BWW Reviews: The Engeman's Ongoing Broadway Concert Series
To attend the Broadway Concert Series at Northport's stunning John W. Engeman theatre is a special treat. During their dark weeks, Producer and Host Stephen DeAngelis rounds up Broadways best for an evening of songs and stories of their careers.
First up however, as tradition dictates, Mr. DeAngelis introduced Musical Director/Accompanist Eugene Gwozdz to perform the overture. Typically, Mr. DeAngelis picks an overture without Mr. Gwozdz knowing what it is and hands it to Mr. Gwozdz at the top of the show. This time Mr. Gwozdz performed a beautiful medley he created for the Jerome Robbins Awards Gala honoring Harold Prince, Chita Rivera, and Stephen Sondheim.
After a rousing round of applause for Mr. Gwozdz, Alan H. Green took the stage to perform "When I Find My Baby" from his time in Sister Act. For his second number, Mr. Green chose "I'm Beginning to See the Light" from his time in Play On!. For his third number, Mr. Green did a fun rendition (not to mention some Fosse choreography) of "Razzle Dazzle" from Chicago. And to top off his great performances, Mr. Green selected "Free At Last" from his time in Big River.
Next up was the incredible Tony award winner Randy Graff. For her first number, Ms. Graff selected "You Can Always Count On Me" from her Tony winning time in City Of Angels. For a stunning second performance, Ms. Graff did a medley of "On A Clear Day" and "I Can See It" from On A Clear Day You Can See Forever and The Fantasticks, respectively. For her third selection, Ms. Graff chose one of her audition numbers called "Murder He Says" celebrating Frank Loesser. And finally, as Broadway's original Fantine, she chose to finish her performances with a breathtaking rendition of "I Dreamed A Dream" from LES MISERABLES.
The very funny and adorable Rory O'Malley was up next to the delight of everyone, particularly the younger patrons of the theatre. His first selection was a hysterical rendition of "I'm Not That Smart" from The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. For his next selection, Mr. O'Mally chose "Sittin' On the Dock Of the Bay" which he explained he used as his audition for his role the Dreamgirls movie. And to close out his performances, he chose "How Glory Goes" from the Off-Broadway musical Floyd Collins.
Tony award winner Tonya Pinkins graced the stage next with a heart wrenching "I Got Four Kids" from her Tony nominated performance in Caroline, or change. For her next number, Ms. Pinkins did a spectacular rendition of Harold Arlen's "Come Rain or Come Shine". Ms. Pinkins continued a Harold Arlen theme for her performances with "Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home" from Mr. Arlen's St. Louis Woman. And finally, she closed out her performances with a beautiful rendition of Mr. Arlen's "Stormy Weather" that has been done by such notables as Lena Horne, Ethel Waters, Elisabeth Welch, and Frances Langford among others.
Finally, Tony award winner Anthony Crivello took the stage with some amazing performances. Mr. Crivello's first selection was a beautiful rendition of "Oh, What a Circus" from Evita as the original production was his debut. His second selection was a fantastic performance of "As Good As You" from his time in a Canadian showing of Jayne Eyre. Mr. Crivello's next number, "Marta", recreated his Tony winning performance from Kiss of the Spider Woman. And closing out his performances, and the show, Mr. Crivello chose "Music Of the Night" from Phantom Of The Opera.
I really cannot say enough about this wonderful event that happens but a few times a year. With the amazing talent that graces the stage and the stunning John W. Engeman Theatre, you'll be talking about this evening for months to come.