Theatre dazzles with Diamonds

New dinner theatre show hits the David Foster Theatre stage Friday

Bill Zaalberg performs as Neil Diamond at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel

The Oak Bay Beach Hotel will be all a-glitter this weekend as Double Diamond opens at the David Foster Foundation Theatre.

A tribute to music icon Neil Diamond, the show features nearly two-dozen hits performed by local musician Bill Zaalberg, who has perfected the role since 2001.

He’s been a musician for much longer, though, and brings those skills to the stage throughout the dinner theatre run at the local hotel, playing weekends through Feb. 20.

“I’ve been playing music and guitar since I was 17 and I’m 72 now,” he says with smile. A full-time musician since 1975, Zaalberg performed in a number of bands before launching Double Diamond. The timbre of his voice easily matched Diamond’s and audience members often remarked how alike they sounded, he recalls.

The show proved a hit and he and his musicians hit he road beginning in 2001, playing numerous sold-out theatre shows.

“It was very well-received,” he says. From a personal perspective, “I totally related to it. It’s usually very simple music and he’s remained consistent through the ages.”

After taking a break for a few years, Zaalberg is back at it, performing with daughter-in-law Kathleen Zaalberg.

Kathleen, a Stevie Nicks tribute artist, “will perform a short segment in the middle of the show while I costume change from ‘early Neil’ to ‘present-day Neil’ in this non- stop 90-minute performance,” he says.

With 23 songs on the playlist, chances are there’ll be many audience favourites, sung in chronological order from 1966.

It’s the first time Zaalberg has played the David Foster Theatre. A much more intimate setting than some of the larger venues he’s played, Zaalberg looks forward to that interaction with the audience, strolling into the crowd and telling stories about the music and musician.

Fans will be welcome to sing along to classics like Sweet Caroline, of course. “You just give them the signal. We haven’t had one theatre where they didn’t join in,” he says.

As for Zaalberg’s own favourite tune, he turns to 1972’s Play Me, along with Pretty Amazing Grace from 2008’s Home Before Dark.

“It just flows,” he reflects. “Other ones you have to work at, but these come really easy.”

The menu for the evening includes Smoked wild pacific salmon, herb salad, petit filet of natural B.C. beef sous vide, roast new potatoes, harvest vegetables and peppercorn jus, and lemon cherry shortcake.

Tickets are $89 per person. Call 250-598-4556 or visit the front desk or oakbaybeachhotel.com to reserve.

 

Just Posted

Classy cruiser continues to pay it forward

Bike up for sale to fund Sno’uyutth Legacy scholarships

Dance club marks 35 years with Sunday evening shindig

People Meeting People host dinner and dance Feb. 25 at Monterey Recreation

Significant heritage house on Beach Drive to be restored

Heritage Revitalization Agreement approved as part of subdivision proposal

Experts to capture and collar 20 female deer in Oak Bay starting this month

Does sedated, examined, collared and ear tagged in latest phase of deer management plan

B.C. BUDGET: Fare freeze, free travel for seniors on BC Ferries

A complete fare freeze will be put into place on major routes, and fares will be rolled back on smaller routes by 15 per cent

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

Canucks blow three goal lead, lose to Avalanche in overtime

Vancouver struggled on the penalty kill, as Colorado scored all five goals on the powerplay

Widow of avalanche victim sues Golden lodge operator

A woman from Alberta is suing guides, their mountain guide association and the lodge operator for negligence

BC BUDGET: NDP hope to nix court delays with $15 million cash influx

Union says funding could stop sheriffs from leaving for higher paid jobs

Cattlemen urge B.C. to prevent erosion caused during 2017 wildfire season

Other concerns are fencing restoration and repair, and a lack of feed for cattle.

B.C. runner takes silver at Pan American cross-country championships

Tyler Dozzi’s medal pushes U20 Team Canada to gold finish

Duncan cousins found guilty of aggravated sexual assault

Assault so violent, victim required surgery

Wanted by Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers for the week of Feb. 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Victoria airport to spend $19.4m on terminal expansion

Record passenger growth means YYJ needs to grow

Most Read