In conjunction with the The ASCAP – American Society of Composer Authors, and Publishers – Foundation, Spot on Entertainment, and Michael A. Kerker; the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra presented the music of Jerry Herman with the Broadway Legacy concert on October 19 and 20.
New BPO conductor Todd Craven led the BPO; veteran performers and vocalists Klea Blackhurt, Debbie Gravitte, Scott Coulter, and Ron Rains; along with pianist John Boswell in a concert of songs from the Jerry Herman Broadway musicals “Mame”, “Mack and Mabel”, “La Cage aux Folles”, “The rand Tour”, “Milk and Honey”, “Dear World” and “Hello Dolly”.
After opening the program with an overture that featured a medley of Jerry Herman songs; the concert included “It’s Today”, “Wherever He Ain’t”, “Look What Happened to Mabel”, “Song on the Sand”, “You I Like”, “Shalom”, “It Only Takes a Moment”, “I Don’t Wnat to Know”, “If He Walked into My Life”, “Mame” featuring the recorded voice of Jerry Herman – who at 86, calls the Miami area home, “Movies Were Movies”, “With You on My Arm” featuring Theater students from Niagara University, “Tap Your Troubles Away”, “Kiss Her Now”, “World Take Me Back”, “I Won’t Send Roses”, “Time Heals Everything”, “I Am What I Am”, and “Before the Parade Passes By”.
The Broadway Legacy puts on only four productions each year and as a part of the performances, the cast chooses an area school with whom to put on a master class. The school chosen from the buffalo area was Niagara University. During the class the cast chooses two students from the class to appear in the concert. When it Niagara University, they cold not decide on just two students and instead chose four. After only a day of rehearsals the four students gave a wonderful performance of “With You on My Arm” from “La Cage aux Folles”.
The program was a pleasant way to spend a Friday morning…or a Saturday night… and the large audience did just that.
Along with being an award winning Ethel Merman tribute artist, Klea has appeared on “Sesame Street” and “Law & Order: SVU”. She has shared the stage with Angela Landsbury and Marvin Hamlisch.
A Broadway veteran, Debbie is a Tony and New York Showstopper Award winner who has shared the stage with Jay Leno, George burns, Lang Lang, Marvin Hamlisch, and performed with over 100 orchestras around the world.
Known for his role as Alan Spaulding on the Daytime Television Drama “Guiding Light”, Ron Raines has also appeared on “Elementary” and “Person of Interest”. The Broadway veteran has performed in numerous musicals including the role of Daddy Warbucks in “Annie”.
A multiple Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs, Bistro, and Nightlife Awards winner, Scott has performed with Ben Vereen, Sheena Easton, and numerous orchestras and symphonies the world over.