Broadway by the Year Salutes 1961 Season March 11 at Town Hall
By Ellis Nassour
The 13th season of Town Hall and Scott Siegel’s acclaimed concert series Broadway by the Year continues down theatergoer memory lane with a salute to a very good year, 1961. Christine Andreas, Scott Coulter, Erin Denman, Jeffrey Denman, Kerry O’Malley, Emily Skinner, and the 20-strong Broadway by the Year Chorus will perform. In addition, you can expect gossipy tidbits about the season, which went down in history as one of Broadway’s best; about the election of JFK, the space race between the Russians and the U.S., the racial turmoil in the South, and, no doubt, a juicy David Merrick out-of-school tale or two.
Among the classic and hit Broadway shows revisited and some of the gems that will be heard are Bob Merrill’s Carnival –“Her Face” and “Can You Imagine That?”; Johnny Burke’s shortlived Donnybrook [the musical adaptation of the John Ford classic The Quiet Man] – “I Wouldn’t Bet One Penny”; Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz’s The Gay Life — “Magic Moment”; Yip Harburg setting lyrics to Offenbach in The Happiest Girl in the World [based on Aristophanes’ Lysistrata] — the memorable “Adrift on a Star”; Frank Loesser’s Tony-winning How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying — “I Believe in You.”
Wait! There’s more to be heard. It really was a good year. Siegel will takes audiences on further journeys to Robert Wright and George Forrest’s operetta Kean [based on a comedy (yes, a comedy!) by Jean-Paul Sartre, itself inspired by Alexandre Dumas, about the swashbuckling London stage actor – “Sweet Danger”; Richard Adler’s way-ahead-of-its-time, much-unappreciated, and, sadly, short-lived interracial romance set in the Belgian Congo Kwamina – “What’s Wrong with Me?” and one of theater’s most poignant songs “Another Time, Another Place”; Jerry Herman’s first smash Milk and Honey – “Shalom”; Noel Coward’s Sail Away — “Why Do the Wrong People Travel?”; Jule Styne, Comden and Green’s hilarious and quite short-lived Subways Are for Sleeping – “Comes Once in a Lifetime!”
Tony winners for the 1961 season were Robert Morse for HTSIBWRT; Anna Maria Alberghetti (Carnival) and Diahann Carroll (No Strings) in one of those rare ties for Best Actress, Musical; and Phyllis Newman, Featured Actress (Subways…).
Denman will direct and choreograph. Ross Patterson is arranger and musical director, appearing with his Little Big Band.
Supporters of Broadway by the Year include Bank of America and the Edythe Kenner Foundation. CDs of numerous shows throughout the BBTY seasons as well as those from participating performers will be available in the Town Hall lobby.
Individual tickets are $45 – $55and available at Town Hall’s box office, by calling (212) 840-2824, or through www.TicketMaster.com or (800) 982- 2787 (service charges will apply).
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