BWW Review: BROADWAY TODAY at Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
This weekend the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra joins forces with three titans of the stage to bring you the sounds of Broadway with two performances of "Broadway Today", in which Rochester's premiere symphony orchestra, led by charismatic maestro Jeff Tyzik and joined by Rick Faugno (Jersey Boys, Godspeed), Leah Horowitz (Fiddler on the Roof, Thoroughly Modern Millie) and Mamie Parris (School of Rock, Cats) bring you show tunes old and new, from My Fair Lady and Sound Pacific to Les Miserables and Wicked.
Avid theatre-goers likely recognize Mamie Parris from her time as Elphaba in the first national tour of Wicked back in 2005. If you weren't lucky enough to catch the tour, Parris and Horowitz team up to deliver a stunning performance of "Defying Gravity" to close the first half of the evening. Dressed in a sparkling green dress, Parris showed us that despite being over a decade removed from the role, she still soars in Wicked's flagship musical number, delivering a truly spectacular vocal performance.
Rick Faugno is probably known best as a song-and-dance man, having won the Fred Astaire Dance Award as Porter in On the Twentieth Century on Broadway and being known on-and-off Broadway for his virtuosic tap dancing skills. Faugno displays those several times throughout the evening, tapping his way across the stage during tunes from 42nd Street and Roberta. It's quite the sight to see, and the audience met it with rapturous applause.
Leah Horowitz delivers a powerhouse performance of "Think of Me" from The Phantom of the Opera late in the evening, reminding the audience why Phantom is the longest-running show on Broadway. The well-known aria from the end of the song was especially wonderful.
All three singers team up to perform audience favorites "Circle of Life" from The Lion King and the Gershwin classic "I Got Rhythm" from Girl Crazy, ensuring that the evening delivers something for everyone, despite your Broadway knowledge.
As always, the RPO is top-notch, providing the perfect foundation for these Broadway classics to be delivered. The orchestra's shining moment comes during a medley of songs from Fiddler on the Roof, in which concertmaster Juliana Athayde delivers the well-known violin solo that appears in the show's overture.
All-in-all, the RPO's Broadway Today is an evening that will leave you tapping your feet and humming your favorite show tunes for days to come.
Broadway Today is being performed one more time; tonight, October 27th at 8pm at the Eastman Theatre. For tickets and more information, click here.