A remarkable cast of Broadway’s best performed songs from I Do! I Do! for one night only with composer Tom Jones hosting.
by Linda Amiel Burns
It was a Valentine Treat at Feinstein’s/54 Below when a cast of the musical theater’s most talented singers performed in “Broadway Couples sing I Do! I Do!” for only two performances on the same night. Hosted by lyricist Tom Jones (The Fantasticks), the cast featured Hunter Foster (Urinetown) & Jen Cody (Shrek), Patrick Page (Spring Awakening) & Paige Davis (Chicago, TV’s Trading Spaces), Rita Gardner (The Fantasticks) & Tom Jones (The Fantasticks), Carly Evan Hughes (Ogunquit’s West Side Story) & AJ Holmes (The Book of Mormon/Team StarKid), Charlie Franklin (The Book of Mormon) & Lexi Rabadi (If It Only Even Runs A Minute), Eddie Korbich (Carousel) & Andy Leech (AMDA), Chip Zien (Falsettos) & Barbara Walsh (Falsettos), Clyde Alves (On The Town) & Robyn Hurder (Nice Work If You Can Get It), Robert Cuccioli (Jekyll & Hyde) & Glory Crampton (Rothschilds & Sons), Beth Leavel (The Drowsy Chaperone) & Adam Heller (Baby, Its You) with music director Joshua Zecher-Ross on piano and smoothly directed by Robert W. Schneider.
I Do! I Do! is a musical with a book and lyrics by Tom Jones and music by Harvey Schmidt based on the Jan de Hartog play The Fourposter. The two-character story spans fifty years, from 1900 to 1950, as it focuses on the ups and downs experienced by Agnes and Michael Snow throughout their marriage. The set consisted solely of their bedroom, dominated by the large four-poster bed in the center of the room. Mary Martin and Robert Preston were in the original cast and Gower Champion directed it. The show opened on December 5, 1966 and closed after 560 performances. Carol Lawrence and Gordon MacRae played the matinees and took over the roles in December, 1967.
A film adaptation, written by Champion and starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, was announced by United Artists in 1969 but, following the commercial failure of several movie musicals, the project was abandoned in the spring of 1970, but a television version with Lee Remick and Hal Linden was broadcast in 1982.
The show at Feinstein’s/54 Below was pure genius and an amazing accomplishment to assemble and rehearse this stunning cast. Each performance was perfection and here is only a sampling of some of the selections of this remarkable evening. It began with AJ & Carly singing “The Prologue” as the young couple first getting married. Tom Jones said that he had written 12 versions of the title song as it was a requirement in those days, but we heard only two of them. Clyde & Robin expressed joy in “Something Has Happened” when the children are born and Hunter & Jen’s “Nobody’s Perfect” was delightful as a couple discover things about each other that are annoying. Patrick & Paige’s rendition of “The Honeymoon is Over” was perfection as the couple are having a mid-life crisis and thinking of splitting. Twenty years into the marriage, Beth & Adam are nostalgic in “Where Are the Snows of Yesteryear” and then sing joyfully “When the Kids Get Married” of their plans with having free time. Robert & Glory sang of their memories looking back on the years with “Roll Up The Ribbons.” A special treat was Tom Jones and Rita Gardner singing “This House” as the older couple who reminisce about what their home has meant to them over the years. The huge and brilliant cast came on stage for the final curtain call singing the biggest hit from the show “My Cup Runneth Over.” The audience jumped to their feet in appreciative applause as it was clear they had witnessed a “once in a lifetime” event!
Feinstein’s/54 Below is Broadway’s Supper Club and located at 254 West 54th Street – NYC. For full schedule of shows and events: visit: www.Feinstein’s/54Below.com