By: Sandi Durell
There are singers, actors, dancers – triple threats – but there’s only one Lee Roy Reams, known by many as Broadway Royalty. And what’s more – can this guy dish the dirt! In a little over 65 minutes we knew all the backstage gossip from every show he was ever in about every celebrity performer and songwriter!
The evening was put together as a reminiscence of his 40th Birthday party – and, oh, that must have been some party with Cy Coleman, Jerry Herman, Charles Strouse and Jule Styne each at the piano playing their famous songs and Lee Roy singing. That’s what the man asked for and that’s what he got – and he had the photo blowups of that treasured evening to prove it! Even Liliane Montevecchi popped out of a cake while Lee Roy and Ann Miller watched.
Songs from “Applause” (meeting Lauren Bacall ‘just call me Betty’) to “Lorelei”(they went thru 4 choreographers and directors including Comden & Green who spent a lot of time whispering in each other’s ears when a decision had to be made) – and all along it was Dody Goodman who knew what the problem was “they don’t know what they’re doing” and “Hello Dolly” (Lee Roy played opposite Carol Channing in the revival and met Jerry Herman) to “42nd Street” and “La Cage aux Folles,” including a song cut from the show (listen to it on the video-hysterical and far from politically correct).
There was a magnificent “Mack & Mabel” medley, a heartfelt “People” and so much more – and the audience roared, applauded and shouted and in truth didn’t want to let the man of the hour, an extraordinary talent, off the stage at 54 Below. Accompanying Lee Roy was Dan Gross on drums, Tom Hubbard on bass and the ever-talented Alex Rybeck, on piano & musical director. Lots of celebrity fans in the house cheered him on!
Fingers crossed for more nights of Lee Roy Reams magic!
*photos by Maryann Lopinto
*video by Sandi Durell