Happy Broadway, Mr President

What a treat I had this morning. I clicked on an article on Playbill.com that mentioned Elaine Stritch would be performing in a concert for Barack Obama. It was an event called “An Broadway Celebration: In performance at the White House”. A 60 minute concert featuring Broadway performers singing showtunes.

It was being streamed live. So at 9am I was able to watch. It was such fun. It was an intimate affair and it felt like you were in the room.

Hosted by the very funny Nathan Lane, it featured performances from Idina Menzel (Wicked, Glee), Brian D’Arcy James (Shrek, Next To Normal), the divine Audra McDonald (Ragtime, Master Class), Tonya Pinkins (Caroline, or Change), Karen Olivo (West Side Story), Chad Kimball (Memphis) , Miss Stritch of course, and a few others.

Highlights were Indina Menzel (in top form), pulling off “Defying Gravity” (groan I know, but it was good), she also joined Mavin Hamlisch, on piano, for a splendid version of “What I Did For Love” from A Chorus Line. Nathan Lane mentioning that J.Edgar Hoover was a show queen (very funny), Audra McDonald sung 2 songs, her voice is so beautiful and pure.

The real highlight, was seeing Elaine Stritch, goof up her second song, one she has sung endless times before – Stephen Sondheim’s “I’m Still Here”. She forgot the verses several times, had to recommence at a certain point, her accompanist had to constantly sing the words to prompt her. It was kind of embarrassing, and certainly riveting. She was beside herself, and went on to make a speech about when she first heard the President got into power, from her room at the Carlyle Hotel. She was hysterical, and is a force to be reckoned with, that’s for sure! Nathan Lane’s ad-libbing afterwards was priceless.

President Obama, with Michele and his daughters seemed delighted with the whole evening. I certainly enjoyed myself.

I took a few screen grabs, here they are.Nathan Lane the emcee, he also sang “Free” from A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum.

Idina Menzel

Marvin Hamlisch & Idina Menzel

The current touring cast of Hairspray sing “You Can’t Stop The Beat, dancing with them are children who participated in a dance workshop.

Elaine Stritch belts it out, finally, after many attempts , poor thing, it was her night off after a full week of performances in A Little Night Music, she is getting on.

The cast

The Obamas clearly enjoying themselves

The president cracks a joke, Audra McDonald & Nathan Lane find it funny 🙂



Filed under Theatre

2 responses to “Happy Broadway, Mr President

  1. How fab. Would have loved to have seen this..

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