In a tribute to composer, lyricist, arranger Marc Shaiman and director, lyricist, writer Scott Wittman, the New York Pops, under the direction of Steven Reineke, celebrated its 31st Birthday Gala – “MAKE IT BIG.” And it was a larger than life star studded evening incorporating a tribute to the twosome as Martin Short acted as Host, singing, dancing and generally providing a lot of laughs during the evening. Also being honored was Paul J. Massey, Jr. for his leadership and mentorship work.
From John Pizzarelli providing “A Wink and a Smile” (Sleepless in Seattle) to Christian Borle and Short cutting up with “The Mamushka (The Addams Family), the evening sailed smoothly by as Patti LuPone learned to “Grin and Bare It” (G-String Murders) while Will Chase and Jane Krakowski saluted “Here”s To Love” (Down with Love).
The ladies from Hairspray had their say with “Good Morning Baltimore,” featuring Nikki Blonsky, Ricki Lake, Marissa Jaret Winokur and the Broadway Inspirational Voices. Jenifer Lewis tore the house down with “I Know Where I’ve Been” (Hairspray) while the ladies of Smash fame added their voices with “They Just Keep Moving The Line” (Megan Hilty) and “Don’t Forget Me” (Katharine McPhee). And just when you thought you’d been to vocal heaven and back, Capathia Jenkins (with Martin Short) showed us what it’s all about “(Let a Big Black Lady) Stop the Show” (Fame Becomes Me). Lest I forget, the delightful Andrea Martin had to “Blame Canada” (South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut) while Aaron Tveit said “Goodbye” (Catch Me If You Can).
As if all these superstars weren’t enough, Sarah Jessica Parker also showed up at the Gala evening!
Oh what a night! Followed by a sumptuous dinner at the Mandarin Hotel! www.newyorkpops.org
*Video-Slide Show/Interviews: Magda Katz
*Photos: Maryann Lopinto