Saturday, July 14, 2012

Broadway in Bryant Park is Back!

One of the most enjoyable free things to do in NYC in the summer is Broadway in Bryant Park. For six weeks in July and August, you can hear songs from current Broadway shows on Thursday afternoons at 12:30pm. If you get there early enough (and you should to get a good seat), you can hear the rehearsals too.

Sponsored by 106.7 Lite FM Radio, there are four to five shows each week, and this year's kicked off with an appearance from Joey, the star of War Horse, who drews oohs and ahhs and choruses of "we love you Joey!" from the crowd as they trotted him through the park. (Joey is a puppet of sorts.)
Joey the horse from War Horse

First up were perennial favorites from Phantom of the Opera. Raoul  (Kyle Barrish) and Christine (Trista Moldavan) sang the love ballad "All I Ask of You" and when they kissed at the end, the audience swooned.
Raoul & Christine from Phantom

Then the Phantom, as sung by Paul A. Shaefer, brought the crowd to a hush as he powerfully sang "The Music of the Night". (If only the young ladies seated next to me weren't yakking the entire time!)
The Music of the Night

Next up was the crew from the off-Broadway show Stomp, who brought the house down with their drumming. Everyone loves when the little guy joins them on stage and when they try to get the audience to keep up with their clapping. (They always lose us at the end when it gets more complicated.)
Stomp, with the little guy

Matthew Thomas from Spiderman sang three songs, "Bouncing Off the Walls", "Rise Above" (with Katrina Link) and as he sang "Boy Falls From the Sky", the crowd went wild when three costumed Spidermen joined him stage. (The press went crazy too, rushing the stage, knowing a great photo op when they see one.)
The three Spidermen drove the crowd wild

Last up was the Tony award winning best musical revival, The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess, which I saw and loved. They performed the gorgeous "Summertime" (Trevon Davis and I believe Bryonha Parnham) and led into the dance number "A Woman is a Sometime Thing".
Dancing to "A Woman is a Sometime Thing"

Nathaniel Stampley as Porgy closed out the show with "I Got Plenty o' Nuttin'", a song that whenever I hear it, gets stuck in my head. I end up singing it all day long.
I Got Plenty o Nuttin'


Next week's shows are Wicked, Zarkana, Memphis, Ghost & Sister Act. For more information on Broadway in Bryant Park, visit their website. Hope to see you there!


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