Hello, darlings! Being the Broadway buff that I am, I am always thrilled about every opportunity to attend the latest shows. This is why I attended my good friend, Scott Siegel’s, presentation for the 6th annualBroadway Rising Stars at The Town Hall on the evening of July 23rd. Accompanying me was my good friend and Off Broadway Boutique fashion expert, Pat, who loved every minute of it as much as I did.
Featuring 17 incredibly talented young people from around the world that are fresh out of performing arts schools, this was their opportunity to deliver by putting them on the musical career fast track. Having watched plenty of Town Hall Broadway performances throughout the years, I know that its stage is a star-making one that serves as a way to shoot these potential stars out of a cannon into their successful futures. Last night was no different, as I truly believe this year’s crop of rising stars have an enormous amount of potential that I’d love to see bloom into complete success.
Every single performer had tons of talent with their own special charm, as they raised the roof off of The Town Hall with the great variety of their extraordinary voices. Pat was particularly enamored by a Brazilian singer with a lovely voice, as well as a Spanish singer who interpreted the featured songs beautifully. I, in particular, was thrilled to see Paula Buresh, Ricky Alan Saunders, Laura Enrich, and Carleton Terrence Taylor, take the stage and sing their hearts out. The splendor of seeing the company being that was led by Max Chernin and the grand finale that was led by Alex Mansoori was enough for me to declare this show a must-see. After all, it was no surprise that it received several standing ovations throughout the performances and a huge one at the end that included yours truly.
I wasn’t surprised when Scott mentioned to me that an enormous amount of the young people that perform in the annual Broadway Rising Stars show move on to work on Broadway, off-Broadway, and national tours, as the incredible amount of talent on the stage that evening showed me that there were plenty of future stars that are destined to shine. In addition, I was absolutely pleased to hear that a rising star from the previous year’s concert is now the star of the new musical, Bring It On, which debuted this past Friday. After all, this is a sign of things coming full circle for my good friend, Scott, who deserves every bit of success that he has received in writing, hosting, and producing this spectacular show.
My lovely friend, Linda Amiel Burns, wholeheartedly agrees with me about Scott’s fantastic shows, as she wrote a sterling review of this show for the terrific theatre website, TheatreScene.net:
Broadway’s Rising Stars (6th Edition) By: Linda Amiel Burns
Bless Our Show” from Sister Act sung by the female ensemble of Broadway’s Rising Stars
(All photos by Maryann Lopinto)
The 6th Edition of Broadway’s Rising Stars,” part of The Summer Broadway Festival, was held on Monday evening, July 23rd, 2012 at The Town Hall to a packed house. Once again, Scott Siegel hosted the event, but he also is the creator and writer of this series and others, such as Broadway by the Year and The Nightlife Awards. The 17 singers who made their auspicious debuts on The Town Hall stage were chosen after extensive auditions throughout the spring and come from theatrical institutions across the country including AMDA, NYU’s CAP 21 & Steinhart Schools, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Carnegie Mellon, Marymount Manhattan College and The New School. John Fischer served as Musical Director with Steve Doyle on bass, Jimmy Clayton on reeds and Tim McCafferty on drums. Scott Coulter directed the show and the choreographer was Vibecke Dahle.
The show opened with the entire cast singing “Doors” (from Closer Than Ever) and you could feel the excitement and the energy that these young performers projected from the stage. Each and every singer had a terrific voice and was special, but there were several standouts. Paula Buresh performed an emotional “He Touched Me” from Drat the Cat. However, it was a shame that she was directed to sing the entire song sitting on a stool as it took away from her body being able to express the feelings. Ricky Alan Saunders won the audience over with “If My Friends Could See Me Now” (Sweet Charity) although the tempo could have been showed down a bit. The crowd cheered for Carlton Terrence Taylor when he sang “I’ve Gotta Be Me” (Golden Rainbow) and as Scott said, “A better rendition of that song is not to be heard anywhere!” Two of my favorites were a simple and beautiful “Good Thing Going” (Merrily We Roll Along) by Max Chernin and a rousing “Man of La Mancha” sung by a young man from Brazil, Felipe Tavolaro. Another young man, Sean Buhr, won me over when he sang Craig Carnelia’s “Flight” and Alexandrea Tocco was powerful singing “Someone Like You” (Jekyll & Hyde). Laura Enrech sang a perfect “Breathe” from In the Heights and she could have easily slipped into the role of Nina if the show was still running. Another standout was Megan Meyer, who sang the comic soprano aria, “Glitter and Be Gay” from Candide. There were several rousing group numbers including “I’m A Woman” (Smokey Joe’s Café) with Hannah Solow, Cha’Nequa C. Stevens, Tocco, and Nicole Turner. The men sang, “Seize The Day” (Newsies) and the gals “Bless Our Show (Sister Act). The show closed with the company singing the inspirational anthem from Carousel, “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” featuring Alex Mansoori. The format of the evening is set and has obviously been successful, but I would have liked to be able to get to know each performer better. Scott introduced each of them with a little tidbit about their childhood and where they studied. However, I would have liked to see the performers set up their songs, talk about why they chose them, and a little about themselves. Scott has provided a terrific opportunity for these young singers to be showcased and mentioned that many alums of this series have been working on Broadway and touring. All in all, it was a thrilling evening and hopefully a chance for these talented “Rising Stars” to be discovered! There is one more evening in the Summer Broadway Festival on Monday, July 30 called Even Stephen: Liz Callaway and Friends sing Flaherty, Schwartz and Sondheim.
It is also a pleasure to see him whenever he stops by with his wife, Barbara, who is a longtime client ofOff Broadway Boutique’s. They both visited the shop on Saturday to provide me with sparkling conversation and great laughs. In addition to keeping me up to date with the latest Broadway happenings, he and Barbara keep me company while I sell the very thing that the theatre is all about – undeniable glamour with plenty of heart.