, cultural services manager with the Township of Langley, was pleased both with Saturday’s turnout of more than 240 people and the fact that organizers were able to treat the crowd to an excellent show.

“We were quite thrilled,” he said of the community response.

“And then our entertainers really delivered, and our timing seemed to be right on.”

Several people suggested to Tulumello afterward that the show should become an annual event.

That would be a bit of a tall order, he said, adding that organizers have found putting on a show every 18 months or so, has been a fairly manageable timeline.

The museum previously mounted a Vaudeville show in February, 2013 to coincide with an exhibit. That subject was a natural fit for a theatrical presentation, he said.

With this show, he said, it was important to demonstrate that the war years were not all doom and gloom.

There were sacrifices being made at home, with rationing and women going to work in factories to keep materials flowing, both in North America and overseas, he said.

“Entertainment was part of that, too.

“This was an opportunity to show how we (Canada and Britain) would entertain troops. It was not all about the USO,” he said.

“It’s a good way to interpret history.”

Until Everyone Comes Home was emceed by musicologist Douglas Fraser, who offered insight into the time, and how the entertainment industry in both nations responded.

The show blended humour and optimism with the profound sense of  longing expressed in song, as soldiers continued to march off to war, leaving sweethearts and families behind.

Singer Elizabeth MacPherson brought that depth of emotion to life in the hits of English songbird Vera Lynn, performing White Cliffs of Dover, Lili Marlene and We’ll Meet Again.

Langley Fine Arts School graduate Eva Tavares performed a trio songs by Canadian singer-actress Deanna Durbin before returning to the stage as one of Lady Larks, singing the hits of the famous Andrews Sisters.

Alex McCune also pulled double duty, singing hits written by Canadian Ruth Lowe and made famous by Frank Sinatra as well as standing in for Bing Crosby for such favourites as I’ll Be Seeing You and I’ll be Home for Christmas.

Things took a sultry turn as Langley Has Talent winner Hayley Bouey belted out a trio of torch songs, from I’m in the Mood for Love to Gee Baby Ain’t I Good to You and, arguably, one of the era’s most soulful tunes, At Last.

Ahnika Barber sang songs made famous by Judy Garland while Charlotte Elgersma took the audience on a Sentimental Journey with tunes from Glenn Miller’s Big Bands songbook.

Each performance was accompanied by projected images of the original artists who made the songs famous.

Aside from the Lady Larks, all the vocalists were accompanied by the TWU Jazz Quintet.

Comedy duo Thomas Gage and Chris Nash presented a skit from Wayne and Shuster’s Army Show before redefining basic mathematics with Abbott & Costello’s routine, Arithmatickle.

Tulumello offered special thanks to Allan Thorpe, chair of TWU’s music department and the show’s music director, talent scout Sandy Dunkley and SAMC chair Angela Konrad for helping to make the show a success. An exhibit of Second World War memorabilia is on display at the Fort Langley museum, 9135 King St.,  until Tuesday, Nov. 11.

 

Just Posted

An Earth Ninja volunteer found an upright vacuum cleaner on one of their picks along Aldergrove roads last week. (Special to The Star)
Earth Ninja founder looking for help to haul Aldergrove’s trash to the dump

Jocelyn Titus has seen a spike in help and donations since her four-day-long marathon in April

Trinity Western University student Kevin Chai created TWU Access Chapters to help alleviate feelings of isolation among his peers. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Connection to combat loneliness at Langley’s Trinity Westrn University

Student from Maple Ridge creates online social network

Langley’s Danielle Lawrie will play for Canada again. Final roster for the Olympic team was announced Wednesday, May 11. (Black Press Media file photo)
VIDEO: Langley’s Danielle Lawrie to pitch for Canada at the Olympics

Champion thanked her children for allowing ‘mommy to live out a cool dfream’

Aldergrove Community Secondary. (Undated Google maps photo)
23 Langley schools on COVID exposure list after latest alerts

Five independent schools are on Fraser Health’s exposure list

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

New homes are built in a housing construction development in the west-end of Ottawa on Thursday, May 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Budget’s foreign-homebuyers tax could bring in $509 million over 4 years, PBO says

Liberals are proposing a one per cent tax on vacant homes owned by foreign non-residents

A Canadian flag patch is shown on a soldier’s shoulder in Trenton, Ont., on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. The Canadian Forces says it has charged one of its members in the death of an army reservist from British Columbia during a training exercise at a military base in Alberta last year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg
Canadian Forces member charged in death of army reservist during training exercise

Cpl. Lars Callsen has been charged with one count of negligence

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks during a press conference in the rotunda at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Wednesday May 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. to use remaining AstraZeneca vaccine for 2nd doses

Health officials say the change is due to the limited availability of the vaccine

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A youth plays basketball in an otherwise quiet court in Toronto on Saturday April 17, 2021. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is urging the federal and provincial governments to fight COVID-19 pandemic by focusing on proven public health policy interventions including paid sick leave, and education rather than punitive enforcement measures. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Provinces issued more COVID-19 tickets during 2nd wave: CCLA report

‘A pandemic is a public health, not a public order, crisis,’ reads the report

Capt. Arpit Mahajan of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds - Snowbirds 2 - shows off his ‘Jenn Book’ dedicated to Capt. Jennifer Casey. Zoom screenshot
Homecoming for B.C.-raised Snowbirds pilot training in the province

Capt. Arpit Mahajan flies Snowbird 2 in his first year as a solo pilot with the team

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

What3words was first created in the U.K. in 2013 and is credited to saving the lives of outdoor enthusiasts around the world. (Contributed)
‘This is a life saving tool’: App helps paramedics find capsized canoeists near Revelstoke

What3words pinpoints the person’s phone location to a three-meter range

Most Read