Broadway Summer Ballyhoo

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Broadway Summer Ballyhoo

Feinstein’s/54 Below, NYC, September 1, 2019 Scenes

Reviewed by Ron Forman for Cabaret

In 2011 Scott Siegel introduced a year-long, weekly series of uniformly excellent Broadway Ballyhoo shows. Because I was fortunate to be at almost all of these shows, I was happy that Siegel brought back the show for what hopefully will be more than just this one-time-only performance. The concept was to bring in a set of seasoned Broadway and cabaret veterans combined with talented young vocalists performing both standards and obscure songs from Broadway musicals. Siegel introduced each number with his entertaining and informative comments about the song or musical that it was from. Music director Mark Hartman accompanied each artist appropriately and his solo number stopped the show.

Albert Nelthroop made a big splash in his cabaret debut with a dramatic “Being Alive.
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” Mara Friedman, with her facial expressions and nice sound, delivered a delightful “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered.” Marcus Lovett darted back and forth on stage for his hilarious “You and Me (but Mostly Me)” (The Book of Mormon). He shifted gears for his second number by acting the part of Javert in Les Misérables with “Stars.” Brian Charles Rooney started “Sweet Transvestite” (The Rocky Horror Show) from the bar and performed the song while walking through the audience. He returned for a tour-de-force performance of “Audition Medley,” which had him singing snippets of more than 20 Broadway songs in the voices of the original performers. Farah Alvin thrilled with her ultra dramatic “I’m Not Alone” (Carrie: The Musical). She would return to thrill again with her super-big finish for “I Who Have Nothing.” Jacob Robert-Miller looked and dressed appropriately as a character in Grease with his performance of “Sandy.” Mary Claire Miskell displayed her lovely soprano on “On My Own.
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” Mark Hartman got a standing ovation for his exciting, Jerry Lee Lewis-style “Great Balls of Fire.” Tyler McCall made his F/54 Below debut with “Defying Gravity.” Rooney and Alvin closed the show by humorously performing “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling.”

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.