BWW Review: AN EVENING OF CLASSIC BROADWAY to Repeat December 19 at Rockwell

BWW Review: AN EVENING OF CLASSIC BROADWAY to Repeat December 19 at Rockwell

(from left to right: front row: Dianne Fraser, Andrea Marcovicci, Ashley Fox Linton, Michael Kostroff/ second row: Larry Poindexter, Domonique Paton, Shannon Warne, Brad Ellis, Scotch Ellis Loring)

What a dazzling array of talent (pictured above)! Monday December 10 marked the 25th performance of An Evening of Classic Broadway at Rockwell Table and Stage. For those unfamiliar with this event that meets 5 or 6 times a year, it's a musical evening of Broadway tunes, both familar and lesser known, introduced by producers Dianne Fraser who also performs and accompanist Brad Ellis who serves as musical director and fun narrator par excellence. Joining them this time around are Domonique Paton, Ashley Fox Linton, Shannon Warne, Larry Poindexter, Michael Kostroff, Scotch Ellis Loring and the piece de resistance Queen of Los Angeles Cabaret Andrea Marcovicci. I say are instead of were because, due to popular demand, this particular show is having a second performance on Wednesday December 19 once again at Rockwell with most of the cast intact.

Ellis is a genius at the keys. He will start playing Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" and segue into "S'Wonderful" as if the two belong together, inseparable old friends. His frenetic act or narration comes off somewhat as improv and he loves to give Fraser a hard time as well as just about every singer who comes onstage. But, it's all in fun. Opening this show, it was thrust upon us that "If you have come for a show full of Christmas music, you've come to the wrong place. This is a salute to Broadway, although there are a couple of holiday tunes thrown in." It's a relaxed atmosphere, but when it comes down to the singing, every guest puts 150% into the delivery of each and every song.

On this bill, show-stoppers include: Kostroff's deliciously, comedic "Those Were the Good Old Days" from Damn Yankees, Scotch Ellis Loring's beautiful "Falling Slowly" from Once, Paton's unforgettable "On My Own" from Les Miserables - what a magnificent vocal instrument this little lady has -, Linton's lovely "Only Love" from The Scarlet Pimpernel; Warne's incredible delivery of "A Place Called Home" from A Christmas Carol with lyrics by Lyn Ahrens and music by Alan Menken, the rarely heard "Her Face" from Bob Merrill's Carnival sung with fervor by Poindexter, a truly touching "In Buddy's Eyes" from Follies sung lovingly by Fraser,a hilarious duet between Fraser and Marcovicci of "The Grass Is Always Greener" from Woman of the Year, and Marcovicci's fixating theatrical salute to Frank Loesser on "Hamlet" from the film "Red, Hot and Blue". "White Christmas" concludes the show and the audience gets a chance to sing along in merry tune with the ensemble.

I always leave Rockwell with a smile on my face and a warm feeling in my heart after An Evening of Classic Broadway. This casual yet totally professional evening will be repeated on the 19th of this month, and the next regular performance will be January 29, 2019 at Rockwell Table and Stage. Come out and support live theatre performers. I guarantee you'll have a great time! Merry Christmas! Happy Chanukah!

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From This Author Don Grigware

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