Neil Berg

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Country Girls Go to the Big City

Broadway..it’s a concept that few people my age are familiar with, let alone have experienced. Being the little nomad I am, I have had the pleasure of seeing several Broadway performances on my trips to the Big Apple. My most favorite being The Phantom of the Opera which this season snags the record of the longest running show on Broadway :)

It’s not often that something spectacular comes to our town! But that is exactly what happened last night! Broadway came to us via the Neil Berg express :) 101 Years of Broadway to be exact. With him he brought a sensational talent pool. Beverly and Kirby Ward, Carter Calvert, Lawrence Clayton, Rob Evans, and a band like no other. When I heard they were coming I immediately called and got tickets. Any excuse for all of the girls to get together is a good one :) Three generations of country girls headed to the big city, dressed in our Sunday best (Gram’s orders) to be mesmerized by music. I had a secret in store for them! Instead of sitting in the orchestra lower level seating, I bought parterre tickets :) They were all pleasantly surprised!

We had such fun people watching! I love to look at people’s outfit choices. We laughed and giggled and talked. Soon the lights went down and the tingling sensation started! The anticipation had been building and building and then with a flash of color they took the stage. We were enthralled from the first note. We tapped our feet, snapped our fingers, clapped our hands, and moved to the music of: “December 1963” (Jersey Boys), “All That Jazz” (Chicago), “This is the Moment” (Jekyll & Hyde), “Don’t Rain on My Parade” (Funny Girl), “Minnie the Moocher” (The Blues Brothers), “Singin’ in the Rain” (Singin’ in the Rain), “Popular” (Wicked), “New York State of Mind” (Movin’ Out), “Muddy Water” (Big River), “Ya Got Trouble” (The Music Man), “The Winner Takes it All” (Mamma Mia), “No More Roxane” (The Man Who Would Be King), “S’Wonderful” (Funny Face) all in the first act.

It took an intermission just for my brain to attempt to process the sensations it was taking in! Then onto Act 2..which brought us “Cabaret” (Cabaret), “The Way You Look Tonight” (Swing Time), “Crazy” (Always Patsy Cline), “Heaven on Their Minds” (Jesus Christ Superstar), “Bring Him Home” (Les Misérables), “Send in the Clowns” (A Little Night Music) ~ a beautiful rendition by Carter brought tears to my eyes!, “Unchained Melody” (Ghost), and “Soon/Boy Wanted” (My One and Only).

Rob closed the show out with “Music of the Night” (The Phantom of the Opera) and it was chilling! Phantom has been one of my favorite pieces since I first discovered it in high school. Having seen every movie version, a high school production, and the show on Broadway I was extremely excited to hear his rendition.

After thunderous applause and standing ovation :) They played “Season of Love” from the hit musical Rent. The audience sang along and finished the show out with a bang! The cast headed out to the lobby where they talked and chatted with us country folk come to town.

But the best part of all wasn’t the music, the lights, or the seats. It was seeing a family :) A mom and a dad who brought their three middle/elementary school aged children to see a performance that possible changed their lives. The dad was dressed in a black formal tux, both little boys had suits on, the mom had a simple but elegant black dress with a white shawl, and their daughter was beautiful. I seldom see a middle school girl who looks happy to be with her family. She was delighted! Her dress was a soft white silk with a jeweled broach and black accents. Her brothers opened the doors to the Theatre for their mom (who was escorted by her hubby, held the door for their sister then promptly each took one of her hands to continue their journey into a night of Broadway. That was by far the best part! Knowing that there is a new generation of live theater, Broadway loving kiddos who hopefully will grow up to be a Broadway nut like me :)

XOXO ~ Lemon :)

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