2018-06-28 / Neighbors

Best of Broadway from A to Z

Special to the Courier


Emily Boilard of Biddeford and member of The Dance Company readies costumes for the troupe’s annual show. (Courtesy photo) Emily Boilard of Biddeford and member of The Dance Company readies costumes for the troupe’s annual show. (Courtesy photo) The Dance Company will present “The Best of Broadway” Wednesday, July 11 and Thursday, July 12 at The Temple in Ocean Park. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 7:30.

Tickets are $12 per person and can be purchased at the door. Deb Lombard, of Saco, is director and choreographer for the troupe that includes adults and children from throughout southern Maine.

All numbers performed come straight from Broadway. Lombard has decades of experience in show business and strives each year to put on a professional show from the production’s lighting, music, choreography and presentation. Learn more about Lombard and the company below, from A to Z.

Best of Broadway – A to Z

A - Ad lib. Improvise. It’s not uncommon to see a bit if acting in the Best of Broadway, which most performers ad lib.


Deb Lombard, director and choreographer of The Dance Company of Saco, added new costume pieces to her collection of thousands. The company’s production of “The Best of Broadway” will be held Wednesday, July 11 and Thursday, July 12 at The Temple in Ocean Park. (Courtesy photo) Deb Lombard, director and choreographer of The Dance Company of Saco, added new costume pieces to her collection of thousands. The company’s production of “The Best of Broadway” will be held Wednesday, July 11 and Thursday, July 12 at The Temple in Ocean Park. (Courtesy photo) B – Barefoot. Lombard often dances barefoot and show attendees will see numbers performed where dancers don’t wear shoes. “Keep grounded,” she said. “Feel the earth.”

C – Carl Schmehl. Lombard has had the privilege of working closely with professional Carl Schmehl since 1987 that has allowed her many opportunities to be behind the scenes at several productions including “When Pigs Fly” in the Douglas Fairbanks Theatre, Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes, and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

D – Deb Lombard has worked in show business for decades and founded The Dance Company in 1992.

E – “Eight Track, Sounds of the Seventies,” Lombard was given the rights to be the first choreographer to choreograph this show. “It was an honor and very exciting,” she said.

F - Fosse, as in Bob Fosse, the one and only, could be called Broadway’s greatest showman. Many Dance Companuy numbers are inspired Fosse and his work.

G – Gus Giordano is a world renown jazz dancer, teacher and choreographer that Lombard had the opportunity to take master classes with.

H – The house, filled with an audience, is the reason and inspiration for why the company performs.

I - Inga Oneil a ballet teacher from Germany who taught Lombard how to “crack a walnut.”

J – Jessica Ernest, a former student of Lombard’s who now graces the Broadway stage as Go to Hell Kitty and Roxie Hart in “Chicago.”

K – Kids – One of Lombard’s greatest pleasures has been working with kids in all levels of school from kindergarten to college and running the Best of Broadway dance camps for kids since 1991. Lombard has had the opportunity to work with children from all over the world.

L – Lighting, making the shows look their best, one cue at a time.

M – Marley floor. Lombard bought Billy Joel’s concert tour floor several years ago. “What a treat,” she said.

N – Nantucket or New York City, which Lombard describes at her home away from home. “It’s where I go to recharge,” she said.

O – Off-off-Broadway.

P – Pieces, props, as in costume pieces. “I can’t even guess how many total costume pieces I have in the costume/ prop department but each show we usually have 2,500 pieces backstage outfitting everyone,” according to Lombard.

Q – Quote, as in Lombard’s favorite quote: “Love what you do and do what you love.” “Dance enables you to find yourself and lose yourself at the same time,” she said.

R – Rockettes. “Touring Radio City Music Hall was a thrill,” Lombard said. “Seeing the Rockettes in rehearsal, their costume department, stepping on that stage and looking out into the house and seeing all the mechanics that go stories below ground that moves the orchestra all around was very moving for me.”

S – Salsa Angels. New England’s only female salsa trio, including Lombard.

T- “Tommy.” Back in the 1990s Lombard wrote to The Who’s lawyer for permission to use “Pinball Wizard” in the show. “Not only did I get permission, but I received a lovely personal letter from Peter Townsend himself congratulating me on the work I was doing for the advancement of musical theater in my community,” Lombard said. “Bonus – no charge ever to use his song.”

U - USS Intrepid. Lombard said one of the best times she ever had performing was at a million dollar event on the USS Intrepid with former student Jeb Knight, who now dances professionally.

V – Vagabonds in a number called “We’re a couple of Swells” from Irving Berlin’s “Easter Parade.”

W – “Will Rogers Follies” is one of the company’s original numbers that’s still a favorite to this day.

X – To Lombard, the letter X stands for “getting cut.” Though members of the company aren’t cut, many of Lombard’s students have gone on to have professional careers in show business. “Never take it personally,” she advises. “Keep going.”

Y - YOLO. You only live once. Dance.

Z - The 26th letter of the alphabet and this year is the 26th year of the Best of Broadway.

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