For the last twenty years, The Town Hall‘s signature series Broadway by the Year, created, written, and hosted by Scott Siegel, has celebrated musical theater’s most memorable past songs performed by the stars of today, with Siegel’s commentary providing insider stories and little-known details about their history. For the first time this month, in response to the ongoing hiatus necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic, the series – traditionally presented live on-stage before an in-person audience at the landmark venue (built by the renowned architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White, and opened in 1921) – is going virtual, and national, with three all-new concerts with a twist.
Instead of highlighting the music from one particular year, the three new programs will shine a spotlight on famed composers and composing teams who made immeasurable contributions throughout their multiple years on Broadway. Plus, the national and virtual edition is being offered in cooperation with presenting partners The Arden Theatre Company, New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Palace Theatre in Stamford, CT, and The Playhouse on Rodney Square.
Each video concert is approximately nine to ten songs in length, performed by four artists, recorded remotely in each of their homes, with video direction and editing by JT Doran, and introductory remarks by Siegel. And as with all Broadway by the Year concerts, there will be at least one additional dance number starring and choreographed by Danny Gardner (Radio City Summer Spectacular).
The April-May line-up is as follows:
April 26, The Cole Porter Years – Featuring Tony nominees Alexander Gemignani (Carousel) and Lilli Cooper (Tootsie), three-time Drama Desk Award nominee Kenita Miller (Once On This Island), Emily Larger (Billy Elliot), international jazz star Nicole Henry, and Gardner, the concert will present iconic songs from the Porter classics Anything Goes, Can-Can, Gay Divorce, Paris, and Kiss Me, Kate!
May 10, The Kander & Ebb Years – The set list will include numbers from such smash hits as Chicago, Cabaret, Flora The Red Menace, and Kiss of The Spiderwoman, sung by Tony Award winner Beth Leavel (The Drowsy Chaperone), Olivier Award winner Ute Lemper (Chicago), Tony nominee Tony Yazbeck (On the Town), three-time Helen Hayes Award winner Natascia Diaz (Passion), and Gardner, who also provides the choreography.
May 24, The Andrew Lloyd Webber Years – Gardner returns once again to the virtual stage, along with Ali Ewoldt (The Phantom of the Opera) and Tony Award nominees Max Von Essen (An American in Paris), Liz Callaway (Baby), Emily Larger (Billy Elliot), and Ethan Slater (SpongeBob SquarePants), to perform selections from such blockbusters as Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Cats, Sunset Boulevard, and Phantom of the Opera.
Viewing is priced at $30 per household per concert, or $75 for all three. Streaming begins on each of the shows’ premiere date at 7 pm, and will be available on demand for 72 hours. For information and tickets, visit The Town Hall website or call (800) 982-2787.