Sunday, October 27, 2019

Broadway Fright Night

OK, let's try this again, albeit in a more abbreviated format.

The Date: October 26, 2019.

The Venue: The Patchogue Theatre.

The Concept: Take five musical actors with legitimate Broadway and National Touring credits, add one keyboardist, and let them perform a bunch of show tunes from horror and sci-fi based musicals a few days before Halloween. It sounded like a good idea for a show, and it was.

The Producer/Host: Steve DeAngelis.

The Musical Director/Keyboard Player: Eugene Gwozdz

The Players: Richard Todd Adams, Jackie Burns, Janine Maria Divita, Jenny Lee Stern, Joey Taranto

The Shows: The Phantom of the Opera; Wicked; The Rocky Horror Show; Young Frankenstein; Sweeney Todd; Jekyll & Hyde; Little Shop of Horrors; Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark; Bat Boy: The Musical; Ghost; Dracula, The Musical; Wonderland; The Addams Family; Dance of the Vampires; Bat Out of Hell: The Musical; The Mystery of Edwin Drood

The Ones They Missed: Evil Dead: The Musical (this is the one I most regretted that they skipped); Carrie (yeah, the show was a disaster on Broadway, but some of the ones they included didn't do much better); Damned Yankees (too dated?); The Woman in White (too obscure?); Lestat (too Elton John never even released the cast album for this train wreck?); Eyeball Eaters From Outer Space (too damn, I forgot I haven't finished writing it yet?)

Some of the Highlights: Richard Todd Adams' rendition of "Music of the Night"; The full-cast rendition of "The Time Warp", which was done as an encore; Jackie Burns (who has performed the role of Elphaba on Broadway more than any other actress) singing "Defying Gravity"; Jenny Lee Sturns' hysterical take on Young Frankenstein's "He Vas My Boyfriend"; Adams and Sturns as Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Levitt performing "Epiphany". ("Try the priest!")

Pop Songs I Didn't Expect to Hear That Were Included in This Show: Joey Taranto and Ms. Burns singing "Total Eclipse" (the Bonnie Tyler song) from Jim Steinman's Dance of the Vampires; Taranto singing Meat Loaf's "Bat Out of Hell" from Steinman's Bat Out of Hell: The Musical. (Yeah, I didn't know there was such a thing either.)

A Quick Piece of Trivia: Dance of the Vampires was based on the Roman Polansky film The Fearless Vampire Hunters. Yes, Polansky is a creep, but I always thought that film was kind of funny.

The Consensus: Denise and I loved it. (We also had second row seats, which didn't suck.) And as we were walking out of the theater through the parking lot, I heard several people saying they thought this was the best of these Broadway-Revue type shows they'd ever seen at The Patchogue Theatre.

DeAngelis is bringing four other singers back to the Patchogue Theatre on November 16, who will be working with the excellent Long Island cover band Wondrous Stories for a full-length concert version of The Who's Tommy. Denise and I enjoyed Broadway Fright Night so much that today, I bought us tickets for that show as well. (And we've got the same seats for that show as we had tonight.)

Sorry I somehow deleted the original version of this write-up. It was a lot fuller, but the gist was the same. This show focused on several of the musicals I like best, the performers were quite good, and the musical selections were pretty decent overall.

Happy Halloween!