The Broadway Musicals of 1957, starring Alix Korey, Eric Michael Gillett, Adriane Lenox and Jay Rogers, is the second chapter in a new concert-recital series of show-tune evenings at The Town Hall in Manhattan, April 16.
The new "Musicals on Broadway" series is written, produced and hosted by New York author and critic Scott Siegel. The 8 PM April 16 performance features songs popular and obscure — from Bernstein and Sondheim's "Maria" to a Schweikert and Reardon's "Coax Me" — from West Side Story, Langston Hughes's Simply Heavenly, The Music Man, New Girl in Town, Ernest Schweikert and Frank Reardon's Rumple, David Baker and David Craig's Copper and Brass and Shinbone Alley.
Performers are Korey (Suburb, MTC's The Wild Party), Gillett (Kiss Me, Kate) and Lenox (Kiss Me, Kate), with Jay Rogers (When Pigs Fly) as a special guest. Musical director D. Jay Bradley is on piano. Gillett directs, as he did the March 19 program, The Broadway Musicals of 1943.
Siegel will offer context and commentary throughout the show. He said future concerts will focus on different years, and different musical flavors. Siegel told Playbill On-Line he was thrilled with the across-the board critical raves for the first show in the series.
* The 1943 evening features songs from Oklahoma!, Something For the Boys, Ziegfeld Follies of 1943, A Connecticut Yankee, Early to Bed, One Touch of Venus, Carmen Jones, and Lerner and Loewe's obscure, What's Up. Performers included Heather MacRae (Falsettos), Sally Mayes (Pete 'n' Keely, She Loves Me) and Jason Graae (Forever Plaid). Ross Patterson was musical director and pianist, with John Loehrke on bass.
Fans of theatre music will see this new series 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 "Musicals on Broadway" series has the year-by-year concept as a departure from the other series.
Siegel expects the best of the Broadway and cabaret worlds to be part of the series in the future. Cabaret stars feel at home at Town Hall: The annual MAC Awards are held there.
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. The new "Musicals on Broadway" series is produced by The Town Hall. Siegel is host of The Town Hall's film series. 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. New York University helped revive the space in the 1970s as its current multi-disciplinary house. It achieved landmark status in 1978.
Tickets for The Broadway Musicals of 1957 are $30-$35. Town Hall is at 123 W. 43rd St. For ticket information, call (212) 840-2824 or (212) 307-4100, or visit www.the townhall-nyc.org.
— By Kenneth Jones