54 Sings Broadway’s Greatest Hits

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54 Sings Broadway’s Greatest Hits

Feinstein’s/54 Below, NYC, October 23, 2018

Reviewed by Ron Forman for Cabaret Scenes

William Michals

Scott Siegel’s 32nd edition of 54 Sings Broadway’s Greatest Hits was different from the previous  31 when, for the first time in 19 years of hosting shows, Siegel missed the performance due to a bicycling accident. Fortunately, vocalist William Michals (pictured) was able to masterfully do double duty, reading Siegel’s script as well as wonderfully performing two songs in the show.

Michals opened the show displaying his amazing voice by reprising a song he had performed on Broadway in South Pacific, “This Nearly Was Mine.” Michael Winther offered a soft, slightly jazzy “My Romance,” including the lovely verse. His facial expressions and dramatic movement showed a deep understanding of “What Kind of Fool Am I.” Kelsey Lee Smith was moving in her performance of “Not a Day Goes By.” Adam Feldman nicely performed “What More Can I Say” from Falsettos, and then gave us a very different, very kinetic and very memorable performance of Christine’s song from The Phantom of the Opera, “Think of Me.” John Easterlin, whose voice was described by Michals as “A sound designed by God,” displayed his truly marvelous tenor on “Fanny.
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” Emily Janes sang “Kansas Morning,” written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, the melody of which would later be used with different lyrics for “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” in Jesus Christ Superstar. Joshua Israel stopped the show twice with his singing and tap dancing—first with “I Can’t Be Bothered Now” and then next to closing with “Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries.” Michals closed the show performing a favorite of the absent Siegel, “The Impossible Dream.
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Ron Forman

Ron Forman has been a Mathematics Professor at Kingsborough Community College for 45 years. In that time, he has managed to branch out in many different areas. From 1977 to 1994 he was co-owner of Comics Unlimited, the third largest comic book distribution company in the USA. In 1999,after a lifetime of secretly wanting to do a radio program, he began his weekly Sweet Sounds program on WKRB 90.3 FM, dedicated to keeping the music of the Great American Songbook alive and accessible. This introduced him to the world of cabaret, which led to his position as a reviewer for Cabaret Scenes.