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Paulanne Simmons

Town Hall's Summer Broadway Festival Ends on a High Step

"All Singin' All Dancin'"
The Fourth Annual Summer Broadway Festival
Written and Hosted by Scott Siegel
Directed and Choreographed by Jeffry Denman
The Town Hall
123 West 43rd Street
July 26, 2010

The Town Hall's fourth annual Summer Broadway Festival ended Monday, July 26 with a graceful and joyful concert directed by Jeffry Denman ("Yank!"), and written and hosted by Scott Seigel.

According to Siegel, this is the most ambitious show of the year, with a stage entirely cleared for Denman's exciting dance numbers. Most people in the audience on Monday would probably agree.

"All Singin' All Dancin'" featured Ron Raines ("Chicago"), Julia Murney ("Wicked"), Erin Denman ("42nd Street"), Noah Racey ("Curtains") and others performing song and dance numbers from such shows as "Damn Yankees," "Nine," "Promises, Promises" and "Company."

The show had many highlights including the Denmans dancing "Two Lost Souls" and Raines' rendition of Jerry Herman's "I won't Send Roses." In many of the numbers, Denman's original choreography added an unexpected and welcome twist to well-known Broadway favorites. Kander and Ebb's "Cell Block Tango" renamed "Murdered Men Tango" and performed by James Brown II, J. Austin Eyer, Mark Ledbetter, Noah Racey, Dennis Stowe and Jeremy Benton, envisioned the murders from the men's point of view.

The evening ended with the groundbreaking "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue," originally choreographed by George Balanchine for Rodgers and Hart's "On Your Toes." The ballet tells the story of a hoofer who falls in love with a dance hall girl, ending in a triple death, and predates "Oklahoma!" as the first time a dance sequence was fully integrated into the plotline of a show. Its inclusion in "All Singin' All Dancin'" was a timely reminder of just how far the musical has come in the past few decades and where it can go in the hands of talented artists.


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