Impossible Dream: The Best of Broadway’s Leading Men
Featuring Shawn Kilgore
Musical Direction by Chris Leavy
9-25-2020 through 9-28-2020
Winter Park Playhouse, Winter Park FL
After an evening of wrestling with Zoom, I needed a break. And that came in the form of a Winter Park Playhouse Cabaret, their second since last spring. But I can’t park out back and then order up a plastic cup of a fine vintage. Instead, I’m sitting in my writing chair at home and listening to Chis Leavy pounding out “Cabaret” as traffic passes by on Orange Avenue. More and more shows are going online; tomorrow I even have a conflict, but tonight it’s all pianos and show tunes, a pleasant relief from the drudgery of daily pandemic life. We our favorite hostess with the mostest Heather Alexander in an elegant red dress and bubbling with enthusiasm. Behind her Chris Leavy mutes, and Mr. Kilgore enters in a black suit that perfectly matches the black piano and the even blacker evening outside the window.
Tonight’s play list is Broadway hit – heavy and naturally focuses on the really good male lead numbers. Mr. Kilgore opens with a medley of Sondheim, “Oklahoma,” “Bye, Bye, Birdie” and “42nd Street.” He sings with a deep tenor and a twinkle in his eye, and yes, the twinkle came though clearly. He discusses big shows he’s acted in (but not always as the lead) and does a nice dissection of Tevye’s plight in “Fiddler on the Roof.” His tsuris partly comes from five daughters, and Tevye knows what’s important in life: A happy wife, good food, status in your and most import: a great deal of distance from the Cossacks. As the showtunes roll by, there’s a steady stream of traffic outside but no pedestrians. The camera is mostly static; an attempted pan is aborted and clearly WPPH is not yet ready for video production. A small unseen audience gives the show some life and give Mr. Kilgore a crowd to work. This helps enormously even if we can’t detect a standing ovation. There are several more of these online Cabaret’s coming up, but dates for most online presentation wander around so stay tuned. I also miss the bar, but I did provide my own preferred Cheap Red Wine: the Black Box varietal called simple “Red”. Can’t get much cheaper than that.