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Broadway Blogs - Broadway's Rising Stars: The Names In Tomorrow's Papers and More...

Below are BroadwayWorld.com's blogs from Monday, July 27, 2009. Catch up below on anything that you might have missed from BroadwayWorld.com's bloggers!

Broadway's Rising Stars: The Names In Tomorrow's Papers
by Michael Dale - July 27, 2009

While the title of Town Hall's third annual production of Broadway's Rising Stars suggests a look into the future, I prefer to linger a bit in the present.  With a cast consisting of 22 recent grads from such musical theatre savvy institutions as NYU, Carnegie Mellon, AMDA and The Cincinnati Conservatory, all hand picked by creator/writer/host Scott Siegel, his partner in both life and reviewing, Barbara, plus directors Emily Skinner and Scott Coulter, this was a night to treasure the youthful love of the type of songs and the styles of singing that have helped make musical theatre this city's major export to the world.

As is my regular practice with this show, I'd rather not critique individual performances or speculate on which will someday see their names in lights.  I'd rather just be happy seeing a new generation embracing the old and cultivating the new.

With music director John Fischer leading the on-stage combo, there was no shortage of that traditional Broadway leading man sound with vocals by Eli Budwell ("A New Town is a Blue Town" - without amplification), Gregory Williams ("Come Rain or Come Shine") and Adam Yankowy ("The Impossible Dream" - without amplification).  Female belters were also in high order with Tricia Burns ("The Other Side of the Tracks"), Allison Semmes ("Cornet Man") Dara Hartman ("I Happen To Like New York"), Ali Stroker ("Be A Lion") and Shaina Taub ("I Got Love").

Rachael Ferrera scored the evening's first big comedy moment with Michael Kooman and Christopher Dimond's "Random Black Girl," a specialty number cleverly spoofing the lack of opportunities for talented black actresses.  Oakley Boycott also brought home laughs with John Kroner's "Where's The Beat," playing a rhythmically-challenged singer.  Also very funny was Christina Arranda, singing cultured tones to the naughty post-coital lyric of "Wonderful" from Olympus On My Mind, Kristin Dausch torching teenage outer boroughs angst in So Long, 174th Street's (a/k/a Enter Laughing, the musical) "Men" and Sam Trussell, clowning with Anthony Newley-style energy for that performer/songwriter's "Nothing Can Stop Me Now."

There was the jauntiness of Andrew Chappell's "Love's Revenge" and Kyle Taylor Parker's "T'Ain't Nobody's Business If I Do," while sincere and dramatic moments came from Jackie Washam ("Infinite Joy"), Jimmy Boorum ("Run Away With Me"), Jordan Person ("Diary of a Homecoming Queen"), Bridget Ori ("It Never Entered My Mind"), Caitlyn Caughell ("Someone Else's Story" - without amplification), and Gabriel Rodriguez ("I Who Have Nothing").  The audience was treated to a special moment after Antonio Addeo sang "Larger Than Life," as Scott Siegel introduced, seated in the audience, Evan Pappas; Addeo's teacher and the actor who introduced the song while starring in the original Broadway production of My Favorite Year.

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