Whilst it’s fresh on my mind, I better blog about Broadway Meets Country. Having two of my favorite kinds of music mixin’ and a’minglin was everything I wanted it to be.
Petah Gallagher…geez louise….he is some kinda p-u-rTEE. A great MC he is not, but, to have the priviledge to look at him with my own two eyes, in person and in good seats was a great way to spend a Monday night. He shared co-hosting duties with Babsy Mandrell and really, I couldn’t figure out why they had hosts because they had a voice over the PA announce most of the acts. Maybe it was to make it more Broadway-ee. Who knows. Babsy looked great in her smart, blue suit.
There were some definite standouts of the evening and some that really made no impression at all. Thing is, these Broadway people are extremely talented and I do admire the heck out of theater performers, but, in a setting like this, there were a couple of them who could not turn off that, for lack of a better word, Broadwayish "snap." You know…the way they snap their head back and snap their fingers at the same time. The two who were just too damn Broadwayish were Felicia Finley and Renee Elise Goldsberry. Both girls have great, trained voices and are obvious pros. Still, they were annoying as hell to watch.
Felicia has the flattest stomach I’ve ever seen on anyone in person, dang her. She sang Islands In The Stream with Clay Walker. It was nice, but, as I said above, she’s too Broadway for her own good. Now the Renee Elise girl, who is said to have been a regular on One Life To Live is absolutely gorgeous and has a great voice. She did Heads Carolina, Tails California and it was about the most soul-less, whitest performance of the whole night (and she’s black!).
Laura Bell Bundy totally wrecked (and not in a good way) Jackson with Raul Malo. I bet he wanted to slap her. Then, she turned around and tore up All Jacked Up. I guess she kinda made up for ruining the other song. ‘Tween you and me, I think she spent all her time practicing her Gretchen song.
Ben Vereen…he did a bang up job on Wichita Lineman and even threw in a soft shoe.
Not surprisingly, Raul Malo and Trisha Yearwood totally nailed their numbers…Raul did Bring Him Home from Les Miserables and Trisha did Somewhere from West Side Story. Both of them are amazing vocalists. Only thing is somebody apparently has never told Trisha that chubby girls like us have no bidness wearing sleeveless, backless dresses. It just ain’t fittin’. I guess when you’re Mrs. Garth Brooks and a millionaire-ess and all, you can do whatever you want.
There were two surprises on the country end…one was Broadway guy Brian d’Arcy James and Nashville Star winner Chris Young dueted on You’re Nothing Without Me from City of Angels. I think that Chris has done some showtunes before. That was probably one of my favorite performances of the whole night and I was not expecting it to be. And I just read that Brian is going to play Dr. Frankenstein in the Broadway production of Young Frankenstein!
The other surprise was a singer named Joanna Cotten who is signed with Warner Brothers. I’ve never heard of her before but that girl TORE UP What I Did For Love from A Chorus Line. Whoa nellie!
Another one of the Broadway singers I dug was Julia Morney. You can tell she’s sung with bands before and has sung a variety of music. She was the most comfortable and soulful of the Broadway people…I thought.
Lee Ann Womack opened the show with Don’t Rain On My Parade and she started out good, but, then she forgot words and her timing seemed a little off….same with Joe Nichols, timing wise…he did Luck Be A Lady and vocally, it was good, but, timing was eh…his hair is beginning to look like Gene Simmons ‘do.
Oh yeah…The Grascals did River In The Rain from Big River and it was great. Not much of a stretch for them, musically, but, it came off very good and the crowd dug them.
The cast of the touring production of The Lion King closed the show and I’ll be Mufasa’s Mama, but, I’ve got to go see that while it’s in town. Good grief…Can’t Help Falling In Love With You. I’ve never heard it done like that before….geez.
Oh! Oh! Oh! I met this man named Joe (couldn’t hear his last name) but according to Mr. Smiff, is a bigshot in Broadway production and was instrumental in getting the Broadway performers for this show. He took up with the Grascals (as did Ben Vereen) and he was telling me how he is going to the opening night of Grey Gardens on Broadway this Thursday night and that Christine Ebersole (who I saw on The View this morning) is a good friend of his…funny, he was impressed that we knew Earl Scruggs and I was knocked out that he’s going to see the play based on my new favorite character, Little Edie. Funny how it’s all in the perspective.