Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Momentous Broadway"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2006 by Tony Annicone

"Momentous Broadway"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Granite Theatre's current show is "Momentous Broadway" which is excerpts and songs from Jule Styne's "Bells Are Ringing" and "Funny Girl". Director David Jepson and musical director Ron Procopio choose songs from each of the shows written for the leads Ella Peterson and Jeffrey Moss and Fanny Brice and Nick Arnstein. They piece together an abbreviated storyline for each show with some of Styne's best numbers. David and Ron's presentation is a rousing tribute to the talent of Jule Styne and their three performers fill these parts beautifully.

Ron not only musically directs the show but plays the grand piano onstage. He plays both overtures of each show and all the songs fabulously while his youngest son, Buddy handles the percussion wonderfully. Pretty blond haired Dale Magnuson plays Ella in the "Bells Are Ringing" segment. She has a gorgeous soprano voice which she shows off in "Perfect Relationship" where she sings of the man she loves but can't see because she is a telephone operator at an answering service. Her best number is the plaintive and touching number "The Party's Over". She also excels in her duets, "Better Than a Dream", (sung in counterpoint) "Long Before I Knew You" and "Just in Time" (love songs) with Michael Thurber who plays Jeff. He handles the solo, "Independent" in the first act and the duets "I Wanna Be Seen with You" and "You are Woman" in the "Funny Girl" segment. Michael plays the drunken Jeff and heartbreaking womanizer, Nick beautifully. The third member of this group is Diane Palmisciano who plays Fanny Brice. She has a gorgeous soprano voice which she shows off in "I'm the Greatest Star", "Who Are You Now", "The Music That Makes Me Dance" and her belting number "Don't Rain On my Parade". Diane's best number is the touching ballad, "People". Stage manager, Arthur Pignataro keeps things moving smoothly all night long and does some voiceover roles while Morgan ban Draoi handles the light and sound cues wonderfully, too. So for a trip back to answering services and the days of vaudeville, be sure to catch this musical tribute to Jule Styne at the Granite Theatre.

"Momentous broadway" (10 August - 3 Septembert)
GRANITE THEATRE
1 Granite Street, WESTERLY R I
1 (401) 596-2341

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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