Broadway by the Year Celebrates Musicals of the 1950s

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Cast Bows (photo Maryann Lopinto

  • Marilyn Maye
  • Josh Grisetti
  • Lisa Howard
  • Luke Hawkins
  • Jimmy James Sutherland, Marilyn Maye
  • Marilyn Maye, Jimmy James Sutherland

Scott Siegel's Broadway by the Year Series at Town Hall featured an all star cast celebrating The Golden Age of Broadway

by Linda Amiel Burns

 

The 1950’s was considered “The Golden Age” of the Broadway Theater as some of the most iconic shows were produced on the Great White Way: My Fair Lady, The Music Man, The King and I, The Sound of Music, West Side Story and others. The Broadway By The Year Series, now in its 16th season, celebrated this remarkable decade at The Town Hall on March 28, 2016. Scott Siegel is a one-man band and not only created the series, but writes the script, directs and hosts the evening. He gathered some of Broadways best performers for this remarkable concert consisting of: Karen Akers, Jim Brochu, Josh Grisetti, Luke Hawkins, Lisa Howard, Douglas Ladnier, Marilyn Maye, Jill Paice and Jimmy James Sutherland. Ross Patterson, the musical director, has been with the Series from the beginning, and his Little Big Band had Tom Hubbard on bass and Jared Schonig on drums.

 

The incomparable Marilyn Maye (about to celebrate her 88th birthday) opened the show with “All of You” from Cole Porter’s Silk Stockings (1955) and made the large concert hall feel like an intimate space. Her rendition of “It’s All Right With Me (Can-Can 1953) was beautifully acted. Marilyn also wowed the audience with “Too Close For Comfort” (Mr. Wonderful 1956) as the talented Jimmy James Sutherland danced and flirted as she sang. I would have loved to have seen Marilyn play Mama Rose as her “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” (Gypsy 1959) was incredible.

Josh Grisetti sang an impressive rendition of “Very Soft Shoes” (Once Upon a Mattress 1959) as the great tapper Luke Hawkins danced to the tune. Josh also scored with “On the Street Where You Live” from My Fair Lady (1956). Jim Brochu sang a terrific rendition of “Trouble” from The Music Man (1957) and the audience joined him playing “the townspeople.” From the same show, Jill Paice, currently starring in An American In Paris, showed off her fabulous vocals with “Till There Was You.” Her “Make the Man Love Me” from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1951) was very poignant.

Karen Akers was the perfect Anna in The King and I singing one of its best songs; “Hello, Young Lovers” and the audience willingly joined her in “C’est Magnifique” from Can-Can. Handsome Douglas Ladnier has a booming baritone and sang “They Call the Wind Mariah” (Paint Your Wagon 1951), “Stranger in Paradise” from Kismet 1953, and then he and Jill Paice thrilled the crowd with the beautiful duet from West Side Story (1957) “One Hand, One Heart.”

A highlight in an evening of great performances was “Heart” from Damn Yankees (1955) as Jim, Josh, Luke and Ryan Scoble (from Rising Stars) recreated the scene from the show. Also memorable was Luke and Jimmy, two sensational dancers, competing in “All I Need is the Girl” from Gypsy. Lisa Howard who starred in It Shoulda Been You last year, sang “Never Never Land” (Peter Pan 1954) that showed off her lovely voice, but even more amazing was her thrilling rendition of “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” (The Sound of Music 1959) that closed the show.

Congrats to Scott and his team who has discovered the secret of making the BBTY Series last 16 years. Write an intelligent and informative script, hire great singers, and give them sensational material, and you have an extraordinary show!

Photos On Stage (top slider) by Magda Katz

Photos Backstage and On Stage (bottom slider) by Maryann Lopinto

There are still two more concerts in the 2016 Series.

May 23, 2016 - Broadway Musicals of the 1960’s.

June 20, 2016 - Broadway Musicals of the 1970’s.

Information: SiegelEntertainment@msn.com

  • Jill Paice, Lisa Howard, Marilyn Maye, Karen Akers
  • Marilyn Maye, Jim Brochu, Karen Akers
  • Josh Grisetti, Lisa Howard
  • Jill Paice
  • Josh Grisetti
  • Marilyn Maye
  • Lisa Howard
  • Jim Brochu and the Team
  • Douglas Ladnier
  • Sean Harkness with Karen Akers
  • Karen Akers
  • Jim Brochu
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