On Monday October 6th Kelli O’Hara and Friends, in a Benefit Evening of Music and Dining, hosted by the NY Pops beloved Steven Reineke, filled 54 Below to capacity with supporters of the PopsEd at Ronald McDonald House program that helps children fighting cancer discover their creative voices.
The evening featured Ms. O’Hara together with her Broadway star-mates from the recent “The Bridges of Madison County,” including Steven Pasquale and composer Jason Robert Brown. After opening with the perfect city song by Stephen Sondheim, “What More Do I Need,” followed by Kelli’s “To Build a Home” from Bridges, the heart fulfilling duets from that show were sung by the the two stars – “Falling Into You” and “A Million Miles.”
Two of the girls from RMH helped Kelli sing “I Whistle a Happy Tune” (King and I) in which revival Ms. O’Hara will be starring this Spring. Comden, Green, Styne’s “Make Someone Happy” made everyone thrill to the crystalline nuances that are Kelli O’Hara’s scintillating voice.
Putting on a cowgirl hat, Kelli launched into the ever-humorous “They Don’t Let You in the Opera (If You’re a Country Star), written by Dan Lipton and David Rossmer, taking on a new persona that made the crowd roar as they listened to the clever lyrics.
Followed by an auction, that brought in more much needed funds, the evening ended on a high note, musically and joyfully.
Musicians included: Adam Ben-David, Music Director/piano; Mairi Dorman-Phaneuf, cello; Howard Joines, drums and Mark Verdina, bass.
Video Montage: Magda Katz
Photos: Sandi Durell