Best of Broadway 1985-1989
</em></i>Best of Broadway 1985-1989
Directed by Wade Hair
Musical Direction by Justin Scarlat
Breakthrough Theatre, Winter Park FL</strong>
Pick any random five year slice of Broadway and you’ll get a few hits, a few flops, and a good measure of “safe” revivals. Director Hair combs through his back issues of Playbill and pulled a few dozen songs and puréed them down to two medleys, five ensembles numbers and a few sets of solos. Sondheim’s “Into the Woods” pushes us off the dock; it’s dense and wordy, with “Giants In The Sky (Scarlat) and “On The Steps of the Palace” (Jessie Diaz) showing just how many notes and syllables can be squeezed into a single bar of music. Wade Hair baritones through “I Get A Kick Out Of You” (Anything Goes); he handed out a goodie bag but took it back before we could pass it around. He also impressed with “Anthem” from “Chess,” that show was a hit in London but died in New York. Jamaal Solomon clearly hasn’t missed many choir practices; he wowed the crowd with “River in the Rain” (from Big River) along with Mr. Scarlat, channeled Fats Waller with “Your Feet’s Too Big” (from Ain’t Misbehaving) and called up the angels with “Free at Last” ((Big River). “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” gave us two powerful songs with “A Man Could Go Quite Mad” (Scarlat) and the moving “Writing on the Wall” (Krystal Gillette). Newcomer Kevin Fernandez did the song intros, and found his voice for the ensemble “Do You Hear the People Sing” (Les Miserables). Yes, these songs were cherry picked to match the voices available, and that’s what makes this series an exciting collection of hits and rarities. And who knew a song named “Disneyland” snuck past the lawyers at The Mouse?
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