Theatre Mirror Reviews - "The Magic of Bfroadway"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2002 by Tony Annicone

"The Magic of Broadway"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The Granite Theatre's latest production is a musical revue called, "The Magic of Broadway". Director Gary Sullivan uses 37 songs to illustrate the many and varied selections from the past 100 years, starting with George M. Cohan and Irving Berlin to Lloyd Webber and Sondheim. He and his 3 lovely ladies perform the solos, duets, trios and choral numbers beautifully, giving the audience a night full of entertainment.

Gary directs the show wonderfully by using upbeat numbers and ballads to keep the audience interested from the beginning to the end of his musical revue. Colorful costumes on a black box set adds to a lot, to excite your senses. He also has a fantastic tenor voice and solos on "The Impossible Dream", "Bring Him Home", "The Music of the Night and "Rockabye My Baby With A Dixie Melody". Gary includes a patriotic segment with "Yankee Doodle Dandy", "A Grand Old Flag" and "God Bless America" where he asks the audience to sing along. (His voice soars in one of my favorite duets, "If I Loved You") Gary, a multitalented man, does excellent work both on the stage and as director, too. The 3 piece orchestra with Lynn Dowding on keyboard, Lou Goldston on bass and Derwood Lesh on percussion, adds the needed sparkle to bring this show to fruition to receive a rousing ovation at the end of the show.

Gary's leading ladies do a tremendous job, too. Denise Lachowski who also choreographed this show, has a beautiful soprano voice. She does a fantastic job on "The Music & The Mirror" dance number from "Chorus Line" as well as "As Long As He Needs Me", (Another favorite of mine) "Corner Of The Sky" and "Gonna Wash That Man". Her choreography shines especially in the "One" number with the other girls. Denise is a tall, willowy girl who can move as well as she can sing.

Jennifer Kolonick is a pretty, blonde who can handle a ballad as well as an uptempo song. She does an excellent job on the moving, "Memory" and the lovely, "How Are Things in Glocca Morra?". Jen and Denise are hilarious in "The Grass Is Always Greener" song from "Woman Of The Year" where they want what the other woman has in her life. The funniest number in the show is Jen's rendition of the puppet song from "Nunsense" which is done with Sister Mary Annette. She uses her own voice plus a voice for the puppet at the same time, leading the audience into gales of laughter.

Last but not least is Wanda Reed who glows, lighting up the stage with her personality and singing talent. She sings "If You Believe" from The Wiz perfectly, giving the audience the inspiration to follow their dreams. (Another favorite song of mine) Wanda also belts out "Anything Goes" while dancing up a storm, sings the plaintive,"Can't Help Lovin' That Man" and the very moving, "Where Is Love?". A great job by Gary and three girls will keep you entertained all night long. (An added treat is Lorain Simister's death by chocolate cake served at intermission. She also makes an excellent veggie & bacon quiche and her assistant Kim, makes apricot candies dipped in chocolate and stuffed with almonds.)

So be sure to catch "The Magic of Broadway at the Granite Theatre, I know you will find some of your favorite numbers in it. I know I did.

"The Magic of Broadway" (till 9 June)
THE GRANITE THEATRE
1 Granite Street, WESTERLY, RHODE ISLAND
1 (401) 596-2341

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