Hamil-tunes and holiday favourites, Bermudian singer to stream live concert
If you are missing live music, Jonathan Christopher is offering a concert filled with “Hamil-tunes”, and holiday and Broadway favourites.
He’s urging family and friends in Bermuda to tune in this weekend for Another Year Has Gone By, the performance he will live stream from Toronto where he has been stuck as a result of the pandemic since March.
“They were saying it would be for two weeks,” said the 33-year-old who had been preparing for a three-month tour of Canada with the Broadway hit Hamilton.
“You can eat cookies and watch all of Schitt’s Creek or The Nanny streaming on television, but all of the sudden you realise you don’t have much of a purpose. I realised that as fulfilling as singing is to me, the real fulfilment is being able to share that part of myself with people and to sing songs that connect me to people.”
He hopes the concert will raise money for The Actors Fund, which provides aid and relief for everyone in the entertainment industry - from actors to stagehands.
“This has been a very trying year for many people,” Mr Christopher said. “It is good to send that joy back out to the people who have supported me over the years, and share what I have been up to.”
Through the magic of technology, he will sing a duet with his younger brother Nicholas, who will perform in Hamilton in Los Angeles, California when theatre opens up again.
It is not his first concert since the pandemic began. Back in September, a neighbour arranged for him to sing on the patio of his Toronto condominium complex.
“I put two of the concerts up on Facebook Live and I saw people tuning in,” he said.
Another Year Has Gone By came about after Vicki Smith, a friend and set designer in Arizona, asked if he would be willing to do a live stream concert.
“I said sure,” he said. “She has helped me put the show together by providing organisational and administrative advice.
“She helped me get a sponsor out in Arizona. I am sponsored by Chubb Insurance, and she is a sponsor as well. I got in touch with a music director here. He helped me find an incredible band.”
The performance will show out of Small World Music Centre, a concert hall in Toronto that is open for streaming events.
“You know how fulfilling performing is when you do it but you don’t realise how much you miss it until you get to do it once,” said Mr Christopher, who is in Canada on “an extended business visitor visa”.
Written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton follows the rise of American founding father Alexander Hamilton. The show has been a smash hit since it began in 2015 and has companies performing all over North America.
Mr Christopher made his debut in Wisconsin a year ago, performing in the ensemble in the roles of Aaron Burr and George Washington.
He began touring with the musical in Canada but, as part of his contract, returned to the United States to perform in Encores!Love Life at the New York City Center.
He moved back to Toronto as the coronavirus cases started rising and the Big Apple shut down.
“All of our costumes and our set are just in the theatre right now. It is a graveyard to shows gone by waiting for us to come back,” he said.
There have been more than 133,000 cases of Covid-19 in Ontario since the health crisis began and 3,816 deaths.
The city is currently in its third of a four-week lockdown aimed at bringing the numbers down again.
“On Monday they had 1,900 new cases for the second day in Ontario,” said Mr Christopher. “Put that into perspective. We have been in lockdown for two weeks now and the numbers haven’t really changed. Hopefully this week will be the changing point.
“You can go out for walks and runs. Essential businesses are open. The grocery stores, hardware stores and the Apple store, is open still. Customers wait outside of the store. Then everything else is kerbside pick-up. A lot of the retail shops a block away from my apartment on Queen Street have shut down and boarded up just in case.”