Broadway by the Year: "From Ziegfeld to Moulin Rouge!"
Posted by: Marlo*Manners 10:29 am EDT 05/24/22

This was a tribute to the music that was introduced on Broadway in either revues or jukebox musicals.

The cast:

TONY DANZA (Taxi, Who's the Boss? 4X Golden Globe Nominee & Emmy Nominee)
Danza came in for a set of two songs (Sinatra type standards but I can't remember what they were) in the second half with his own pianist. He has gone silver and looks very handsome for a 71 year-old man. He's funny and charming. He has got solid song and dance man lounge act chops. The voice has good range and quality. He can swing. He even did some tap dancing. He is an excellent raconteur. He will be performing at the Café Carlyle from June 14 to 25.

JOHN EASTERLIN (4x Grammy Award winner, Metropolitan Opera; New York City Opera)
Easterlin opened the show with "A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody" in a tribute to the Ziegfeld Follies and sang another vintage number "The Girl on the Magazine Cover" from 1915. He was unmiked and in ringing tenorial voice.

MELISSA ERRICO (My Fair Lady, High Society and Les Misérables,)
Looked beautiful in a sequined black gown with her curly hair up. Charmingly spoke about her Italian immigrant aunts who grew up in early 20th century New York. One aunt sang on the radio briefly and the other went from being a waitress to being in the ensemble of Show Boat as produced by Ziegfeld. Errico proceeded to perform "Life Upon the Wicked Stage" in great voice with gusto. The other number was a naughty tidbit called "Confession" about a woman who goes to bed by 10... but gets home by 4....

DANNY GARDNER (Flying Over Sunset, Dames at Sea)
As usual was the choreographer for the show as well as performer. He performed "Dancing in the Dark" (from the Band Wagon) and "Fascinating Rhythm" and also provided the chorus girl staging for "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend". He is a known quantity. I found his singing not as strong as in the past. He had about 6 to 8 girls he choreographed in various numbers.

RYAN KNOWLES (The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical, We Will Rock You)
This quirky bass singer is a find. He started out with "Brother Can You Spare a Dime", kicked up his heels in a sparkly jacket in "Everything Old is New Again" (Peter Allen from "The Boy from Oz") and really blew us away with "Sixteen Tons" by Tennessee Ernie Ford. A distinctive singular talent.

DOUGLAS LADNIER (Jekyll & Hyde; Sweeney Todd)
I sometimes find Ladnier mellifluous vocally but interpretively affected. He was in more direct form last night and in great voice. Songs included "Yesterday" (Beatlemania), "Both Sides Now" (Joni Mitchell used in "Priscilla Queen of the Desert" and powerfully done) and "Forever Young" (Bob Dylan).

ANAIS RENO (18-year-old phenom; Carnegie Hall, Birdland, Top 10 Debut Album)
A jazz prodigy. A rich instrument and excellent musical instincts and a sense of classic jazz style. No hipster affectations. Very musical and listens in on the musicians while they play. Sang "Stardust" by Hoagy Carmichael and "Caravan" by Duke Ellington. A lovely discovery.

HAYLEY SWINDAL (Chicago, Jekyll & Hyde)
Mature woman with a powerful voice. Initially made a so-so impression with "Losing My Mind" from "Follies" (interpolated into "Hey, Mr. Producer!") which suffered from tentative phrasing and a weak lower register. More than made up for it with a blazing "Cabaret" featuring long held high notes and a strutting bold "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" (introduced by Carol Channing in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" but reused in "Moulin Rouge!"). She turned out to be a strong performer and vocalist.

All in all a very good show with good contributions from the Ross Patterson Little Big Band.

Marlo Manners (Lady Barrington)

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