Saturday, May 23, 2009

Wall to Wall Broadway

Last Saturday, my Little Love Noah and I spent the day at Symphony Space for Wall to Wall Broadway. It was a 12 hour program celebrating 100 years of Broadway. Isaiah Sheffer, Artistic Director of Symphony Space and the creator of the day, peppered the day with several symposiums about the process of writing, directing and producing, including influences, inspirations and even two raps (Sheldon Harnick rapped about Lin-Manuel Miranda; Lin-Manuel returned the favor with a rap of "Tradition"), but the day was for the American musical. Up until almost 8:00, accompaniament was shared on piano by Lanny Meyers and Beth Ertz, except for tracks for the current big Broadway shows, and Michael Cerveris accompanied himself on accoustic guitar. At 8:00, the American Theatre Orchestra under the baton of Paul Gemignani took over. Isaiah said that there were originally over 350 songs proposed. These are the oldies but goodies, recent and even brand new songs that made the cut:

1. "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" from The Lion King - Dashaun Young and Ta'Rea Campbell
2. "Practically Perfect" from Mary Poppins - Catherine Brunell, Alison Horowitz, Zach Rand
3. "She's in Love" from The Little Mermaid - Brian D'Addario, Julie Barnes, Catherine Baslie, Michelle Lookadoo, Zakiya Young Mizen, Chelsea MOrgan Stock, Kay Trinidad
4. "Don't Let Me Go" from Shrek - Daniel Breaker
5. "The Wizard and I" from Wicked - Chelsea Krombach
6. "Light My Candle", 7. "Take Me or Leave Me", 8. "Finale B", 9. "Seasons of Love" from Rent - performers from the Adelphi University production
10. "Honey" from Merrily We Roll Along - Jonathan Hadary
11. "My Girl Back Home" from South Pacific - Thom C. Warren
12. "When I Go Out Walkin' With My Baby" from Oklahoma - Kevin Burdette
13. "Come Down from the Tree" from Once on This Island - Nora York
14. "Pink Taffeta Sample Size 10" from Sweet Charity - Loni Ackerman
15. "Tell Me I Look Nice" from She Loves Me - Leenya Rideout
16. "The Bee" from Guys and Dolls - Sydney J. Burgoyne
17. "Travellin' Light" from Guys and Dolls - Thom C. Warren
18. "A Big Fat Heart" from Seesaw - Mary Brienza
19. "Nice She Ain't" from Gypsy - Jonahtan Hadary
20. "I Don't Care Much" from Cabaret - Marion Cowlings
21. "Mama's Talkin Soft" from Gypsy - Loni Ackerman, Ami Vice
22. "Brush Up Your Shakespeare" from Kiss Me Kate - Jonathan Hadary and Kevin Burdette (pre-song discussion with Robert MacNeil)
23. "If Mama was Married" from Gypsy - Loni Ackerman and Lisa Flanagan (pre-song discussion with Frank Rich)
24. "I Can't Get Started" from Ziegfeld Follies of 1936 - Nora York (pre-song discussion with Ted Chapin and lyricist David Zippel)
25. "You Can Always Count on Me" from City of Angels - Ami Vice (pre-song discussion with Ted Chapin and lyricist David Zippel)
26. "Something Wonderful" from The King and I - Lisa Flanagan (pre-song discussion with Ted Chapin and composer Jeanine Tesori and bookwriter/lyricist Joe DiPietro)
27. "All Men Are Freaks" from The Toxic Avenger - Mary Brienza and Kathryn Markey (pre-song discussion with Ted Chapin and bookwriter/lyricist Joe DiPietro)
28. "Lay Down Your Head" from Violet - Laurel Harris, accompanied by Jeanine Tesori (pre-song discussion with Ted Chapin and composer Jeanine Tesori)
29. "Blue Skies" from Betsy - Mary cleer Haran
30. "Taking a Chance on Love" from Cabin in the Sky - Martin Vidnovic
31. "Come Rain or Come Shine" from St. Louis Woman - D'Ambrose Boyd
32. "Coffee in a Cardboard Cup" from Seventy Girls - Isaiah Sheffer
33. "The Gentleman is a Dope" from Allegro - Loni Ackerman
34. "You and the Night and the Music" from Revenge with Music - Mary Cleere Haran and Martin Vidnovic
35. "Once Upon a Time" from All American - Lisa Flanagan
36. "Smile" from Smile - Martin Vidnovic
37. "Our Time" from Merrily We Roll Along - Loni Ackerman
38. "Being Alive" from Company - Doug Kreeger (followed by Rob Marx and Harold Prince in conversation)
39. "Hans Christian Andersen" from Hans Christian Andersen - Emily Loesser, Jo Sullivan Loesser, Debbie Gravitte
40. "Never Will I Marry" from Greenwillow - Debbie Gravitte
41. "You Understand Me" from Senor Discretion Himself - Emily Loesser and Jo Sullivan Loesser
42. "My Time of Day" from Guys and Dolls - Gregg Edelman
43. "I've Never Been in Love Before" from Guys and Dolls - Emily Loesser and Gregg Edelman
44. "Taylor the Latte Boy" - Zina Goldrich, Marcy Heisler
45. "Hola Lola" from Dear Edwina - Zina Goldrich, Marcy Heisler (also composer and lyricist of these plus the upcoming Ever After)
46. "The Kid" from The Kid - Trent Dawson
47. "Spare Changin" from The Kid - Brooke Sunny Moriber
48. "When They Put Him In Your Arms" from The Kid - Trent Dawson and Lucas Steel
