Although the show just closed, it definitely deserves mentioning because I know this is just the beginning of a wonderful life for Dan Martin's and Michael Biello's smart and charming musical, Marry Harry. They are longtime collaborators and life partners with an eclectic body of work that has been critically acclaimed in musical theatre for years.
The book is by Jennifer Robbins, music by Dan and lyrics by Michael. With a stellar cast of Broadway veterans, the show explores ideas about family, loyalty, marriage, love and finding one's path in life. Reminiscent of Stephen Sondheim, the musical numbers are extremely clever and some, and I know from being a former singer, are quite demanding to vocally pull off.
Early in the show, Harry - performed by Robb Sapp, is a wannabe chef who sings a song, Lidia, to his idol Lidia Bastianich. And the wonderful surprise is that the real Lidia came to a performance, praised the show and had her picture taken with the cast.
The show was presented as part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival. During a three week period, from July 8 - 28, the festival offers a staggering number of shows - 24 in all! The "play readings" are free and tickets to Marry Harry were only $25.
There are four different theatres presenting the shows here in New York City and the Pershing Square Signature Center located at 480 West 42nd Street is "hub" for the festival. Their open, airy and modern main lobby features a cafe, bookstore and interactive digital display.
Marry Harry was performed in the Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre and a jewel it is. Comfortable and intimate, there isn't a bad seat in the house.
|The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre|
And if the evening wasn't full of enough surprises, I was thrilled to see my longtime friend Jane Summerhays as part of the cast. And like all of the actors, she delivered a terrific performance.
Like I said, this season of the New York Musical Theatre Festival is over but I'm certain we will be seeing more incarnations of Dan's and Michael's glorious musical, Marry Harry.
|Dan, myself and Michael|