By: Paulanne Simmons
54 Below, Broadway’s Supper Club, and a home away from home for Broadway stars, has now become the home of Scott Siegel’s Broadway Ballyhoo! The first Ballyhoo took place on June 10. On stage were some of Broadway’s biggest and most venerable talents.
William Michals, who played Emile de Becque in Lincoln Center’s 2008 revival of South Pacific, led off with "Some Enchanted Evening," a song that he said truly captured this particular evening. He was followed by Raissa Katona Bennet singing "Think of Me, Only" from The Phantom of the Opera, and Ben Davis with "I Don’t Remember You" from The Happy Time, both of whom continued the enchantment.
Another highlight of the evening was Jana Robbins’ rendition of "I’m Still Here" from Follies. And still another occurred when Ben Davis, straight from playing the evangelist preacher in Violet, sang "Dulcinea" from Man of La Mancha.
Siegel claimed Man of La Mancha was the first Broadway musical he ever saw. For those who might not believe him, he recited some of the show’s more memorable lines, which he apparently memorized after repeatedly listening to the cast album.
David Austin, an up-and-coming composer, sang two number’s from his off-Broadway musicals Lila and Writing Arthur Danby, giving the audience a glimpse of what Broadway may look like in the future. And Carol J. Bufford, who is currently rocking the house Thursday nights with Shades of Blue at the Metropolitan Room, gave the audience a taste of what they might find there with "Who Did That to You?" from DJango Unchained, and the Beatles’ "Oh! Darlin’."
Broadway Ballyhoo! which will continue the first Tuesday of every month at 54 Below, started out at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency and spent ten months at the West Bank Cafe before moving to 54 Below. What better place for Broadway Ballyhoo! than Broadway’s supper club?
Broadway Ballyhoo!, first Tuesday of the month at 54 Below, 254 West 54 Street.