Best of Broadway
If music stirs your soul and Broadway musicals enthrall you and you like to support local talent you won’t want to miss An Evening on Broadway Saturday, Jan. 25 at the Vilar Center for the Arts in Beaver Creek.The evening will feature some of the most memorable songs of the past century, performed by some of the valley’s most talented citizens from professionals to teenagers. Put on the by the Vail Valley Theater Company, the evening of music and dance is a benefitfor the Family Learning Center, the Buckman-Blount Community Performance Fund and the Vail Community Theater corporation."There is just a wealth of wonderful talent in this valley," says Evening on Broadway director David Priboth. "We have a wonderful chorus and very, very talented soloists."A cast of 32 will perform the same number of songs from Broadwayfavorites: "The Sound of Music," "The King and I," "Fiddler on the Roof," "Phantom of the Opera," "Oliver," "West Side Story," "Oklahoma," "Bye Bye Birdie" and "Les Miserables."Although the cast members will be dressed in tuxedos and formal attire rather than costumes, each song will be staged to be reminiscent of the scene from the corresponding musical, complete with movement and even dancing."We don’t just get up there and stand in a line and sing," declares Priboth. "Each number is presented as it would be in the show."For instance, the song, "Do-Re-Mi," from "The Sound of Music," has "Maria" teaching the children how to sing. In "Getting to Know You," from "The King and I," "Anna" teaches the King’s many children. "Masquerade," from "Phantom of the Opera," is complete with astirring chorus and a choreographed routine, and when watching "Tonight," from "West Side Story" Priboth’s personal favorite you could swear you are watching Maria singing her part of the stirring duet from her balcony.And you won’t want to miss the rollicking "Kansas City," from Oklahoma, where "Will Parker" explains to his fellow cowpokes what the big city is like. (Hint: there is some fine heel kicking by the gentlemen.)"It’s really a lot of fun," says Priboth.This is the second year the Vail Valley Theater Company has presented an Evening on Broadway. This year’s show has retained some favorite numbers from last year and added new hits."We retained about 25 percent of the music from last year," Priboth says. "It was extremely well-received for a show of this kind, and led (the Vilar Center) to ask if we wanted to do another one this year. It’s kind of special when a community theater group gets to be invited to be one of the Vilar’s shows."The cast is larger than last year’s, and includes many of the performers from the original show and 18 soloists. There are professional singers, such as Beth Swearingen, Lance Schober, and Lori Kay Brassfield, as well as local favorites, such as Priboth, HollyMarkels, Charis Patterson, Diana Honeykiss, Ann Olin and Eagle Valley Middle School band teacher Tommy Dodge. There are also nine teenagers featured in Evening on Broadway, such as familiar talents Sean Pack and Jesse Henson. In fact, the cast spans agesfrom 13 to the 70s."It’s truly a community performance," Priboth says.The evening not only promises to be truly fun and memorable, guaranteed to have audience members humming their favorite tunes as they leave the theater, but it will benefit some very worthy non-profit organizations in the valley as well.Last year’s Evening on Broadway was so successful that the show and silent auction raised more than $27,000 for the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity and the Eagle Valley Christian Academy. This year, the show will benefit The Family Learning Center, the Buckman-Blount Community Performance Fund, which enables local youth performing groups access to the Vilar Center, and the Vail Community Theater Corporation (the non-profit organization behind the VVTC)."There are so many local organizations that all need help funding," explains Priboth. "We look around for groups who would benefit from the show and who would help promote the show."An Evening on Broadway will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 25 at the Vilar Center. Tickets for the performance are $35 each, and may be purchased at the Vilar Center Box Office. There will also be a Patron’s Dinner held prior to the show, the proceeds of which will solely benefit the Family Learning Center. Tickets for the Patron’s Dinner are $125, and include both dinner and the show.