Marty Panzer is the songwriter best known for writing lyrics with Barry Manilow. His entertaining stories would be enough for a fabulous evening. As he recalled personal stories and facts about his life with Manilow, celebrities like Julio Iglesias, Kenny Rogers, Carole Bayer Sager and others, they become alive, but it is the talented performers making guest appearances that were the highlight.
Katie Finneran, Tony Award Winner, pregnant with her second child, singing “I am Your Child” started off the spectacular evening for those lucky enough to get tickets. Cult star (Songs for a New World and In the Heights) Andrea Burns’ beautiful soprano soared on ”Christmas With My Prince” and Tonight.” “Tonight” was sung in duet with the newest Captain Hook, Brent Barrett. Barrett’s glorious baritone also shined in the blockbuster song “Even Now.”
Flying in from the coast just for this two night performance, Cry Baby’s James Snyder played harmonica and strutted his stuff in “Talk to Me” and “You’re Running Too Hard.” Look for him as Billy Bigelow in Goodspeed’s Carousel.
The newest El Gallo showed just why he will have women swooning in “America.” This terrific singer was part of the Sony BMG baby “Teatro.” He has sung for Queen Elizabeth and last night he sang just for the audience at the Triad. Jersey Boy’s Erich Bergen wrote with American Idol’s Michael Orland and Marty to create the winning “December Without You,” combining it with the Manilow hit “It’s Just Another Christmas Eve.
Doug Carpenter sang “Through the Years,” and Aida’s sexy and sensual Maya Days brought down the house with “Where Do I Go From Here” from Pocahontas. Rounding out the evening were ”This Ones For You” by Jim Stanek (Freud’s Last Session) and “Life is Good” by jazz artist Susan Winter.
There are still a few more tickets for the 2d night on April 29th. Look for Santino Fontana (Drama Desk Nominee, Sons of the Prophet), an Australian hottie and a surprise guest that will make you say “Could This Be Magic.” Can you guess who this is? Your first answer would be right. The evening benefits the Manilow Music Project that provides instruments to kids in need.
Tickets: www.brownpapertickets.com or
24/7 Ticket Hotline – 800 838-3006
**Photos by: Stephen Sorokoff