49. "Embraceable You" from Girl Crazy - Rebecca Luker
50. "Younger than Springtime" from South Pacific - Andrew Samonsky
51. "Pinball Wizard" from The Who's Tommy - Michael Cerveris
52. "I Miss the Mountains" from Next to Normal - Jessica Phillips
53. "Second Hand Rose" from Ziefgeld Follies of 1921 - Loni Ackerman
54. "Song of the Woodman" from The Show is On - Kevin Burdette
55. "Nobody Makes a Pass at Me" from Pins and Needles - Mary Brienza
56. "South America, Take It Away" from Call Me Mister - Mary Brienza
57. "The Boston Beguine" from New Faces of 1952 - Kathryn Markey
58. "Fat and Greasy" from Ain't Misbehavin' - D'Ambrose Boyd and Russell Joel Brown
59. "I Get Carried Away" from On the Town - Leenya Rideout and Kevin Burdette
60. "Find Me a Primitive Man" from 50 Million Frenchmen - Leenya Rideout
61. "We're Going to Balance the Budget" from I'd Rather Be Right - Russell Joel Brown, Kevin Burdette and Sidney J. Burgoyne
62. "Pacineica y Fe" from In the Heights - Olga Merediz (preceeded by rap by Sheldon Harnick, followed by conversation with Sheldon and Lin-Manuel Miranda and rap by Lin-Manuel)
Enter the American Theatre Orchestra and Paul Gemignani
63. Overture from Funny Girl
64. "Give My Regards to Broadway" from Little Johnny Jones - Tony Roberts
65. "All the Things You Are" from Very Warm for May - Alexander Gemingnani
66. "September Song" from Knickerbocker Holiday - George S. Irving
67. Soliloquy" from Carousel - Brian Stokes Mitchell
68. "Tchaikovsky and Other Russians" from Lady in The Dark - Brian Stokes Mitchell
69. "Nobody's Heart" from By Jupiter - Raul Esparza
70. "Zip" from Pal Joey - Martha Plimpton
71. "Night and DAy" from Gay Divorce - Terrence Mann
72. "You're the Top" from Anything Goes - Terrence Mann, Loni Ackerman, Randy Graff
73. "I Get a Kick Out of You" from Anything Goes - Randy Graff
74. "I Cain't Say No" from Oklahoma - Kate Baldwin
75. "If I Loved You" from Carousel - Leenya Rideout and Gregg Edelman
76. "Coconut Girl" from The Girl Who Came to Supper - B.D. Wong (accompanied by Wayne Barker on piano) (B.D. was AMAZING!)
77. "Can That Boy Foxtrot!" from Follies - Julie Wilson
78. Overture from Fiorello!
79. "There's No Business Like Show Business" from Annie Get Your Gun - Debbie Gravitte and Alexander Gemignani
80. "How Are Things in Glocca Mora" from Finian's Rainbow - Kate Baldwin
81. "Adelaide's Lament" from Guys and Dolls - Ivy Austin
82. "Don Jose of Far Rockaway" from Wish You Were Here - Isaiah Sheffer
83. "A New Town is a Blue Town" from The Pajama Game - Alexander Gemignani
84. "The RAin in Spain" from My Fair Lady - Gregg Edelman, Melissa Errico, George S. Irving
85. "Long Befre I Knew You" from Bells are Ringing - Loni Ackerman
86. "Don't Rain on My Parade" from Funny Girl - Debbie Gravitte
"Matchmaker, Matchmaker" from Fiddler on the Roof - Lisa Flanagan, Kathyrn Markey, Ami Vice
87. "I Really Like Him" from Man of La Mancha - Jonathan Hadary
88. "I Can Do That" from A Chorus Line - Jeffrey Schecter(complete with choreography on very crowded stage)
89. "Not a Day Goes By" from Merrily We Roll Along - Liz Callaway
90. "It Don't Mean A Thing if it Ain't Got That Swing" from Sophisticated Ladies - D'Ambrose Boyd
91. "No More" from Into the Woods - Chip Zien and George S. Irving
92. "Finishing the Hat" from Sunday in the Park with George - Raul Esparza (best performance of the entire day!)
93. "Sunday in the Park with George" from Sunday in the Park with George - Melissa Errico and Raul Esparza
94. "Could I Leave You?" from Follies - Donna Murphy
95. "Make Our Garden Grow" from Candide - Alexander Gemignani, Gregg Edelman, Leenya Rideout, Melissa Errico, Debbie Gravitte, Friends of Wall to Wall Choral Society

Okay, so we could have skipped about 8 of the 12 hours...let's say it was definitely no Wall to Wall Sondheim. NOTHING could ever be as good as that. There were definitely some clunkers and something akin to really bad lounge acts, but if we hadn't gone so early, we wouldn't have met a new friend or two, heard some great talks, the raps, Loni Ackerman singing "Our Time" early in the day, and we wouldn't have scored our great seats for the great evening concert that included some of my very favorite people. The next Wall to Wall at Symphony Space will be devoted to Frank Loesser.


DirtySexyMoney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DirtySexyMoney said...

I wonder if there is anywhere online to see the performances. Would love to see Raul's performance

Tyler Barton said...


Is that not great that Chip Zien from the original cast of "Into the Woods," which is one of my top five favorite musicals, sang "No More?" That must have been wonderful and nostalgic to see.