BWW Review: Broadway's Bart Shatto Belts Out One Showstopper After Another at The Rrazz Room
Bart Shatto is a star performer. I first heard Bart with the famed theatrical-rock group The Trans-Siberian Orchestra. He's sung on a couple of their recordings, but toured the country with them for many years, notably singing the song, "Old Town Bar." Then I first saw Bart while he played Bud in Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre's fantastic production of The Bridges of Madison County. But Shatto is not only from the world of rock, but the world of theater, performing in many shows on Broadway & Touring shows including The Civil War, Hands on A Hardbody and Dracula. Shatto also played the pivotal role of Jean Valjean in the Broadway & Touring cast of Les Miserables and played Gus/Growltiger in the National Tour of Cats.
The Rrazz Room in New Hope, Pennsylvania is a delightful, intimate space for Broadway actors, musicians and Cabaret artists to perform. The venue seats about 100. Shatto was here tonight to perform his acclaimed Cabaret show Bart Shatto: Back to Broadway - Heroes, Villains and Dreamers. What a show it was. Shatto really went for the showstoppers here, including many great leading men songs. The show was split up between the Dreamers, the Villains and the Heroes. The show featured special guest performers like Cabaret artist Matthew Alan, who blew me away dueting with Bart on "Lily's Eyes" from The Secret Garden and a spoof of "The Confrontation" from Les Miserables with Shatto playing Colm Wilkinson and Alan playing the Phantom. Other guests included David Hampson, who performed a fantastic version of "Stars" from Les Miserables and last, but not least, the incomparable Phyllis Chappell dueted with Shatto on an absolutely beautiful rendition of "Falling Slowly" from Once and Phyllis came back later in the show to be part of a Man of La Mancha Medley singing "Aldonza" with Shatto and Hampson.
The Dreamers section included songs from The Secret Garden, La Cage Aux Folles, Man of La Mancha and Jekyll and Hyde. Shatto's encore was a beautiful rendition of "This is the Moment." For the Heroes section, Shatto sang songs from Shrek ("Who I'd Be," one of my favorites), Les Miserables, Once and chancing out by belting the famed Frozen hit, "Let it Go" as the conclusion of the section. The Villains section featured songs from Les Miserables, Oliver, Phantom of the Opera and a great rendition of "You'll Be Back" from Hamilton (Another favorite of mine).
With no break at all, Shatto's show came close to 2 hours. He showed what a great character he is with each song, belting out one after the other. If you have not seen or heard Bart Shatto, do yourself a favor and check him out. Props to Steve Heiser, host for the evening Rhoda Rogers, and the outstanding accompanist Bob Egan. I think this show can go on the road, as a lot rock/theatre fans would enjoy this. His latest endeavor is Tara Tremendous: The Musical, which will be available soon at broadwayrecords.com!
Check out The Rrazz Room's upcoming shows here: www.therrazzroom.com
Photo Credit: www.bartshatto.com