BWW Review: With I WISH: THE ROLES THAT COULD HAVE BEEN, Alexandra Silber Gathers Her Friends To Sing The Songs They'll Never Sing… Or Will They?

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BWW Review: With I WISH: THE ROLES THAT COULD HAVE BEEN, Alexandra Silber Gathers Her Friends To Sing The Songs They'll Never Sing… Or Will They?

 

Heigh Ho Friends & "Family"! Bobby Patrick your RAINBOW Reviewer here. Putting the silent T in CABARET to bring you all the T.

So my Lambkins, Bobby was back uptown this week at the posh Feinstein's/54 Below to catch the second installment of I WISH: THE ROLES THAT COULD HAVE BEEN, brainchild of the fierce and funny Alexandra Silber (Fiddler 2016, Master Class - Revival) that she created by a slip of the tweet. In her Broadway Buzz feature she says that she once tweeted, "... that somebody needs to do a concert where I get to do this." and by this she meant, sing the songs from roles she never got to do or got close to doing but lost out in the audition process OR would never actually do owing to casting brackets that just don't include... well, HER! Feinstein’s/54 Below Original Programming Producer, Jen Sandler answered the tweet, and they went to work! With this in mind, Silber and Sandler reached out to fellow Broadway-ites with a "Hey kids! Let's put on a show!" battle cry, and I WISH was born. So the evening goes something like this; Silber and a dozen or so of her musical theatre contemporaries take the stage and belt out the songs from the roles they always dreamt of but will never play. Most have stories of how the show and the song they chose impacted them in their youth and so their connection to their number is deeply personal. The line up for Sunday night included:

Kara Lindsay (Wicked, Beautiful)
Jason SweetTooth Williams (Be More Chill, Freaky Friday)
Manu Narayan (My Fair Lady, Merrily We Roll Along)
Emerson Steele (Violet)
Ann Harada (Avenue Q, Cinderella)
Jelani Remy (Ain't Too Proud, The Lion King)
Etai Benson (The Band's Visit, Wicked)
Alexandra Socha (Head Over Heels, Spring Awakening)
Nicholas Barasch (She Loves Me, Big River)
Samantha Massell (Fiddler on the Roof)
Jawan M. Jackson (Ain't Too Proud)
Taylor Iman Jones (Head Over Heels, Groundhog Day)
Zach Adkins (Anastasia)

Musical Direction by Ben Caplan

Produced by Jen Sandler 

All of them powerful performers at the top of their respective games. "So, how come," Bobby has to ask, "How come with stories about hearing their song in their youth and how the song or role impacted them for their entire lives, are there some singers reading their lyrics from a piece of paper they prop up on a music stand?" Bobby asks. I'm sorry my dears, but it just doesn't scan. Professionals whose story is, they've known the song for years but then need a cheat sheet? Honey! Bobby is all about the rainbows, but some rain has to fall here... LEARN YOUR WORDS! I could name names, but I won't (Or will I?)

Now, that little fender bender aside, I WISH had to be one of the MOST FUN shows of the season. Silber's talent and exuberance and gift for off-the-cuff comedy equal to any stand-up practitioner kept the evening moving as well as added her own impressive vocals throughout. The funniest of which was her opening number about delusional casting, a hilarious medley that included a re-write of the song I Wish from the holy of holies, Into The Woods. You can catch this number here; I Wish Mega Medley, and it is worth it.

Highlights of the night included a VERY with child Kara Lindsay singing all about being PULLED {in a new direction} (Addams Family), Jelani Remy who retrieved a blonde wig from a shoulder bag that then converted into a broken arm sling for his belting of Audrey's Little Shop magnum opus SOMEWHERE THAT's GREEN. And speaking of Green, that just what Remy did, mixing his voice in a laugh-out-loud funny impression of Ellen Green's original Audrey; he absolutely slew the room. Ann Harada blew the roof off giving forth her best Eva Peron with RAINBOW HIGH... fabulous! (But, you know what you did Ann grrrr). Gingerlicious Nicholas Barasch sang Matilda's Ballad QUIET with power and real pathos showing that youth and talent aren't always annoying. Taylor Iman Jones has to be given this writer's prize-of-the-night for burning down the house with her WORLD BURN from Mean Girls. Perfectly sung and acted so well it leaves one wondering why, after auditioning, she was never cast as THE meanest; Regina George.

Silber wrapped up the evening singing the title song from a role she thought she would never play until Alan Paul showed he had vision beyond "casting brackets", took her to the Olney Theatre Center, and gave her a crack at Sally Bowles and CABARET. With this number, Silber showed that her full, rich, legit soprano can give way to a trumpet-like belt that can put any song over.

I WISH: THE ROLES THAT COULD HAVE BEEN - returns to 254 W 54th Street in February and since Bobby cannot recommend this outing highly enough he has to give this one... 4 out of 5 Rainbows.

Tickets to I WISH on Feb 3, 2020, can be got: HERE
Follow Alexandra Silber's Tweets: HERE
Feinstein's/54 Below website is: HERE
Facebook is: HERE
Twitter is: HERE

 



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