by Linda Amiel Burns
Scott Siegel’s 18th Season of Broadway By The Year celebrates the Musicals of 1947 & 1966 with a cast of outstanding performers.
Scott Siegel created the Broadway By The Year Series at The Town Hall 18 years ago and it is still going strong. The concept continues to work and draw crowds, especially when you pair great songs from iconic Broadway musicals of the past with exceptionally talented singers. Scott is a one man band as he directs, writes the script, and hosts the concerts. On Monday, March 26, 2018 he examined 1947 in the first act and then we jumped 19 years to 1966 in Act 11.
Ross Patterson has been the Musical Director from the onset with his amazing “Little Big Band” assisted by Tom Hubbard on Bass and Eric Halvorson on drums. Each member of the cast was exceptional, all Broadway performers who made every song a showstopper: Lesli Margherita, Tony Yazbeck, Betsy Wolfe, Jenny Lee Stern, Sal Viviano, Eddie Korbich and Mia Gerachis along with the Broadway By the Year Dance Ensemble.
Scott opened the proceedings by bringing us back to some of the interesting events that happened in 1947. There were many UFO sightings and one is purported to have landed in Rosewell, NM, the CIA was established as well as the Marshall Plan, the UN voted to make Israel an independent Jewish State, the Cold War began between East & West, Gas cost 15 cents per gallon, Stamps 3 cents and a loaf of bread 13 cents. On Broadway, Finian’s Rainbow and Brigadoon were the big hits of the year. Scott began the show with five songs from Finian’s Rainbow with Jenny performing “Necessity,” Mia’s “How Are Things In Glocca Morra? was lovely and the impish Eddie performed “When I’m Not Near the Girl I Love.” Betsy charmed with a melodic “Look To The Rainbow” and Tony seduced us with the sexy “Old Devil Moon.”
The long anticipated Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Allegro opened and was considered a flop but it had some very good songs and Lesli performed “The Gentleman is a Dope” perfectly. Four songs from Brigadoon included Eddie charmingly involving the audience with “Go Home With Bonnie Jean.” Sal performed “Come To Me, Bend To Me” and he and Eddie sang a dramatic duet (unplugged) – “There But For You Go I.” The first act closed with Tony singing and dancing to the big hit from that show that is still performed today, “Almost Like Being In Love.”
Act II concentrated on the Broadway Musicals of 1966 and it was apparent that great songs were being written in that year. Scott told us about some of the things going on in the country as NY suffered a subway strike that lasted two weeks, Simon & Garfinkle’s “Sounds of Silence” was the number 1 hit, Ronald Reagan was elected Governor of California, the first Jewish child was born in Spain since the 1492 expulsion, and the US was getting more involved in the Vietnam War. The great musicals that opened on Broadway was Kander & Ebb’s Cabaret and the Broadway By The Year Dance Ensemble opened up with “Wilkommen” (choreography by Danny Gardner). Jenny sang a rousing rendition of “Cabaret.” Sweet Charity was another hit that year and Mia’s “Where Am I Going” was very moving as well as “There’s Got to be Something Better Than This.” Another hit, starring Mary Martin and Robert Preston, was I Do, I Do and Eddie sang, “Father of the Bride” and Sal “My Cup Runneth Over.”
It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s Superman opened in 1966 and Betsy tried to redo Clark Kent in “You’ve Got Possibilities.” The Apple Tree gave us “Gorgeous” and Lesli was terrific in putting the song across. The biggest hit of the year was Jerry Herman’s Mame and Jenny’s rendition of “If He Walked Into My Life” was powerful and heartbreaking. The entire company came on stage to perform “It’s Today” about appreciating and celebrating the moment. It was the perfect song to bring this wonderful evening to a close.
Photos: Maryann Lopinto
There are two more concert in the series:
May 21, 2018 Broadway Musicals of 1956 & 1975
June 18, 2018 Broadway Musicals of 1988 & 2017
For tickets: www.TicketMaster.com or by phone: 800-982-2787
or email Scott at SiegelEntertainment@msn.com