Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Lullabye of Broadway 3"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2009 by Tony Annicone

"Lullabye of Broadway 3"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Granite Theatre's current show is the musical revue called "Lullabye of Broadway 3" and is a night of Broadway music developed by Audrey Kaiser and performed excellently. It's an evening of musical memories, romance and reminiscences from Broadway's most enduring and endearing musicals. The show is divided into two acts with Act 1 called "Some People" and Act 2 called "The Circle of Life". There are five sections in each act and the show contains 40 songs. Audrey Kaiser directs,music directs,plays the keyboards, xylophone,and other instruments but arranged the 40 musical numbers but acts and sings in the show, too.She merges the comic and dramatic numbers together perfectly with the emphasis on the comic moments, creating a vaudeville type atmosphere for this show. The five performers have dazzling voices while wearing tuxedoes and gowns during the opening numbers. This wonderful two hour musical extravaganza will keep you entertained all night long and its reward is a standing ovation at the close of the show.

Each of the five performers and Audrey get a chance to shine in this show and show off their strong singing voices as well as their comic and dramatic expertise. Audrey plays on a white baby grand piano most of the night with a shimmering rain curtain in the background which changes colors to set the moods for the various numbers. The 175 light cues are handled by David Jepson who also built the fantastic set for the show. Hard working stage manager, Arthur Pignataro keeps things running smoothly and also handles the multitude of props for this show. The five part harmonies on the group numbers soar. The talented vocalists in this show are Carol Lyon, Frank Pendola, Maria Tavarozzi, John Alfiero and Manon Yoder-Kreider. Audrey stages the show beautifully by utilizing every part of the main stage which contains four stairways painted a bright fuchsia Her arrangements of these numbers as well as her piano playing is excellent. Audrey's narrations include "There's No Business Like Show Business" about how our lives are like Broadway shows, Mamma Mia medley, South Pacific Medley, Parents and Children, Mars vs Venus?, On the subject of relationships and the finale with the vocalists singing and dancing to "The Rhythm of Life". The wonderfully inventive choreography is by Margaret Hayes and costumes are by Joan Hepburn and the cast.) The group numbers include "Lullaby of Broadway", "It's Today", "All I Need is One Good Break", (from (Flora the Red Menace") where they sing about how they met each other, "Bali Hai" with lush harmonies in it, "There is Nothing Like a Dame" a rousing and energetic song which closes the first act, "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" (Frank singing lead) and "The Rhythm of Life". An added treat in this show is that all five performers play instruments during some of the numbers. Besides "Can You Feel the Love Tonight", Frank's topnotch baritone voice solos on "La Cage Aux Folles", where he imitates Mae West and Marlene Dietrich in a very funny segment. His duets include "I Have a Dream", "Standing on the Corner" and "It Takes a Woman" with John which contain excellent harmony on both their parts. He also sings the emotionally packed "Fathers and Sons" from "Working" which will leave you in tears at its poignancy while he plays the guitar. Maria joins in it, too. John's tenor voice is heard in "Everybody Rejoice" with Manon while they dance around, "I Wanna Be a Producer" with him dancing in a top hat and a cane while Manon and Maria dance around him with pink feathers "Honey Bun" dressed in a grass skirt with black pants rolled up and a red wig which is hysterically funny and "Mama a Rainbow" with tears in his eyes having lost his mother eight years ago. Maria, joins in the song later on(the latter number is a tearjerker song) and the emotionally charged "My Funny Valentine" and "Where or When" with Carol with them on opposite sides of the stage ending it in perfect harmony.

The women's group numbers include "Take It All Off" from "Jerry's Girls" which is like a strip-tease number with Carol wearing a fat-suit and singing "Put It Back On", "Mamma Mia" and "I'm Not at All in Love". Carol's strong belting alto voice solos on "The Winner Takes It All", the emotionally charged, "This Nearly Was Mine" interpolated with "Some Enchanted Evening", "The Circle of Life", where she enters from the back of the theatre walking down the aisle "Mama Will Provide" and "Chief Cook and Bottle Washer" from "The Rink" which stops the show with sustained laughter when she utters fung goul at the start of it. Maria's high soprano voice is heard in "Some People", "Dancing Queen", "Happy Talk", "One Hundred Easy Ways" which is a funny song about how to lose your man and "Being Alive" which brings down the house with her powerful rendition. She duets on "Kids" with Carol while they make very funny jokes during it and on "Cockeyed Optimist" with Manon which is sung very prettily by them both. She also sings "Mama a Rainbow" with John and "Fathers and Sons" with the two men. Manon is a gorgeous blonde who just graduated from RIC with a theatre degree. Her lovely soprano voice is heard in her solo numbers "Dance Ten:Looks Three" (which is hilarious and is known as tits and ass) and "Mama I'm a Big Girl Now" with Carol, John and Maria as funny back up singers. A word of praise for Manon who stepped in only two weeks ago to replace an ailing singer. Brava on her learning all these numbers so quickly. So for a fantastic way to spend an evening in spring with gorgeous music and talented performers, be sure to catch "Lullabye of Broadway 3" before time runs out. Tell them Tony sent you.

"Lullabye of Broadway 3" (15 May - 14 June)
THE GRANITE THEATRE
1 Granite Street, WESTERLY RI
1 (401) 596-2341

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