Broadway, Our Way
Uptown Players 11th rendition of their annual fundraiser "Broadway, Our Way" opened Friday night and there’s a reason this show is an annual tradition: it’s freakin’ fabulous. If you haven’t enjoyed the revelry of this show the concept is that a select group of Uptown Players favorites sing current and past Broadway songs.
The ’Our Way’ refers to the fact that the women sing the traditional male songs and the men sing the traditional female songs. The result is a hilarious, moving unforgettable night of theater in the Uptown style.
This year’s production features both an ecstatic women’s number "Gee, Officer Krupke," from "West Side Story" and a men’s production of "Bring on the Men" from "Jekyll And Hyde" spotlighting the always delightful and scrumptious Kevin Moore. Beth Albright is shamelessly sensational in "To Excess" from "Homemade Fusion" and who can’t say no to BJ Cleveland (from "Oklahoma.)
Paul J Williams surprises with a subtly poignant "Hello Young Lovers" from the "King and I" while Angel Velasco wails in the hauntingly beautiful "With You" from "Ghost: The Musical." But no surprise, and with a wicked assist by Coy Covington, BJ Cleveland brings down the house midway through the second act in a performance that shouldn’t be spoiled in a review.
Truly, the only criticism about "Broadway, Our Way" is a two-edged sword. Director BJ Cleveland (again!) and team clearly should be applauded for introducing songs from new Broadway works, for instance "Ghost: The Musical."
On the flip side, unless you’re a Broadway geek (guilty!) you may not have known "Ghost" had been turned into a musical, yet alone know any songs it produced. It doesn’t devalue the entertainment value of "Broadway, Our Way" but does slow the momentum.