Dominic Garvey was a classical pianist before he came to Boothbay Harbor to be artistic director at the Carousel Music Theater. He held the job 25 years, directing, teaching and guiding hundreds of young actors in his original musical revues, with songs from the Great American Songbook to the tunes on American Bandstand. For most of these young actors, summer stock at Carousel was their first professional gig.
On Saturday, Sept. 18 at the Opera House at Boothbay Harbor, several Carousel alumni will present a loving tribute to Garvey, who died six years ago.
“Dominic Garvey laid the groundwork for so many of us,” said Michelle Bruckner. “My dad and I drove down to Boothbay Harbor together after I graduated from Adelphi. I just fell in love with Dominic’s work, Dominic, and the chance to perform six nights a week.
“He really set me up for my work in New York City … After five seasons I left the Carousel (and since then) I have done national and international show tours, film, TV … There’s a lot of us who ended up with really nice careers and Dominic layed the groundwork for us,” Bruckner said.
All of the tribute performers got their career starts with Garvey at Carousel or knew him as a co-collaborator or fellow performer. Here they are and what they have chosen to sing, with musical accompaniment by John Leslie who was Garvey’s assistant music director: The soloists are Kevin Kiley, with “You’ve Got That Thing;” David Delana, “You’re Never;” Jeff Sampson, “Mona Lisa;” Teresa Curley Beaudoin, “How Are Things In Your Glocca Mora?”; Kelli Connors, “Makin’ Whoopee!”; Michael J. Tobin, “Old Man River” and “Her Face;” Dennis St. Pierre, “Bring Him Home” and “Luck Be A Lady.” And John Leslie, who performs a solo show about Liberace, will perform as “Mr. Showmanship” himself singing the “Liberace Boogie.”
Jack Omar will emcee as his alter ego, Omar Ricardo (think Ricky Ricardo from “I Love Lucy”). He will also sing “Tea For Two” with “Liberace.” Teresa Curley and Jeff Sampson join voices for “Old Devil Moon;” and Michelle Bruckner and Kelli Connors will perform an arrangement Garvey made of two songs from “Showboat” and “Oliver.”
“He was a lifelong mentor, friend, and champion of us all,” Bruckner said. “Now that I’m directing and a choreographer, the torch has been passed. We’re all singing our very best for him and I’m hoping the community will come out and join us to celebrate Dominic’s life and legacy.”
Advance discounted tickets are $20 and available through the Opera House box office at 86 Townsend Ave., open Wednesday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets can also be reserved by calling 633-5159. Regularly priced tickets are $25 and available at boothbayoperahouse.com and on the day of the performance at the door.
All audience members must provide proof of vaccination at the door, or proof of a negative COVID test within 24 hours of arriving at the Opera House. The concert begins at 7 p.m. Doors open for seating at 6:30.