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Broadway Shines at Stars in the Alley

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Broadway Shines at Stars in the Alley

The cast of the Tony-nominated musical

The cast of the Tony-nominated musical "Come from Away" (pictured above) as well as other musicals such as "Miss Saigon," "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," and "Anastasia" performed at the concert. (SARAH TAKASH/THE OBSERVER)

The cast of the Tony-nominated musical "Come from Away" (pictured above) as well as other musicals such as "Miss Saigon," "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," and "Anastasia" performed at the concert. (SARAH TAKASH/THE OBSERVER)

The cast of the Tony-nominated musical "Come from Away" (pictured above) as well as other musicals such as "Miss Saigon," "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," and "Anastasia" performed at the concert. (SARAH TAKASH/THE OBSERVER)

By LINDSAY JORGENSEN, Asst. Arts & Culture Editor

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To celebrate the end of the 2016-2017 Broadway season, the annual Stars in the Alley concert was held on Friday, June 2. Produced by The Broadway League and sponsored by United Airlines, this event was held in Broadway’s Shubert Alley, west of Seventh Avenue between 44th and 45th Streets.

For those who are not familiar with this event, Stars in the Alley is a free outdoor concert where Broadway musicals each present an excerpt of their show to live music. This year, 20 musicals performed, accompanied by a 12-piece orchestra. When the cast of each show finished their performance, they joined the crowd and cheered on their fellow colleagues. Not only was it extremely inspiring to see all of Broadway come together to perform for their biggest fans, it was also empowering for the fans and stars to collectively enjoy the Broadway music they all adore.

Titus Burgess hosted the event. Most commonly known for his hilarious and energetic role as Titus Andromedon on “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” Burgess himself is a Broadway veteran, starring in musicals like “Jersey Boys” and “The Little Mermaid.” Brandon Uranowitz, 2017 Tony Award Nominee for his performance as Mendel in “Falsettos,” was also very active at the event as the social media correspondent.

Although they did not sing, stars from current Broadway plays, such as Ellen Harvey and Tedra Millan from “Present Laughter,” which is nominated for three Tony Awards, made appearances and presented the musicals in between each performance.

The most anticipated performances at the event were of course “Dear Evan Hansen” and “Come From Away,” two new and extremely popular productions of the 2016-2017 season.

With nine nominations including Best Musical, cast members Rachel Bay Jones, Will Roland and Kristolyn Lloyd from “Dear Evan Hansen” performed the song “Good for You” at the event. “Come From Away,” right behind “Dear Evan Hansen” with seven Tony nominations that also include Best Musical, performed their opening song “Welcome to the Rock.” The funny and lighthearted song may mislead people who are unfamiliar with the show, as it is based on actual events that took place directly following Sept. 11, 2001.

Other noteworthy performances were by Telly Leung, now playing Aladdin in Disney’s “Aladdin,” and J. Harrison Ghee, who is currently starring as Lola in “Kinky Boots.”

Although this is Leung’s first week as Aladdin, he held his own at the Stars in the Alley event, singing “Proud of Your Boy,” which was cut from the original 1992 Disney animated film. Ghee tore at everyone’s heartstrings, singing “Hold Me in Your Heart,” a song about closure and acceptance.

Although they have been on Broadway before, the revivals of “Miss Saigon” and “Cats” did not disappoint. Eva Noblezada and Alistair Bremmer, who play Kim and Chris in the Broadway revival of “Miss Saigon,”  performed “Last Night of the World.” Though new to Broadway, both Noblezada and Bremmer previously played these roles together in London’s  West End production of the musical in 2014. Now 21 years old, Noblezada has played the leading role of Kim since she was just 17-years-old. I had a chance to speak to Noblezada briefly, who mentioned that her favorite song to sing from “Miss Saigon” is “Sun and Moon.” Although audiences did not have a chance to hear Noblezada perform this song at the event, they can still hear it eight times a week at the Broadway Theatre.

Mamie Parris dropped jaws singing Andrew Lloyd Webber’s beautiful ballad “Memory” from “Cats.” Parris made this song her own, making audiences feel like they were hearing this famous tune for the first time.

Even some of Broadway’s longest running musicals, “Phantom of the Opera” and “Wicked,” made appearances at the event, reminding audiences why these timeless musicals are still striving on Broadway. Ali Ewoldt and Rodney Ingram, playing Christine Daae and Raoul Vicomte di Chagny respectively, sang another Andrew Lloyd Webber favorite, “All I Ask of You.” Alyssa Fox, currently playing Elphaba in “Wicked,” blew away both audience members and Broadway stars with her performance of “The Wizard and I.”

This event allowed New York to celebrate the magic that is Broadway – which has made over one billion dollars this season and has brought in over 13 million viewers, topping attendance of all 10 New York and New Jersey professional sports teams combined.

Be sure to tune in for the 71st Annual Tony Awards on Sunday, June 11 to see more from these stars!

 

Featured image by SARAH TAKASH/THE OBSERVER

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The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center
Broadway Shines at Stars in the Alley