Talkin' BroadwayV.J.

... a state of mind!

Just the word Broadway conjures up images in our minds of brightly lit marquees on the Great White Way. However, Broadway has come to symbolize legitimate theatre around the world. Even in small community theatres or on cruise ships, productions are often referred to as either a Broadway musical, play, or a Broadway-stlye production show.

There's one other thing I love, almost as much as Broadway, and that is travelling. For the last 30-some years I have been on trains and boats and planes all over the planet. Everywhere I go I always look for theatre listings. It may be in Rome on Via Sistina or on the high seas aboard a cruise ship. I'm always looking for that Broadway fix.

Just last month I took a cruise aboard the gorgeous Holland America cruise ship, MS Stattendam. We were heading to Acapulco and some other Mexican ports so I knew I would see plenty of the local entertainment such as the popular Folklorico shows. To my surprise, the ship offered lots of Broadway-style entertainment. Cruise ships generally have a reputation of offering second-rate entertainment, but this wasn't the case. One evening they presented a show of nothing but showstoppers which was quite good and danced by a young energetic cast.

Nightly, I would end up in the ship's piano bar where a terrific entertainer by the name of London Bobby played showtunes. With his British accent it was delightful to hear him sing the entire score (and tell the story) of My Fair Lady, or hear him sing some old English Music Hall songs. He's a very charming chap who loves Broadway so that became a daily ritual.

For those of you who only get to New York, maybe just once a year, you can find Broadway in your own backyard if you'll just take the time and effort to check your local newspapers listings of what's playing at your local, or regional, theatre companies. Quite often, you'll find some quality productions performed by some very talented actors.

Just last night I attended Nevada Theatre Company's excellent production of Psycho Beach Party. Their theater is slightly bigger than a shoe box, but the talent was big enough to fill any Broadway stage. I kept wondering ‘where do they get these actors?' Actually, many of them work in the Las Vegas entertainment field and do community theater as a hobby, so we're kind of lucky I suppose. I'd like to publicly thank Deanna Duplechain and her extraordinary cast, Damon Sager, Timothy Cummings, Christopher Childers, Ginnie Barnson, Kevin Carey, Laura Ionata, Carlos Mathis-Johnson, Zander Schaus, and Amy Stabile for giving me my theater-fix while I'm 2,500 miles away from the Great White Way.

Broadway is really just a state of mind. No matter where you are when the house lights dim, it's time for the magic of theater. As they say, see a Broadway show, just for the fun of it, (no matter if you are on land or sea). It doesn't matter how far you are away from Times Square; it really is a state of mind.

(Special note of thanks to Robert Dominguez of the New York Daily News for featuring Talkin' Broadway in his article today as one of the "must click Theatre Websites!)

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