Craig Rubano, a onetime Broadway Marius in Les Miserables, the musical known for its rousing Act One closer, is singing a slew of first act finales in a new cabaret show beginning Feb. 25 at the Laurie Beechman Theatre in New York City.
Finishing the Act is an extension of his new CD (released Feb. 15) of the same name. Performances continue to March 20.
Scott Barnes directs, Alex Rybeck musical directs and plays piano, Steve LaSpina is on bass, Warren Odze is on drums, Greg Utzig is on guitar and Dennis Anderson is on woodwinds.
Rubano's 13-track disc on the AF label includes 20 songs (some in medleys) with guest artists Jeff Harnar, Catherine Hickland, Andrea McArdle, Alice Ripley and Marsh Hanson. Tunes include Act One finales "Give My Regards to Broadway," "Welcome to the Theater," "Anything Goes," "The Impossible Dream" (with some Spanish), "Before the Parade Passes By," "Take the Moment," "You're Nothing Without Me," "There's Always One You Can't Forget," "Who Can I Turn To?," "My Own Best Friend," "All at Once You Love Her," "Song of Love," "Dear Friend," "Nobody Told Me," Stephen Sondheim's "Sunday," "Where Do You Go?," "Now You Know," "Momma, Look Sharp," "Father to Son," "Climb Ev'ry Mountain."
Rubano, who played more than 700 performances as Marius, has two of New York's highest-profile conductors on the CD project: David Friedman and Ted Sperling. Rybeck is a much sought-after live musical director.
The singer looked at 250 act-one closers and ended up with 20, representing Charles Strouse, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Bock and Harnick, Jerry Herman, Cole Porter, William Finn and Cy Coleman. He explores popular show tunes, but has also unearthed lesser-known numbers from Dance a Little Closer, No Strings, Pipe Dream and Do I Hear a Waltz?
The disc's subtitle is "Act One Finales From Broadway."
Rubano is a graduate of Yale and earned a MA at Columbia University. He also appeared in Broadway's The Scarlet Pimpernel and was Zeppo Marx in Goodspeed Opera House's Animal Crackers.
Try Craig Rubano's website at www.craigrubano.com.
Cover for the show is $20 with a one-drink minimum. The Beechman cabaret theatre is in the West Bank Cafe, 407 W. 42nd St. West of Ninth Avenue. For reservations, call (212) 695-6909.
-- By Kenneth Jones