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Out On Broadway: The Third Coming
Conceived and Directed by Scott Miller
Music Direction by Nate Jackson
New Line Theatre
August 5, 2017

Ken Haller, Keith Thompson, Sean Michael, Mike Dowdy-Windsor, Dominic Dowdy-Windsor
Photo by Jill Ritter Lindberg
New Line Theatre

New Line Theatre is closing out its latest season with a revue. It’s something they’ve done before, but this third edition of Out On Broadway is actually the first one I’ve seen. After two highly acclaimed and popular runs in 1996 and 2000, director Scott Miller has brought the show back with essentially the same concept–a cycle of musical theatre songs sung from the perspective of five gay men–but with some new songs and mostly new performers. It’s an entertaining evening offering some clever interpretations of a variety of songs and showcasing an excellent cast.

The performance is structured in five parts over two acts, with each part focusing on a different aspect of life–“Finding Your Place”, “Finding Love”, “I Do”, “I Thought I Did”, and “Now What?”  The show covers a lot of topics, from growing up, to love and marriage, to friendship, and more. Most of the songs are from Broadway shows but have been put into the context of the experiences of gay men, with songs that were originally sung by women about men or by man/woman couples given new context.  There are solos, duets, and group numbers all presented with energy, style, and heart. The show starts off with a brand-new song, “Hope”, by Jason Robert Brown, and then it continues from there, featuring some excellent spotlight moments for each of the guys, and some impressive solo songs as well.

The show is simply presented, with the performers outfitted in similar style and performing on a colorful glittery set designed by Rob Lippert, who also designed the lighting. The singers are ably accompanied by music director Nate Jackson on piano. Among the highlights are the “I Do” sequence, that features the cast’s real-life married couple, the Dowdy-Windsors, performing a fun version of “Getting Married Today” from Company. This section also features Haller’s poignant peformance of “Married” from Cabaret and the cast beautifully harmonizing with Michael leading with a glorious tenor vocal interpretation of “Sleepy Man” from The Robber Bridegroom. Other highlights include Mike Dowdy-Windsor singing “Kindergarten Boyfriend” from Heathers, Haller and Thompson delightfully snarking their way through “Bosom Buddies” from Mame, Haller’s intense “Could I Leave You?” from Follies, and Dominic Dowdy-Windsor’s sweetly sung “Mrs. Remington” from The Story of My Life.  There’s a great collection of songs here, and seeing them presented in a new context, and with the overall theme of the lives and loves of gay men in America in 2017  is an illuminating experience.

This being “part 3”, I found myself watching the show this time wishing I could have seen parts 1 and 2, especially considering how much culture has changed in the last 20 years.  Overall, Out On Broadway: The Third Coming is a great opportunity to hear from these talented men and see life through their eyes, and hear it through their voices. And what impressive voices they are, as well.

Keith Thompson, Ken Haller, Sean Michael, Mike Dowdy-Windsor, Dominic Dowdy-Windsor
Photo by Jill Ritter-Lindberg
New Line Theatre

New Line Theatre presents Out On Broadway: The Third Coming at the Marcelle Theatre until August 19, 2017.

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