By Steven Suskin
29 Apr 2014
The evening — held not at Symphony Space, but at Capitale, the lavishly-restored, Stanford White-designed original headquarters of the Bowery Savings Bank (on the Bowery) — included a 60-minute selection of songs from the musical performed by a cast of 15. Symphony Space board-member BD Wong (of M. Butterfly and "Law & Order: SVU") served as host, with John McDaniel leading a six-piece band featuring violinist Christian Hebel. McDaniel and Jim Caruso served as producer/directors.
Stephanie J. Block (The Mystery of Edwin Drood) was joined by Megan McGinnis and Tori Scott for "Matchmaker," while cabaret artist Clint Holmes offered a scat version of "If I Were a Rich Man." Linda Lavin led a quintet in "Sabbath Prayer," although she vanished from the stage after little more than a minute and jazz vocalist Jane Monheit came on for "Sunrise, Sunset."
The twin highlights of the evening came — not unexpectedly — from the two top musical comedy singers on the program. Leslie Uggams (Hallelujah, Baby!) provided a bluesy rendition of "Now I Have Everything," while Kate Baldwin (Finian's Rainbow) offered a pristine rendition of "Far From the Home I Love."
The Fiddler salute ended with Lynn Ahrens (of Ragtime and Rocky) making a presentation to Harnick, with both lyricists offering charming and sprightly remarks. The cast returned for "To Life," joined by Harnick and Ahrens.