Simply Myrna returns to Courtleigh tonight
Singer Myrna Hague will be back on very familiar ground tonight when she performs at the Courtleigh Auditorium, New Kingston. It is where her annual Simply Myrna, Myrna Hague in Concert was first staged, before moving outdoors for the past two years. Now she is back in her theatrical element and safe from the elements.
"I am glad to be back there," Hague said about the Courtleigh Auditorium, where pre-show cocktails begin at 6 p.m.
"Devon House was an experiment and it worked. People loved the ambience. But I was scared about the rain. The first year it rained all day and at about 4 p.m. it just stopped. People were calling at 2 p.m. to ask if the show was still on. It is scary," Hague said.
Also countering that wariness of the capricious natural elements is Hague's enjoyment of the theatrical elements the auditorium offers, including facilitating intimacy between herself and the audience. "I can go through the audience, look people in the eye, shake a hand here, touch a shoulder there," Hague told The Gleaner.
Many of the audience members know Hague well, as she estimates that about 75 per cent are multiple repeat guests. Among those are the event's patrons, former Governor General Sir Kenneth Hall and Lady Hall. It is easy to reel out other numbers for Simply Myrna tonight is the concert's eighth staging, she will wear four costumes (including two changes when guests Jay Douglas from Canada and Fab Five Band are performing).
And she almost stopped the show after the fifth year, but was urged to not do so. Hague had thought persons would be tired of the event, but there were those asked, "if you stop, what are we going to do?".
One of the loyal audience members will have an extra special moment tonight, as she has consistently enquired about Hague doing the song she opened the first Simply Myrna with. It is in tonight's repertoire. "I am looking forward to the show. I like doing it. It is a good thing to do what you love and have people appreciate it," Hague said. "It is a special time. I just wish my husband (the late Cecil 'Sonny' Bradshaw) was here."