Broadway Song and Dance

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By Joel Benjamin

 

Scott Siegel, the new Diaghilev of Broadway, has presented many programs, both at Feinstein’s/54 Below and the Town Hall, that feature one wonderful song after another with dance, clearly a bewitching feature of musical theater, given a slightly short shrift.   With his second installment of Broadway Song and Dance he took great strides to correct that sad affair. This was a program brimming with dance—and, of course some great singing.

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Martin Vidnovic

Let’s start with the singing. Fearless pop tenor, and Siegel regular, William Blake soared in “Don’t Rain on My Parade” (Styne/Merrill) and showed vulnerability in “Maybe This Time” (Kander/Ebb). Martin Vidnovic, a last minute guest, made “What Kind a Fool Am I” (Bricusse/Newley) his own and reclaimed “I Am What I Am” (Herman) for all those having trouble fitting in. His interpretation was a clarion call for understanding.

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Brian Charles Rooney

Another Siegel regular, Brian Charles Rooney turned Sondheim’s “Finishing the Hat” and “Music of the Night” (Lloyd Webber/Hart) into stunning arias, evoking images of him performing these roles on stage.

 

Now for the dance. Three young men all revealed their personal tap stylings. Luke Hawkins had a nice, casual feel as he tapped to “I Can’t Be Bothered Now” (Gershwins) and “Blue Skies” (Berlin). He exuded happiness and boyishness as he glided about.

 

Young Joshua Israel, one of Siegel’s Rising Stars, performed “Out of My Shell” (Robert and Willie Reale from their A Year With Frog and Toad), about a snail (!). His version of this self-deprecating song was charming, leading to a goofy tap dance.

 

Kendrick Jones, totally recovered from a recent injury, first danced to “On a Clear Day” (Lane/Lerner) and then to “Just In Time” (Styne/Comden/Green) showing off an easygoing, gangly technique with some astonishing virtuoso steps, taking charge of the small stage from one end to the other.

 

Broadway Song and Dance (September 13, 2016)

Feinstein’s/54 Below

254 West 54th Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue.

New York, NY

For reservations, call 646-476-3551 or visit www.54Below.com

For more information, visit www.siegelentertainment@msn.com

Photos: Maryann Lopinto

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