THE FIFTH ANNUAL ‘SUMMER BROADWAY FESTIVAL’ AT THE TOWN HALL HOSTED BY SCOTT SIEGEL COMPLETED ITS THREE-CONCERT RUN. By LInda Amiel Burns
Not only does the energetic and resourceful Scott Siegel produce the annual ‘Broadway By The Year’ Series at The Town and many other events, but also the Summer Broadway Festival which just completed three delightful and varied concerts for three Mondays in July.
July 11 opened with “Broadway Winners! The Award Winning Music of Broadway” directed by Alexander Gemignani with musical direction by Beth Ertz. The show featured an all-star cast with Tom Wopat, Larry Gatlin Marc Kudisch, Eddie Korbich, Scott Coulter, Christina Bianco and newcomers Dara Hartman, Stephanie Umoh, Joshua Isaacs, Kristin Dausch and Oakley Boycott. Each song presented had won an award or was from an award-winning show. Alexander scored with “She Loves Me” as a lively opener and Eddie Korbich’s comic rendition of “I Love a Cop” (Fiorello) brought down the house. Another highlight was Scott and Christina’s popular duet from Call Me Madam, “You’re Just in Love” and Larry Gatlin’s moving “Bring Him Home” (Les Miserables) and Marc giving everything he has to “If I Were a Rich Man” (Fiddler on the Roof). It was an exciting evening celebrating the great music of Broadway and every number was a “showstopper.”
July 18th – “Broadway’s Rising Stars 2011” was directed by Scott Coulter, choreographed by Vibecke Dahle with music direction by John Fischer. Nineteen performers were chosen during auditions throughout the spring and came from theatrical institutions across the country, including AMDA, CAP21, Steinhardt, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Carnegie Melon, Marymount and the New School. The evening opened with the entire cast performing “One”
(Chorus Line) and holding up their photos and resumes. Each and every performer had something to offer and one only hopes that they will be able to get jobs in the theater. Scott gave each singer an introduction of their history and where they were from and one after another they entered the stage to sing. I would have liked the performers to at least set up their songs, tell us what attracted them about their choice and we would have gotten a small sense of whom each one was. However, it is encouraging to see so much talent and know that young people want to study musical theater and continue this great American artform.
July 25th – “All Singin’ All Dancin’ 2011” gave the audience its money’s worth! Two choreographers, Mark Stuart (Mark Stuart Dance Theater) and Lorin Latarro, created all new dances for this show performed by today’s Broadway song and dance stars. Ross Patterson served as musical director along with his “Little Big Band.” This was the largest cast ever for these concerts – 35 in all featuring Darius DeHaas, Julia Murney, Carole J. Bufford, Cameron Adams, David Hull, Valarie Pettiford, Lillias White, Carolee Carmello, Eddie Korbvich, Josh Frank. Several singers had been injured and were replaced at the last minute, but you would never know it. Ron Bohmer of the great tenor voice opened with a thrilling “Without A Song” that set the tone for the evening. Darius de Haas sang “SatinDoll/I Got Rhythm” (Dream/Girl Crazy) and the energetic dancers performed a fresh and exciting routine. It was that way throughout the show with a sexy Tango (Libertango) with Mark Stuart and Jaime Verazin. The dance routines were remarkable and we were delighted by Ashley Amber, Mayumi Miguel, and Callie Carter as they brought out their babies to dance with them to Julia Murney’s vocal of “My Baby Just Cares For Me (Whoopee!). Each number was exceptional and you wondered how all this was learned and put together for one evening.
We continue to ask the question – how does Scott Siegel do this? The only answer that I can think of is that maybe there are three of him or just that he is a dedicated and talented man with a terrific team who believes in the wonderful work that he is doing.
Don’t Miss THE BROADWAY CABARET FESTIVAL taking place in the Fall. There will be three concerts – Oct. 16 Broadway Originals! Oct. 22 – Elaine Stritch in Concert. Friday, Oct. 28 – A Tribute to Judy Garland & Gene Kelly with special Guests Lorna Luft and Susan Stroman.
Photogrpahy: Maryann Lopinto
For more information: Visit www.the-townhall-nyc.org