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Neil Berg’s ‘Broadway Holiday’

Broadway stars to visit Community Arts Center

November 27, 2011
By JOSH BROKAW - Sun-Gazette Correspondent , Williamsport Sun-Gazette

Musical fans looking for a "Great White Way" experience without the New York City hassle can experience some of their favorite theater hits live this week, as composer and producer Neil Berg brings his "Broadway Holiday" revue to Williamsport 7:30 p.m Thursday at the Community Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St.

Berg most recently composed "Grumpy Old Men," based on the 1993 movie, and also is the producer of "100 Years of Broadway," a touring revue that has played more than 120 cities in the past two years.

"Broadway Holiday features five of Broadway's finest stars, as they recreate some of their best-known roles they helped make famous on Broadway," he said.

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PHOTOS?PROVIDED
Neil Berg’s “Broadway Holiday” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Community Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St. The production mixes classic Broadway showstoppers with holiday standards, for a three-act evening featuring about 25 numbers. The show will feature five Broadway stars: Lawrence Clayton, Rita Harvey, Grant Norman, Andrea Rivette and Danny Zolli. Tickets are $40, $35 and $25, and can be purchased at the door or by calling the CAC box office at 326-2424.

The five stars slated to perform in Williamsport are Lawrence Clayton, Rita Harvey, Grant Norman, Andrea Rivette and Danny Zolli.

Although "Broadway Holiday" is in its third season, the cast is largely new to the touring group.

"We have a lot of new material this year," said Elizabeth Schwartz, publicity director. "Because our shows are built around the performers, this will be an almost entirely different show than we did in 2010."

The production mixes classic Broadway showstoppers with holiday standards, for a three act evening featuring about 25 numbers.

Clayton most recently played Jean ValJean, the lead in "Les Miserables," in the musical's newly revamped 25th anniversary production. His performance of the part was called "strong" and "imposing" by the New York Times.

Harvey played Christine, the female lead in Andrew Lloyd Webber's "The Phantom of the Opera," for five years on Broadway and on national tour. She also performed in the 2004 revival of "Fiddler on the Roof" that featured Rosie O'Donnell and Harvey Fierstein and her performance as the damsel in distress in "Sweeney Todd" was accorded praise by the "Chicago Sun-Times" for her "silvery soprano."

Norman's most notable roles have come in playing mutilated men. He played the title characters in national touring productions of "Phantom of the Opera" and "Beauty and the Beast," earning two National Theatre Awards for the latter part.

Rivette has played opposite David Hasselhoff and Chuck Wagner as Emma Carew in "Jekyll and Hyde," both on Broadway and the national tour, and also has performed in a national production of "Miss Saigon."

Zolli has played every major role in "Jesus Christ Superstar" in a number of productions, including national tours and Broadway revivals.

In addition to songs from musicals in which the stars have played, the audience can expect tunes from "Wicked," "Jersey Boys," and "Cabaret," as well as Paul Simon and Joni Mitchell.

The backing band is led by pianist and musical director Eugene Gwozdz, who has played on Broadway for productions of "The Full Monty" and "Oklahoma!" and on the tour for "West Side Story." Bassist Abe Saenz and drummer Jon Berger complete the on-stage ensemble.

Besides the music, the "performers will directly address the audience with personal anecdotes," said Schwartz. Attendees will get a glimpse at the "behind-the-scene experiences" of the Broadway stars.

Tickets are $40, $35 and $25, and may be bought at the door or by calling the CAC box office at 326-2424.

 
 
 

 

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