Quality Hill Playhouse presents I'VE GOT A CRUSH ON YOU
To kick off its season exploring what catapults a piece of music from being merely a song to being a standard in the hallowed pantheon known as the Great American Songbook, Quality Hill Playhouse explores Broadway tunes that became part of American popular culture with its latest production, I've Got a Crush on You, opening September 29.
The cabaret revue, featuring more than two dozen songs birthed for the Great White Way, explores the ways that Broadway and American popular music have intertwined. Many early musicals have been forgotten, but they left behind some of our finest standards. Despite a score by George and Ira Gershwin and a cast featuring Clifton Webb and a young Gertrude Lawrence, few if any remember the Broadway musical Treasure Girl, yet it produced the oft-recorded classic (and this revue's title song) "I've Got a Crush on You". Similarly, the unpublished Gershwin operetta East Is West, the unsuccessful Broadway play The Great Magoo, and the Rodgers and Hart musical The Boys From Syracuse are each nearly forgotten, but each gave jazz singers some of their favorite repertoire: "Embraceable You," "It's Only a Paper Moon," and "This Can't Be Love," respectively.
Pop music and Broadway reversed roles in the latter half of the 20th Century as radio and television dominated the entertainment industry and Broadway producers used their influence to their advantage. Kansas City chanteuse Marilyn Maye was tapped to record "Cabaret" as a pop hit, providing a pre-opening marketing vehicle for the 1966 Kander and Ebb musical of the same name. Likewise, Eydie Gorme had a Top 40 hit with "If He Walked Into My Life" in advance of the Broadway opening of Jerry Herman's Mame. Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar first appeared as a concept album, with the title song released as a single nearly two years before the stage production debuted on Broadway in 1971.
A talented ensemble featuring vocalists Victoria Botero, Christina Burton, and Tim Noland, backed by J. Kent Barnhart on piano, Ken Remmert on drums, and BrIan Wilson on bass, will perform this treasure trove of Broadway-turned-pop and pop-turned-Broadway hits. Producing Artistic Director and Playhouse Founder Barnhart arranged the show and doubles his piano duties with those of emcee, providing historical anecdotes and fascinating trivia.
I've Got a Crush on You runs through October 29 at Quality Hill Playhouse, 303 W. 10th Street, Kansas City, MO. Single tickets are $38, with discounts for students, seniors, and groups. For tickets, call 816-421-1700. To purchase tickets online or for more information, visit www.QualityHillPlayhouse.com.
About the Performers
Victoria Botero returns to QHP having last appeared in Christmas in Song in 2007. During her 10-year hiatus from the Playhouse, she has performed regularly with the critically acclaimed "Ensemble Iberica." In addition, Botero has extensive experience premiering new works with organizations like newEar Contemporary Music Ensemble, Black House Collective, and Atemporchestra. Christina Burton returns to QHP for her eighth production as a vocalist since making her debut in 2015 with Judy Barbra Liza. A "triple threat" performer, Burton has acted, sung, and danced on the stages of Starlight Theatre, Unicorn Theatre, and Musical Theater Heritage, as well as choreographed productions for Starlight, the Unicorn, and Quality Hill Playhouse. Tim Noland returns to QHP after appearing in last season's hit Unchained Melody with fellow cast mate Christina Burton. Noland was in the very first show Quality Hill Playhouse produced in 1995 and since that time has appeared at numerous theatres around the country.
About Quality Hill Playhouse
J. Kent Barnhart founded the producing company Quality Hill Productions in 1995 and secured the lease on Quality Hill Playhouse in the same year. The company regularly produces six cabaret revues and off-Broadway musicals each year, with a season running from September through July. The theatre has seven rows and seats 153, providing one of the most intimate theatre experiences in Kansas City.