Broadway Meows 3

Recorded July 18th 2011
at Don’t Tell Mama

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Elli’s Red Carpet Interviews at “Broadway Sings For Pride”


Recorded June 27th 2011
at the LGBT Center in NYC’s West Village

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Johnny Rodgers Band – Bon Voyage Party

Johnny Rodgers Band – Bon Voyage Party
Birdland – October 25, 2010 – 7:00 pm

by Elli – The King Of Broadway

Hello. My name is Elli, and I am a JRB-aholic.

In my last review of the Johnny Rodgers Band (JRB) I made no attempt to hide the fact that I am a JRB fan. Not just your average, run-of-the-mill fan, but more along the lines of a bobby-sox-wearing Fan Boy. Tonight’s Bon Voyage Concert at the famous and fabulous Birdland Jazz Club really sealed the deal.

Last time I complained about the “much too short hour long set” and Johnny, of course, took my criticism to heart and this time wooed us with nearly an hour and a half of his, oozing-with-charm style, and his delicious music.

Opening the set with his New Orleans inspired “Miss Dixie,”Johnny broke with the traditional ‘wait till the end to introduce the band’ and gave each of his talented band-mates a sweet solo turn followed by a formal introduction of each of his uber-talented musicians, Brian Glassman on bass, Danny Mallon on drums and additional vocals, and Joe Ravo on guitar.

Slipping effortlessly

into the next tune, Johnny proved once again that Johnny Mercer’s “Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home” might easily have been written about him, for truly, Johnny is at home on any stage.

For this wonderful show, Mr. Rodgers again mixed his own songs, “Home to Mendocino,” “Mary Jean,”

“She” with its light Bossa Nova beat, and “The Best of You in Me” with the hits of the American Songbook. “Let’s Get Lost” was smooth, soft and romantic. “Too Marvelous For Words” was an upbeat, bass-driven, cornucopia of tongue-twisting fun. Hoagy Carmichaels’ “Huggin’ & Chalkin’” was not only funny, but staged as if it were part of a Vaudeville Review.

During tonight’s show, I also made a few new discoveries. The Bands arrangements and performance seemed to mesmerize the audience. It was unusually quiet and as I looked around everyone was transfixed on the band. I also discovered that all of the JRB’s original songs had a familiar feeling – they were written like songs I knew very well. Even though I have only heard them a few times before, I could almost hum along, as if I had heard them all dozens of times before. That familiarity made me comfortable. So, when Johnny and the band began “What A Wonderful World,” all my troubles, every issue, every negative thought in my head, melted away, and all I felt was peace and love.

Just when it seemed that Mr. Rodgers had covered every style of music that there is, he pulled one more out of his hat. In his off time, i.e. between performing, travelling and preparing an overseas tour, Johnny took the helm as the Music Supervisor, Musical Director, Arranger, Orchestrator, and co-Songwriter with Sue Fabisch, for Motherhood The Musical (from the producers of Menopause The Musical) currently playing an extended run in South Florida. Tonight we were treated to one of the songs from that show, “Grannyland,” which Johnny performed, in character, with Granny-glasses and silver wig.

Of course, since Johnny performs only for me, he included my favorite JRB tune, Ray Henderson’s’ “Birth of the Blues” (and no broken piano bench this time).

From Big Band to Jazz to Showtunes to Scat, the Johnny Rodgers Band has it all covered. With his sweet smile, silky voice and enough charm to last forever, Johnny is the ultimate entertainer.

A few days after this Bon Voyage Party at Birdland, the JRB hits “The Rhythm Road” taking American Music Abroad touring Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands (Fiji, New Guinea, Singapore, Cambodia, Burma and Malaysia) from November 2-29.

“We’re really honored to be part of a program that has been such a piece of American history,” says Johnny Rodgers“Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong have big footsteps to follow!”

This Tour is sponsored by Jazz at Lincoln Center & the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs.

The Johnny Rodgers Band will be back in NYC on December 11th, 2010 performing at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola. For more information, and to follow their International travels, check out theJRB website.

A gifted songwriter, Mr. Rodgers won ASCAP’s Jamie deRoy & Friends Foundation Award in 2009, The New York Sheet Music Society’s Gerald Marks Award and the Songwriters Hall of Fame Abe Oldman Award. Other honors include the Nitelife Outstanding Cabaret Vocalist Award 2010, Backstage Magazine’s Bistro Award and the MAC Award. Mr. Rodgers recently made his Broadway debut co-starring in the Tony Award winning “Liza’s At The Palace” with Oscar, Emmy and Tony Award winning superstar Liza Minnelli. JRB’s recently released CD, “Box of Photographs” (PS Classics) has won acclaim from critics and radio stations across the country.

For complete info about the reviewer, please go towww.thekingofbroadway.com and follow him on twitter/tkob

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Read my older reviews here…

All my previous reviews can be reached using this link:

Older Reviews

Hope you enjoy them.

Thanks to www.nitelifeexchange.com

-elli-

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Brought to you by the NEW www.broadwaykingdom.com

For more info on Elli -- The King of Broadway www.thekingofbroadway.com
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