Scott Siegel’s renowned Broadway By The Year Series celebrated The Kander & Ebb Years virtually . . .
by Linda Amiel Burns . . .
For the past 20 years, Scott Siegel has created, written, and hosted the Series Broadway By The Year at The Town Hall that has continued virtually during the pandemic. On May 10-12, 2021 he produced The Kander and Ebb Years with musical director Ross Paterson and Video Direction & Editing by JT Doran. John Kander (music) and Fred Ebb (lyrics) are one of the most prolific and successful teams in the history of the musical theater. It is nearly impossible to cover their catalogue in one hour, but Scott gave us a sampling of their material sung by Broadway’s talented pros.
Ute Lemper performed the great classic “All That Jazz” from Chicago, the show originally opened in 1975 to mixed reviews, but the 1996 revival has continued and will go on indefinitely. She also sung an exciting rendition of the title song from the 1996 hit Cabaret, a show that has been revived 3 times, and the film won an Oscar. The song “Maybe The Time” was not in the show but written for the film and now included in all revivals. Tony winner Beth Leavel sang the song with the emotion and optimism that it requires. She also performed a fun “Everybody’s Girl” from Steel Pier, a show that starred Karen Ziemba, was not a hit, had a great score, and choreography by Susan Stroman.
Kander and Ebb created wonderful female roles and Natasha Diaz performed “Chief, Cook & Bottle Washer” from The Rink, a show that starred Liza Minelli and for which Chita Rivera won a Tony. Natasha dazzled with a stirring “Kiss of The Spider Woman”, the title song from that show. Tony Yazbeck, a triple threat, opened the evening with a lovely ballad from Woman of the Year, “Sometimes a Day Goes By” and also wowed the audience with the song that the corrupt lawyer Billy Flynn sings in Chicago, “All I Care About Is Love” adding an impressive tap dance routine that he choreographed.
To close the evening, Scott chose a song from Flora The Red Menace (their first show) that is perfect for the times we now live in called “Sing Happy.” It starred Danny Gardner in a production he choreographed with dancers Emily Larger, Kristyn Pope, Richard Ruiz Yoder, Whitney G-Bowley and CK Edwards. It was a terrific production as each performer danced in separate screens, yet the number was perfectly coordinated.
The next Broadway By The Year will be on May 24 with a Tribute to Andrew Lloyd Webber.
For tickets more information: visit SiegelEntertainment@msn.com