Broadway and Beyond Compare

Take 3 friends and legends of the Omaha musical stage and what do you get?  Something completely sublime.  This is Broadway and Beyond which was performed at the Jewish Community Center under the auspices of Performing Artists Repertory Theatre.

Sometimes all one needs is the simple things in life.  Three magnificent singers performing show tunes from some of Broadway’s best (and some lesser known ones) and sharing stories from their long history of performances and I’m as happy as a clam.  And the rest of audience seemed to be in the same state of euphoria as Camille Metoyer Moten, Paul Tranisi, and John Patrick Morrissey swept us away in an amazing afternoon of songs and stories.

The friendship between the three was palpable as they bantered with each other as they reminisced about shows past, but when they started singing, that’s when things really got cooking.

Under the accompaniment of Katherine Turner on piano, Metoyer Moten, Tranisi, and Morrissey each held the audience in the palms of their hands as they took turns singing some of their favorite songs.  My only regret is that they never joined forces on anything but the intro and outro of the show.

Camille Metoyer Moten’s golden alto dazzled the audience with the sonorous “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina” from Evita and the soaring “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” from Jesus Christ Superstar.  But she swept me away in a cloud of musical ecstasy with the hauntingly beautiful “Send in the Clowns” from A Little Night Music.

Paul Tranisi got the show off to a thunderous start with the godly “Rain” from Once On this Island.  From there, he blended his mighty baritone with a bit of theatricality as he morphed into Tevye musing about what he would do with a small fortune with “If I Were a Rich Man” from Fiddler on the Roof and then blew the audience away with “I, Don Quixote” from Man of La Mancha.

John Patrick Morrissey exudes youthful energy and has quite the vocal range.  Morrissey belted out “The Impossible Dream” from Man of La Mancha with extreme confidence and optimism, serenaded us with a determined take on “My Corner of the Sky” from Pippin, but could also handle pieces with more gravitas such as the thoughtful “Pilate’s Dream” from Jesus Christ Superstar.

I audibly “awwed” with disappointment when the afternoon ended as I could have spent a few more hours enjoying the trio’s songs and stories.  Sadly, it was also the only day to enjoy this concert, but I hope they consider doing this production again in the very near future.

Until then, you can still enjoy a fine performance from Performing Artists Repertory Theatre with its closing performance of Always. . .Patsy Cline on October 31 at 3pm at the Jewish Community Center.  Tickets are $37 and can be purchased by calling 402-706-0778.  The Jewish Community Center is located at 333 S 132nd St in Omaha, NE.

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