Best of Broadway 1995 – 1999

Best of Broadway 1995 – 1999

Best of Broadway 1995 – 1999
Directed by Wade Hair
Breakthrough Theatre, Winter Park FL
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It’s hard to feel lonely at a Breakthrough show. Tonight impresario Wade Hair put 16 of his closest friends on stage and ran us through some of the top hits of Broadway from the early 90s. It’s a bit like those Billboard Magazine CD’s with all the top hits of 1972 – they capture a slice of time rather than a slice of style, and it gives the folks who trot out to announce the song something topical to talk about. In this semi-decade, America was still feeling Reagan good, nobody had made a dime on the internet and the Great White Way hosted more than a few classic shows and faded film stars.

Revivals keeps the cash flow alive for older shows, and the “Annie Get Your Gun” chestnut “No Business Like Show Business” was the obvious opener by the ensemble, followed by Mr. Hair and Sara Sohn singing “Anything You Can Do” in a pleasant duo. Jason Crase felt weak on “Mama Look Sharp” from “1776” but grew into the second act with “Endless Night” from “The Lion King.” The show “Charlie Brown” offered the very cute “My New Philosophy” and “Cabaret” had the world weary Vicky Burns give us both “Don’t tell Mama” and “Maybe This Time.” Leading up to intermission we hear the ensemble led by Justin Scarlett as Billy Flynn in Chicago’s “We Both Reached For The Gun.” While Scarlett has yet to grow into the charming scoundrel in the movie, he looks like a high profile criminal promoter. Sorry, Defense Lawyer.

Act Two brings us the newer shows, led by the jukebox musical “Smokey Joes Café.” Burns set fire to “Kansas City,” and the rest of the cast fanned the flames with air guitars in “Baby That’s Rock And Roll.” Jamaal Solomon took the lead on “Into the Fire” from Scarlet Pimpernel, the least well know source of this evening. “Sunset Boulevard” offered “As If We Never Said Goodbye” with a slow build by Mia Reeves, and we had a pair of ensemble medleys from “Sweeney Todd” and the de rigueur “Rent” to close the evening. Overall, the show was quite entertaining; with the best music coming from the more mature artists. If nothing else, this is a brush up for those of you who love the American Musical but don’t get to Manhattan on a regular basis.

For more information, please visit Carl Gauze

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