BWW Reviews: May Kritzerland Pays Tribute to Unsung Broadway Songwriters at Sterling's
On Sunday May 6 Kritzerland presented its monthly show, May's entitled Broadway Bound: Unsung Songwriters at Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal. Bruce Kimmel and Adryan Russ produce a terrific evening of entertainment with an emphasis on tunes rarely if ever heard and featuring a bevy of top-notch musical theatre talent. This show proved no exception with Damon Kirsche, Melody Hollis, Jane Noseworthy, Beth Malone, John Massey and special guest star Daisy Eagan, the youngest person to ever win a Tony Award for The Secret Garden. First-time with Kritzerland, musical director Tom Griep accompanied beautifully on piano throughout the 75 minute set. Featured songwriters included among others: the amazing Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich, Alan Chapman (in attendance), Larry Grossman, Hal Hackady and Ira Levin, who as a familiar writer brought us on film and stage: Rosemary's Baby and Deathtrap.
Highlights of the evening were Heisler's and Goldrich's ever popular "Alto's Lament" given its due justice and thensome by fab vocalist Beth Malone, a rousing "The Lord Will Provide" from a musicalization of the haunting film The Night of the Hunter sung with chilling fervor by Damon Kirsche, a delightful "Mama, a Rainbow" from Minnie's Boys by Larry Grossman and Hal Hackady and starring - as Bruce Kimmel facetiously described her - musical comedy star Shelley Winters and sung lovingly here to her own mother in attendance by Melody Hollis, two songs from the musical version of The Yearling recorded by Barbra Streisand and sung gorgeously here by Jane Noseworthy: the eclectically beautiful "I'm All Smiles" and "Why Did I Choose You?" Guest star Daisy Eagan essayed a song she had recorded 16 years ago for Kimmel from The Little Prince entitled "44 Sunsets" - and as Kimmel truly noted "her voice hasn't changed; it sounds exactly the same as it did then". John Massey provided some great comic moments with "Something" a parody of A Chorus Line's "Nothing" and "Everybody Wants to Be Sondheim". As Kimmel pointed out, the shows, some of which only lasted 3 or a few more performances on Broadway, gave the world some simply riveting show tunes, none finer than from Drat the Cat: songs also recorded by Streisand "He Touched Me" and "I Like Him", deliciously essayed here by the incredible Beth Malone.
As always this was another outstanding Kritzerland show. Join them in June, Sunday June 3rd to be exact, for a tribute to songwriter Randy Newman, a slightly different type of show for Kritzerland.
Also, don't forget to pick up and read Bruce Kimmel's new book, Album Produced By..., in which he uniquely relates classic stories about his musical career with some of the greatest composers and stars ever to create a musical show.