BWW Review: FIND YOUR HERO at The Studio At Carrollwood Cultural Center

BWW Review: FIND YOUR HERO at The Studio At Carrollwood Cultural CenterI'm going to start my review with Keith Eisenstadt's quote that closed the Friday night musical production of BROADWAY BENT: HEROES.

Keith was on stage with Aaron Washington for the Eisenstadt and Washington's production, thanking their cast.

"If you surround yourself with talented people, you cannot fail."

With that quote in mind, performed in The Studio at Carrollwood Cultural Center, BROADWAY BENT: HEROES, could not fail.

Powerhouse vocalists Topher Warren, Jessica LaPollo, Richard Cubi, Stephanie Coatney, Gam Calderon, Melissa Doell, Lance Rumowicz, and PaVonne Scott shone in individual and group productions, performing songs of the good guys and gals of Broadway.

BROADWAY BENT: HEROES featured music from some of my favorite productions and others I am excited to get to know including HEATHERS, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, FINDING NEVERLAND, THE COLOR PURPLE, FUN HOME, LEGALLY BLONDE, WICKED, 9 TO 5, JASPER IN THE DEADLAND, I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE, and IF/THEN, among many, many other numbers.

The show opened with a group number "I Need A Hero" from FOOTLOOSE, where the singers went from the stage to interacting directly with the attentive audience.

BWW Review: FIND YOUR HERO at The Studio At Carrollwood Cultural CenterThere is nothing in production today, that I am aware of, that matches this revue. It's a party with the cool kids, a cabaret with full open bar. It's sexy guys and gorgeous women performing their songs while sharing your table. It's a theme of red and black. It's stilettos, skirts and bustiers and not necessarily being the women who wear them. It's the talent of Mary Jo Hahn on the piano keys for a few of the numbers. It's Keith in a red cape interrupting Melissa's number to perform "Everyone's A Hero" from DR. HORRIBLE'S SING ALONG BLOG. It's Aaron being happily accosted by Lance in "Dead Girl Walking" from HEATHERS, THE MUSICAL. It's being totally immersed in the experience, being 100% part of the production. It's escapism, fun, and magic with a group of friends having a great time singing and you are simply lucky enough to be in the room.

Each performance vied to outdo the next like Topher's "So Much Better" from LEGALLY BLONDE, Gam's "Popular" from WICKED, Lance's "Changing My Major to Joan" from FUN HOME, PaVonne's "Believe in Yourself' from THE WIZ, Stephanie's "Backwood Barbie" for 9 TO 5, Jessica's "Waving Through a Window" from DEAR EVAN HANSEN, Melissa's "I DON QUIXOTE" from MAN OF LA MANCHA, Aaron's "I'm Here" from THE COLOR PURPLE, and Richard's "Stroke By Stroke" from JASPER IN THE DEADLAND.

But some of my favorite performances were from the duo and group numbers that truly brought goosebumps.

Seated at a patron's table, Lance and Jessica's "A Stud and a Babe" from I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE sung as the opposite gender was funny and adorable. Topher, Gam, and PaVonne's "Who I'd Be" from SHREK, THE MUSICAL was a beautiful blend of vocals. "Only Us" from DEAR EVAN HANSEN was romance in full bloom sung by Stephanie and Richard.

The quartet of women performing "No More Wasted Time" from IF/THEN showcased their incredible pipes.

Yet, it was Melissa and Stephanie's "Defying Gravity" from WICKED that was the call-out of the night. The notes these women hit were astounding and when the two voices intertwined in perfect harmony, it was absolutely breath-taking.

There is just one night left of this special event. Come see for yourself why the cast was greeted with a well-deserved standing ovation.

Reservations for Broadway Bent: Heroes are available by calling (813) 922-8167. For more information, visit

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From This Author Deborah Bostock-Kelley

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