Tag: theatre

Broadway Sings the Phone Book

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007 | All Things, Events, Music

Broadway stagehands went on strike over the weekend, effectively shuttering 27 Broadway shows, and crippling a $939 million local industry. 8 shows playing in theaters that have separate contracts with the union remained open, including The Ritz — playing at Studio 54, where tonight’s event was scheduled. (The strike would last 19 days, and cost the city some $38 million in lost revenue.)

Broadway Sings the Phone Book” was created by a trio of young producers (Sarah Melissa Rotker, Joe Tropia and Jonathan Tessero), inspired by the sentiment that fans would be willing to listen to their favorite stars “sing the phone book.” The gala concert was sponsored by the KeyZe Company and organized as a fundraiser for the Metro New York Chapter of the The Make-A-Wish Foundation. Since its founding in 1983, the Metro New York chapter has granted nearly 7,000 wishes; in 2007, the organization granted 481 wishes for local children, and facilitated 238 wish assists for children from Make-A-Wish chapters around the world whose wishes involved travel to New York City.

Studio 54

Julie White emceed the festivities. The actress is best known to television audiences for her supporting role as Nadine, the quirky neighbor on ABC’s mid-90s sitcom Grace Under Fire, and was last seen on stage in The Little Dog Laughed for which she won the 2007 Tony Award. I didn’t see White in either of those roles, though I did catch her turn as the mom in this summer’s Transformers movie — Autobots, roll out!

Tonight’s line-up included Avenue Q’s Stephanie D’Abruzzo, Sunset Boulevard’s Alan Campbell, The Drowsy Chaperone’s Mara Davi, Grey Gardens’s Erin Davie, The Threepenny Opera‘s Brian Charles Rooney and Brooke Sunny Moriber, and two eliminated contestants from television’s Grease: You’re the One That I Want! : Austin Miller and Kate Rockwell.

Broadway Sings cast

The cast of Broadway stars (and would-be stars) sang familiar songs… with the lyrics replaced either Mad Lib style (the word game, not the DJ/producer) or with the contents of pages ripped randomly from a phone book or dictionary. Performers were given the option of experimenting, or delivering their selections straight; most chose to embrace the challenge of spontaneity, to varying levels of success and hilarity. Hence: “Suddenly Sanchez.” “There’s a Fine, Fine Line” (one of my favorite songs from Avenue Q) became “There’s a Hot, Hairy Line.” And “Maria” from West Side Story segued into a listing of Marias in the Manhattan phone book (names and addresses only).

Maria.  Say it loud, and ten thousand Marias will answer.”

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