By: Linda Amiel Burns
Scott Siegel’s Broadway By The Year celebrates 25 years of musical theater from 1966-1990 with 25 Stars!
This Broadway By The Year season at Town Hall began with a new twist. Instead of covering the shows of the Great White Way one year at a time, Scott Siegel decided to pres
ent 100 years of Broadway history in four evenings, each show celebrating a quarter of a century of Broadway tunes performed by 100 stars! The first evening covered the years 1916 – 1940, then the "Golden Age" 1941-1965 and on May 11, the years 1966-1990 were celebrated, a time when tastes were changing and many "jukebox" musical were produced.
The dynamic Scott Siegel is the creator, writer, director and host of this acclaimed series and Ross Patterson’s "Little Big Band" with Tom Hubbard on bass and Jamie Eblen on drums gave beautiful accompaniment to the performers. The cast consisted of some of Broadway’s best and brightest stars with many delightful and thrilling moments. Scott chose one song from a show that opened in that particular year, beginning with a very pregnant Jenny Powers singing "Where Am I Going?" from Sweet Charity from 1966 and Jason Gotay, who played Spiderman, sang "Being Good Isn’t Good Enough from Hallelujah, Baby, a song originally performed in the show by Leslie Uggams who won a Tony for this role.
A highlight was the return of Lorraine Serabian who was in the original Zorba 47 years ago singing a passionate rendition of "Life Is." The handsome Kevin Early scored with "Molasses to Rum" (1776) and Mercer Patterson, a 9th grader and the
son of Ross, sang "Mama, A Rainbow" from Minnie’s Boys and was brought back for another bow. Jamison Stern sang "The Kite" from the hit You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and Carole J. Bufford scored with "There Are Worse Things I Could Do" from Grease. Patrick Page entered with a large nose to sing "Cyrano’s Nose (Cyrano) and at the end pulled off it off his face and threw the nose into the audience. The talented jazz singer Gabrielle Stravelli sang a tender "Time Heals Everything" (Mack & Mabel), and William Blake was amazing performing "Home" from (The Wiz). The incredible Julie Reyburn’s tender "Sleepy Man" (The Robber Bridegroom) was a winner, and Daniel Everidge scored with "Marry Me a Little" (Side By Side By Sondheim). The first act ended with a dazzling number with Noah Racey dancing to Gabrielle’s "Keeping’ Out of Mischief" from Ain’t Misbehavin.
The 2nd Act opened with Sweeney Todd‘s "Not While I’m Around"
from 1979 sung by Jamison Stern followed by a bouncy "Lullaby of Broadway" (42nd Street) sung by Mary Lane Haskell. Bobby Steggert performed "Not a Day Goes By" from Merrily We Roll Along, a problematic Sondheim show that had 52 previews and closed after 16 performances. Michele Ragusa sang the beautiful love song from Nine, "Unusual Way." There have been several shows that feature Gershwin songs including American In Paris, now on Broadway, but in 1983, My One and Only was a hit and Danny Gardner, Brent McBeth, and Drew Humphrey sang and danced to "Nice Work If You Can Get it."
The treats kept coming when Alex Birnie sang "We Can Make It" from The Rink and Mary Testa crooned "The Look of Love" from Leader of the Pack. Ross Patterson and his band played an instrumental of "Stop in the Name of Love from Uptown….It’s Hot and the talented Bob Stillman sang a very moving version of "Bring Him Home" from Les Miserables. The BBTY Chorus, directed by Scott Coulter and led by Jessica Hendy, sang "Nobody’s Side" from Chess. The show came to a close with Christopher Johnstone performing a song from Grand Hotel "Love Can’t Happen" and we finally reached 1990 with "Oh, Boy!" from The Buddy Holly Story sung by Danny Gardner and accompanied on the guitar by Sean Harkness as the cast joined in to take their well-deserved final bows.
Don’t miss the final show in this series on June 22, 2014 at 8 pm
With THE BROADWAY MUSICALS OF 1991-2015.
For more information visit. www.thetownhall.org or contact
Scott Siegel at SiegelEntertainment@msn.com