Friday night held a special treat for us, besides dinner with good friends: Neil Berg's "100 Years of Broadway," a Bay Chamber winter concert.
Neil Berg is a very successful composer/lyricist – "The Prince and the Pauper," "The Twelve," "The Man Who Would Be King," "Time and Scrooge," "Heidi," and on and on... He oozes music and knowledge about the history of Broadway. He puts together this show where he asks major Broadway stars to join him in singing and dancing many of the songs/dances that they, themselves, have sung "on broadway." Along the way, we all learned a little Broadway history and some "insider" tales.
Berg played the piano, and there was a drummer and an electric guitar player. And boy could Berg play the piano!
This show started with Natalie Toro singing some of the major songs from "Evita," in which she starred. She also had major roles in "A Tale of Two Cities," "Les Miserables," "Cats," and "A Christmas Carol." Her gorgeous voice is laced with passion.
Rita Harvey is a major Broadway star, probably best known for five years as Christine in "The Phantom of the Opera." She's married to Berg, and she has an astonishing soprano – clear and true.
Danny Zolli is probably best known for "Jesus Christ Superstar," and he blew us out of the Camden Opera House with some of that music–but not before singing "Sherry," from "Jersey Boys," which made us all want to sing along and get up and dance.
Ted Louis Levy is a master tap dancer with a mellow voice and a soft-shoe pleasing manner onstage. He made his Broadway debut in "Black & Blue."
David Elder danced and sang "Singing in the Rain," a la Fred Astaire style. He's been in "42nd Street, "Kiss Me Kate," "Once Upon A Mattress," "Damn Yankees," "Guys and Dolls," "Titanic," "Beauty and the Beast," and "Curtains."
Were we ever spoiled or what???
One of the joys of living in a small town with a huge cultural component is that we get to see traveling shows like this one. The Camden Opera House was sold out.
It's Sunday now, and we're still walking around humming bits of songs we heard Friday night. And, we've checked our stash of Broadway CDs to see what's there.
The show ended – after three hours with an intermission – with "Seasons of Love" from "Rent." We think we'll order some of the Broadway DVDs and have some fun on these cold winter nights. If this show comes to a place near you, GO!