Broadway by the Year, Town Hall's popular series of show tune flavored cabaret concerts — with each evening focusing on musicals that opened in a specific year — continues in 2003 with The Broadway Musicals of... 1925, 1939, 1953 and 1960.
Creator and host Scott Siegel told Playbill On-Line some of the stars lined up for the four Monday night concerts include Nancy Anderson, Sam Harris, Nancy Opel, Davis Gaines, Amanda McBroom, Debbie Gravitte and Liz Larsen.
The Broadway Musicals of 1925 (Feb. 17, 2003) will include songs from Garrick Gaieties, No No Nanette, The Vagabond King, Sunny and The Cocoanuts.
The Broadway Musicals of 1939 (March 17, 2003) includes DuBarry Was a Lady, Very Warm for May, Too Many Girls, The Straw Hat Revue, The Hot Mikado, The Swing Mikado and Stars in Your Eyes.
The Broadway Musicals of 1953 (May 12, 2003) has highlights from Kismet, Me and Juliet, Can-Can, Wonderful Town, Hazel Flagg. The Broadway Musicals of 1960 (June 9, 2003) offers songs from Greenwillow, Bye Bye Birdie, Camelot, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Irma La Douce, Wildcat and Do Re Mi.
Musical director is Ross Patterson, with directors to be announced. The shows offer the chance for stars from the cabaret world to blend with Broadway stars. The size and makeup of the band is dictated by the material.
Tickets are available via subscription. The entire series is $140, with individual shows at $35.
Fans of theatre music viewed the new series in 2001 as a chance to get in on the ground floor of a potentially hot new addition to the popular show-tune concerts that have proliferated in Manhattan. Encores!, Musicals Tonite, Lyrics and Lyricists represent competition and have different goals and structures. The series blossomed in 2002 as one of Town Hall's most popular and well reviewed series.
Siegel, an arts journalist and critic, will again write and host the presentations — offering tart commentary and historical perspective.
For subscription information, call (212) 997-1003 or visit www.the-townhall-nyc.org.
The Town Hall offers eclectic programming — lectures, film, dance, rock, comedy, theatre and more — year round. About 90 percent of the work seen there is by rental arrangement. Wealthy suffragists built The Town Hall — designed by McKim, Mead and White — in 1921 as a place to meet, share ideas and hear speakers. It was a setting for "town meetings" that were broadcast by NBC. The hall's acoustics proved prime for concerts and the building evolved into a concert and performance house over the years. It achieved landmark status in 1978.
Some of the past concerts have been preserved on CD. The latest and fourth disc is The Broadway Musicals of 1951.
— By Kenneth Jones