PHOTO CALL: Allison Case, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Carolee Carmello, Ben Platt, Jose Llana and More Celebrate Maltby & Shire at 54 Below
By Matthew Blank
Maltby & Shire: What Could Be Better?, a concert celebrating the work of Tony-nominated Big and Baby songwriters Richard Maltby, Jr. and David Shire, was held Dec. 17 at 54 Below.
The 9 PM concert featured performances from Loni Ackerman (Starting Here, Starting Now; Cats), George Lee Andrews (The Phantom of the Opera, The Fantasticks), Tony Award nominee Carolee Carmello (Scandalous, Sister Act), Allison Case (Hands on a Hardbody, Hair), Margery Cohen (Starting Here, Starting Now), Jenn Colella (If/Then, Chaplin), Marya Grandy (Les Miserables, Closer Than Ever), Molly Hager (Fat Camp, Joe Iconis & Family), Jay Armstrong Johnson (Hands on a Hardbody, The Last Goodbye), Jose Llana (Here Lies Love, Spelling Bee), Ben Platt (The Book of Mormon, "Pitch Perfect"), Steve Rosen (The Other Josh Cohen, Peter and the Starcatcher), Donna Vivino (Stars of David, Wicked) and Barbara Walsh (Big, Company).
The evening also featured performances from Maltby and Shire themselves.
Jeremy Robin Lyons was the musical director of the concert, which was produced by Jennifer Ashley Tepper. The band included Mike Rosengarten on guitar, Christopher Bastian on bass and Jeff Roberts on drums.
According to press notes, "Richard Maltby, Jr. and David Shire are among the top songwriting teams working in the musical theatre today. Their shows written together, including Starting Here Starting Now, Baby, Closer Than Ever, Big, Take Flight, Love Match and How Do You Do I Love You will be celebrated by Broadway’s best in story and song. Expect original cast performances recreated, as well as brand new interpretations, and even a world premiere song!"
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